Yes, you owe me 1000 Dollars. Please do follow and carefully read the links in the following paragraphs, otherwise it may be hard to believe that I am not making this up. It looks like some “National Newspapers of Ireland” is trying to get permission to force people who merely link to a page on a newspaper website to both get permission and pay that newspaper first, as if they had wanted to copy the actual text of that page.

So, if I get it right, for this one mere, tiny, simple, little link, and nothing else, to the page of the Irish Times that tells this tale of embarrassment for the whole human race, I should have asked permission first, and then paid. For the privilege of making THEM more visible to search engines and bringing THEM more money from the ads (more than here, by the way) on that page. Now, as far as the Irish Times itself is concerned, brains are still working over there: that article ends saying that The Irish Times doesn’t consider links as copyrightable and will not attempt to impose anything like this.

But like what, exactly? Well, it turns out that, in order for this farce to be playable, National Newspapers of Ireland is doing nothing less than reinvent the very meaning of the word “content”. As you can read by yourself in this explanation of why no extraterrestrial life form will talk to us for a long time, even a link is “content”.

If links are “content”, then the title of a novel is the same as that novel. No, wait, sorry. If links are “content” then the address of a bookstore where you’ll find a copy of that novel IS the same as that novel. And if I tell you that address, I should pay the author a fee. Then again, I will surely get 1000 Dollars from each one of you readers who will tell about this page to their friends, so why should I complain? Come on, send me a check, quick!

PS: if you have more money to spend, you may want to pass around these other examples of copyright madness. Don’t worry, I’ll make you a special price.