A while back I bemoaned the fact that you can’t link directly to the paragraph of your choice within another’s web page (“Purple Numbers, Plinks, Cruft and the SCC“). Well, it seems that now you can, thanks to Citebite. You select the passage you want to point to, insert it into the “quote” box on the Citebite page, tell Citebite the URL, and wait while it concocts a URL that, when used, takes you to the very page you wanted with the very paragraph (or portion) you wanted highlighted in yellow.
The only procedural downside I can see is that (of course) you don’t get the target website’s URL in the address bar. But Citebite is smart enough to provide a transparent bar at the start of the page it gives you that sets out the original URL as a hyperlink. There is the worry, too, that this company won’t be around in a few years/months/weeks, with the consequence that your URL will be deader than a dot com; we learn from the blog, though, that the links are stored on Amazon’s huge servers and plan on being around for a while for that reason. Oh, and there’s what may be a legal issue, in that it would seem to me that to do this, Citebite must in one way or another capture the content of the page (whether dynamically — i.e. only when asked — or as a fixed page of content on its server); and it’s possible that some page owners would object to this re-purposing of their content.
It comes with a bookmarklet and a Firefox extension. There’s also a blog.
At any rate, for the curious, follow this link to a randomly chosen paragraph in a CanLII report of a SCC case: http://pages.citebite.com/o1i5x5p9l3ino.