From :
Say you post a scrappy one-man-band Web site on the pros and cons of pet sweaters. Like any good Webmaster, you add links to pages on outfitting pooches in ponchos so people can track down additional information--a move that captures the essence of the Web.
Imagine your surprise, then, when you receive a letter from one of the sites you directed people to, which says posting such links is illegal without first seeking written permission.

Similar scenarios are happening around the globe as a growing number of organizations and publishers crack down on deep linking, or the practice of sending people to pages other than a home page.

Publications such as The Dallas Morning News have claimed that deep linking creates a host of problems, including violating copyrights, depriving them of ad dollars, redirecting traffic, and generally confusing Web surfers.

Attempts to control traffic and site navigations through deep-linking bans are occurring outside the United States as well. A court in Copenhagen, Denmark, is set to rule Friday in a case that pits the Danish Newspaper Publishers' Association against Newsbooster, an online news aggregator fighting to link to stories in the association's publications.

Critics say such clampdowns could threaten the very nature of the Web.

More at the link above.

My question to you all: Good idea, bad idea, or simply the byproduct of crappy webdesign?

My take on it is this: Many many sites are now ASP or PHP based, and both ASP and PHP have simple methods by which you can check the Referrer (the document linked FROM) to see if it is within your domain(s), and based on that, display the page, or forward you to their main page.

Personally, I see no reason at all why 'Deep Linking' is necessarily a bad thing, or how it can be considered illegal. This is information that you are intentionally putting out on the Internet for public consumption. Any page you can get at without having to enter a password first is within the public domain. I happen to believe that the idiots who believe they understand the Nature of the 'net and happen to be CEOs of large businesses will try and use the courts to pass more insane and retarded laws that violate the very essence of what the Web is.

This is I think unfortunately going to lead to the creation of another stupid law or Act (apart from the DMCA), created by lawyers who understand nothing of technology and will be so vague that you could classify moving your mouse as a violation of it. This is certainly getting ridiculous, and I wish some technical people would speak up on the matter.