So, late last night I wrote a post about NLI and their link license fee nonsense.
In that post I decided to focus on the non-compliant behaviour of an organisation setting itself out as being the arbiters of compliance with copyright when it came to the data protection/privacy compliance obligations that they appear to either be unaware of or consciously ignorant of (I presume the latter).
I clearly stated that I wasn’t going to talk about the economic impact of inbound links to websites from the point of view of driving search engine relevance, getting sites onto the first page of Google, and generally providing a basis for establishing valuation models for on-line advertising.
It’s not my area of expertise, so I thought it best not to say anything.
But today I searched for “Newspaper Licensing Ireland” in Google.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that, apart from content by or directly about Newspaper Licensing Ireland, there were articles by Broadsheet.ie, McGarrSolicitors, and your humble scribe.
On page 1 of Google. In the top 6 things returned for that search string. In less than 24 hours.
What made this happen? Links. Lots of loverly links being spread through websites and social media networks like, as I described them last night, the “footnotes on the Internet”.
This is what helps drive traffic to websites, making them more valuable pieces of virtual real estate within which to place advertising.
Charging people a fee to put up a sign post to your shop makes no economic sense in the bricks and mortar world. It makes even less sense in online.
After all, links are more properly called “Universal Resource Locators” (URLs). And in this way they are exactly the same as sign posts. They tell people, uniquely, where to find a particular resource. Just like a footnote in book.
Will NLI start charging license fees for those as well? If so, I’m fudged completely as my last two books have LOADS of footnotes in them.