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You are the weakest deeplink. . . goodbye!

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TECHNICAL & PRACTICE - AJ+.COLUMN

You might have thought that one of the great virtues of the Internet was that it was virtually lawyer-free.Now that people are running businesses on the Web - especially recruitment and ticket booking and auction firms - the men in sombre suits are gathering like hyenas padding around the edge of the killing ground of the local lion pack.

Angus Hamilton (e-mail hamilton@ cix. co. uk) is an unhyena-like solicitor (I said that very carefully) who writes a monthly equivalent of the AJ's legal column adjacent to this - but in the computer magazine PC Pro.Inthe December issue, he pointed out that it seems that you now have to be careful about who and how you link to other websites. It turns out it is naughty to deep-link, that is, to link to a page which is some layers in from the other site's home page.You might do this to helpfully take your visitor straight to the relevant section on the other site.

On the other hand, some people do it to disguise the fact that the services they apparently offer are actually provided by somebody else and, lately, these are the carcasses the lawyers have been worrying about. Probably the best thing to do is put yourself in the place of the site to which you propose to deep-link and ask yourself whether you would like it to happen to you, especially when it normally means bypassing the visitor number clicker on whose figures quite a lot of sites rely for sponsorship.

Meanwhile, I just came across this fantastic site which provides web designers with codes for doing seriously wicked things, such as shimmering reflections, click boxes which move before you can click on them, website earthquakes, mystery scrolling text and the like. It is at. . . hold on. No. The only way I will give this out is by phone.You will first have to repeat a dozen times the mantra: 'Just because I can, it does not mean I have to.'Oh, all right, it is at www. builder. cnet. com/ webbuilding/.

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