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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    Google's AutoLink

    I am indebted to Phil Bradley's Blog and to TheTwoWayWeb.com for the information on Google's AutoLink. Discussions (over the years) on quality of websites often talk about authentication, or knowing whether what is being read is the same as the text that left the author's keyboard. It should be! The author's name is marker of his or her intellectual property rights, including the right to be acknowledged as the author. The other moral rights under copyright law - at least in the UK - include the right to object to derogatory treatment of a work. Copyright law also grants to the copyright owner the exclusive rights to make adaptations.
    For all those reasons, it is difficult to see how Google can offer this 'service'. It may be argued that the original document is left intact and that the additional links only appear - virtually - in the viewed version. I do not know. What is certain is that if AutoLink remains available, no one will be able to trust to the fact that any document they publish on the Web will be what is read.



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