Note from the author:

I wanted to incorporate a link to the Unsolved Mysteries site on sweeping. (See my legal issues page for overall details here). I have complied with their wishes not to be linked. However, I would argue that netizens have the right to link to any other site from their site, as long as that link is not libelous. My actions in no way should signify that I am giving up the legal right to link to any site I choose.

Here is my correspondance with Unsolved Mysteries:

(Note: I disabled the e-mail addresses below so that bots can't add them to e-mail lists. Just another one of those precautions we take in these good old days of lawless internet connections).

My standard letter (sent to all external pages that I linked with)

Hi, I would like to include a link to your site, Unsolved Mysteries, (note : I AM NOT including the URL here, as I did in my original letter) in a new web-based novel. The novel centers around a girl searching for her sister, who has disappeared into the internet. The novel is 144 pages and consists of well over 1,000 links. The novel will either be at a journal site on the web or downloadable as an e-book. This is an artistic endeavor. I am writing to show how the internet has incorporated all of our lives, including fiction.

You can see the draft of the page where your link would appear at: http://www.chisp.net/~textra/rain/water/water/sweepingindex.html The link will open into an entirely new page, distinct from the novel. Readers will immediately recognize that they are on your page and have left the novel. I will also have a warning at the front of the book:

This hypertext fiction is just that--fiction.The author and characters
do not endorse any products or contents of any external links. Each external
link will be opened in a new window, with no mention of the novel, Disappearing
Rain. To get back to the story, click under "Window."
The author does not keep track of the content on the external pages.
Some external links may contain language or concepts not appropriate for
readers under 18.

(As this site is still unpublished, please keep this information private.If you wish to be informed about where the novel ends up on the web, please let me know). I will make one copy of your site for archive purposes only. If your site goes away, the novel will link to a 404 error not found (which is part of the structure I am trying to build.) This is a good faith effort to ensure that there is no percieved problem with linking to your site from this novel. If I do not hear back from you, I will assume that it is ok to make this link. Please let me know either way though, so I can keep a record. Thanks so much!

Deena Larsen
textra at chisp.net
http://www.chisp.net/~textra

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First response from Unsolved Mysteries

Subject: Re: UNSOLVED MYSTERIES COMMENTS
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 11:57:41 EST
From: UnsolvedM@aol.com
To: textra at chisp.net

Thank you for your inquiry but we do not link our page to others; it is just a company policy. Thanks for thinking of us.

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My second reply

As some respondants did not understand that I was linking to their site (rather than requesting a link from their site to my site, I clarified:)

Subject: Re: UNSOLVED MYSTERIES COMMENTS
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 10:04:50 -0700
From: Deena Larsen
To: UnsolvedM@aol.com
References: 1

You have misunderstood. I would like to link from my site to your site. You would not have to do anything. If you do not want me to link to your site, please write back and say so. Otherwise, I will have a link from my novel to your page. It will be VERY CLEAR that your site is totally separate from my site. Usually, designers do not ask permission to link, but I would like to make sure this is ok before I release my novel.

(I then appended my original message)

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Second message from Unsolved Mysteries

Unsolved Mysteries sent this before receiving my clarification:

Subject: Re: UNSOLVED MYSTERIES COMMENTS
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 12:01:59 EST
From: UnsolvedM@aol.com
To: textra at chisp.net

I just received a callback from one of our attorneys about this matter. He said because of certain legalities that he does not wish to discuss, I needed to send this second email informing you not to use our website as a link to your site. I am sending him a blind copy of this email and your original email request for our company's files. Thank you for thinking of us but again, please be notified by this email not to link our website to your page.

Happy Holidays. Tilda Johnson

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My third reply

I again asked for clarification:

Subject: Re: UNSOLVED MYSTERIES COMMENTS
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 10:08:52 -0700
From: Deena Larsen
To: UnsolvedM at aol.com
References: 1

Hi, Could you ask the attorney if it is ok if I link from my site to your site? I am confused and need clarification on this matter. I would like to incorporate a link from my novel to your site.

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Third reply from Unsolved Mysteries

Subject: Re: UNSOLVED MYSTERIES COMMENTS
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 12:43:00 EST
From: UnsolvedM at aol.com To: textra at chisp.net
In a message dated 12/29/99 9:11:15 AM Pacific Standard Time,

textra at chisp.net writes:
> Could you ask the attorney if it is ok if I link from my site to your > site? I am confused and need clarification on this matter. I would > like to incorporate a link from my novel to your site.

Due to the nature of our show, the answer is simply, no. We would have to review your novel before our link could be associated with your site. We are requesting that you NOT incorporate a link from your novel/site to our site. Thank you so much for asking about this. I only wish more people were this honest and forthright. Good luck on your novel. It sounds very interesting. I would love to know where it ends up on the web. Tilda Johnson

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