Link request form… can they be serious?

Okay, I thought I’d seen it all, but this is too funny.  The Irish Cancer Society have a policy that you may not link to their website without first filling out their link request form, ticking the boxes, then, er, printing it out, signing it, and faxing it to them.

Firstly, this isn’t an attack on them, cancer is a horrible disease and I fully support any charity who work to find out more about it or help support victims of it.

But c’mon, whoever did their site clearly doesn’t understand how the web works. Any site can link to another site, and nobody needs permission to link to another website.  You cannot tell somebody else that they cannot provide a link to your site.

There are some cases where it can be less clear cut, including loading someone else’s page within a frameset in your site, and attempting to pass off their content as yours or pretending to have some association with them when you do not, or direct linking to their images or resources to use them within your site.  But a straight, simple HTTP link?  Sorry, but no, I don’t need to fax you a form in order to do that.

Do you think Google faxed them a request for every link they make?   (Google for

Now, the cynical part of me says that maybe this ridiculous policy is a clever promotion attempt, getting people to discuss it.  I’m not sure it’s the right kind of publicity though.

BTW, I found out about this through a post on Donncha O Caoimh’s blog about Daffodil Day in Ireland.

(And, just to insert a disclaimer like I did in my post about being sued, as my other half found it funny and wanted to see another:) linking and unlinking policy

  • If you wish to link to any part of this site, you must – well, do nothing really, as I don’t care, and even if I did, I can’t force you not to.
  • If you would like any link from this site to yours to be removed, please follow our simple un-link request policy:
    • Please ROT-13 encode your request, print it on an Epson MX-80 dot-matrix printer on 116.7gsm paper, along with a direct translation to Braille underneath.
    • Place the printed page on a wooden table, and take a photo of it with a digital camera. Print this photograph, and staple it to the back of the original request (this is to ensure that the request has not been modified in transit).
    • Fold the paper in 3 neat folds
    • Attach the paper to the back of a Victoria Crowned Pigeon, and instruct the pigeon to fly to my house (if you’re a long way from me, it’s acceptable to cage the bird and have it sent by air freight, as long as it’s carried in the forward cargo hold of a Boeing 767-400ER
    • Take up a location from which you can observe Mount Kilimanjaro and watch for up to 7 days at 1pm and 8pm GMT, where an elderly monk in the foothills will signal accepted and denied link requests using smoke signals.

3 thoughts on “Link request form… can they be serious?”

  1. The pigeon is on its way right now!

    Nobody can access my site without reading my on-line disclaimer. The restriction also applies to the disclaimer.

  2. Hello.

    I don’t have an Epson MX-80 dot-matrix printer, but i do have its predecessor the Epson MX-78.

    Is this acceptable?

    Also, I have issues with folding the paper 3 times, would 4 be ok? as I prefer even numbers.

    Many Thanks

  3. LOL Epson MX-80

    Unfortunately while filling out your un-link form, I made a mistake
    because I am l4me and stapled the photo not to the Epson printout,
    but to my own forehead. This caused me some loss of vision and I
    inadventently fell through my neighbour’s skylight window while on a
    drunken astronomy mission struggling over their roof with my telescope.
    Can I sue you?

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