This post is 100% link-free

I've just noticed this odd condition for the use of the Imperial War Museum's collections website:

Links to our website may only be included in other websites with our prior written permission.

Source: http, followed by a colon, then two forward slashes, then www, a dot, iwmcollections, another dot, org, a third dot, uk, another forward slash, and then terms, one last dot, and finally php.

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9 thoughts on “This post is 100% link-free

  1. How interesting. Taking it to the extreme:

    "No mention of US can be made in any mean, unless prior authorization is given"


    I can't even find the right words for this (although stupish comes repeatly to mind)... And, ironically, I'll bet the only people willing to think and comply would be the ones they would probably give such an authorization. This is so... un-internet culture...

  2. Look, these things are written by a bunch of lawyers who don't actually have broad experience, nor good judgement. And there's sure to have been a committee involved too.

    Then it gets very hard for a civil service manager to naysay it.

    The professional military historians amongst you may be unwilling to ignore such guff from an institution which you can ill afford to offend - but for the rest of us it's business as usual and I'll link away.

  3. Jakob

    Wasn't there a spate of this kind of stuff a few years ago? (Decades in net-time...) ISTR that deep-linking was supposedly banned by some sites' access agreements, but they were generally ignored.

  4. Post author

    Yes, it's not the first time a website has come up with obviously silly conditions of use. I'm sure it's just to satisfy the lawyers (maybe in the case of some libellous website linking to the IWM, which can then say it never gave written authorisation for that link and so is therefore not complicit in any way). And don't worry, Bob, I have no intention of following this absurd rule -- the point of the post is merely to point and laugh!

  5. Lester

    They'll catch up with the late 20th century one of these days.

    By the way, I'd like to thank you for introducing me to the existence of Scott Palmer's "Dictatorship of the Air", which I finally shelled out for the other day, and which I think is brilliant.

  6. Ian Brown

    I am not a professional historian but I am a huge supporter of the Imperial War Museum,I wonder if they have imposed this restriction on links because they don't want to be linked to neo nazi or holocaust denial sites which would damage their reputation?

    I know that they could have a statement about not endorsing sites that linked to them but people would assume that a site that linked to the IWM was one to trust.

    People in a British academic trade union have got into trouble for lnking to a item on a site which also contained a speech by a KKK man.

  7. Post author


    No worries! It is indeed excellent.


    That's what I think is the most likely explanation. But it's a complete overreaction. Most people these days are web-savvy enough to understand that if website A links to website B, it in no way implies that B endorses A (it may not even mean that A endorses B either). B doesn't control all the webservers in the world so how could it possibly keep oversight of all incoming links? And the law is an ass but I don't believe it's enough of an ass for there to be any sort of liability issues for the IWM, even if every neo-Nazi and holocaust denier on the planet linked to them. It's just one of those stupid policies that bureaucrats and lawyers come up with every now and then.

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