Last updated 9-25-01

This is the ''Framing'' page with some protective Javascript inserted at the beginning to prevent framing. Go to the blue menu box at the end of the Web page, where framing, and preventing framing, are addressed. Click on the entry (top line) for putting this page into a frame, surrounded by obnoxious advertising. Observe how the page now promptly jumps out of the frame because of the Javascript. Of course, this works only when the user's browser is equipped to process Javascript.

Is Framing Copyright Infringement?


The judge finds framing to be confusing. If it confuses you, too, click on his image to join him in studying a tutorial on framing by Joe Burns - So you want some frames, huh?.

The framing controversy first came to a head in February 1997, when the "Gang of 6" (led by the Washington Post) sued Total News ("TN"). The suit was precedentially inconclusive, because TN felt unable to fund an expensive lawsuit to vindicate a principle about what legal regime ought to govern copyright and the Internet. Accordingly, TN settled, by agreeing to the Gang of 6's terms. However, the lawsuit stimulated considerable commentary, links to some of which may be found on this page.

The present format of the TN Web page is somewhat cleaned up relative to what it was in 1997, and those that it now frames apparently consent to being framed. Accordingly, you do not get a good idea of what antagonized the Gang of 6 to the point of suing TN. To remedy the (pedagogically) unfortunate gentrification of TN, an example is provided at the end of this Web page of a more villainous case of framing--the scrofulous Web page of the scabrous and morally corrupt Professor Nefarious. In addition, a technical demonstration is provided of how this Web page could be distorted esthetically by framing and how one can adopt a technical fix to foil framing.



Here are some links to commentary on this case and the issue of whether unauthorized framing is copyright infringement.


Here is a pair of actual district court decisions (of sorts) in a framing case, along with a memorandum unpublished affirmance of the first decision in the Ninth Circuit. This may be the only framing case with a reported decision so far in the U.S., even unofficially (U.S.P.Q.2d) -- Futuredontics v. AAI.



For a particularly shocking example of framing, which raises numerous copyright law questions, click on the image at left that provides a link to the home page of that inveterate disregarder of other persons' intellectual property rights (and rascal), Professor Nefarious. Fortunately his web page is still under construction and perhaps it may be suppressed by appropriate legal action before it becomes fully operational. Consider what theories of copyright law might be invoked for this purpose. Consider also what steps one might take to improve the posture of any copyright infringement case that might follow. For example, consider the notice of no implied license mentioned at the end of Part II of the page on linking.



Click on computer image to return to Computer Law Course Home Page


Persons in their right minds will appreciate that the use of trademarks on this page is not a trademark use of the marks nor is it intended to suggest association or sponsorship on the part of the trademark owners. See, for example, Judge Hand's opinion in American-Marietta Co. v. Krigsman, 275 F.2d 287 (2d Cir. 1960).
Or is that a stretch?