Interesting piece from Dave Winer entitled “The Rule of Links.” I think that he uses ‘must’ when I would use ‘should,’ but I agree with one of his central tenets, which is that if you are discussing a source that is available on the Web, it is disrespectful to your reader not to link to it (and what about those who sell access to sources that are freely available on the web? I know of one law site that does).
To tie this (link this?) to trademark law, I note that I have written a short piece on the trademark theory of Initial Interest Confusion, in which I suggest that we are seeing an emerging tort of ‘deceptive diversion of traffic’ (embracing cyber-squatting but other activities as well). In order to establish diversion, one would likely need to establish that users were not meandering but had a specific destination from which they were diverted. A potential plaintiff may need to inferentially prove destination by showing what were the reasonable user expectations arising from a specific navigational device, such as a URL, search engine result, banner ad, or link. For example, in the Panavision case, the Court accepted the ‘dot com assumption,’ namely that someone typing in [example].com, ‘expected’ to land on the page of the owner of the [example] trademark.
So that’s where the thought of a comprehensive rules of links come in. I hope someone complies them.