Using the Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags to implement online copyright and a related amendment

Chyan Yang, Jyh Liao Hsien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose – The Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags constitute a set of instruments that can be used to instruct software robots. However, the current version of Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags are both too simple and ambiguous in an internet world with many potential conflicts, especially in terms of copyright and trespass to chattels. This paper seeks to propose an amendment to the Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags to solve the problems.
Design/methodology/approach – Instead of following personal experience, this paper surveys several predominant cases in an attempt to find general principles that can be used as guidelines to amend the Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags.
Findings – According to several court cases, the Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags can not only be used to simply allow or refuse the software robots, but also expressing the online copyright authorization policies of webmasters. Any robot following the given policies can prevent possible conflicts, and undoubtedly, any robot ignoring these may be in breach of the law. In terms of adapting to their new roles successfully, the Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags need some supplements and adoption; as a result, the webmasters can express their will more explicitly and avoid unnecessary disputes in relation to copyright authorization scope and trespass to chattels as well.
Originality/value – This paper reveals the new function of the Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags. Based on this new function, this paper points out the disadvantages of the current Robots.txt and Robots Meta tags and proposes new a comprehensive amendment based on this new function.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)94-106
Number of pages13
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Systems software
  • Tagging
  • Copyright law
  • Search engines

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