aint it coolHotlinking, something we first discussed back in June of 2008, is something you might expect from smaller blogs, but not one of the best known web sites on the Web.

Founded by Harry Knowles in 1996, Ain’t It Cool News has grown to be a leading source of movie news and gossip, but it has always had a bit of a amateur feel to it, and this feeling is still coming through.  While perusing the article “Harry’s Picks For The Top Ten Films of 2008!!!“, I noticed the image you see to the right.  What was supposed to be an image from the movie The Wrestler was replaced with an image built specifically to thrawt people who hotlink images from the specific site.

For those who don’t remember what hotlinking is, I will quote what I said in the original article:

Hotlinking, or remote linking, is the act of using a file hosted on someone else’s web server on another site without their permission.

In short, it is a shady practice, and particuraly reprehensible if you are running a successful site.

This is not the first time I have seen similar actions from this particular site as back in 2006 they were hotlinking a site I am friendly with called BlogD, run by a man in Japan named Luis.  He detailed his battle with Ain’t It Cool News as it was happening, and all told they hit him for 1.5 GB in file transfers, a hefty sum for any personal blog.  If he had been close to his bandwidth allocation for that month, it would have ended up costing him money.   I checked other imaes in the same article I took the screenshot from, and all of them were hotlinked from various sites from around the Internet.

Seeing as it has been two years since I first learned of them doing this, I am shocked to discover they are still doing it.  This is not something any website should partake in, especially one that is a money making site that is a leader in its specialty niche.

Take a valuable lesson from this that it is not a good idea for any site to do this, and especially one that can be embarrassed by being a big name Web site stealing bandwidth from sites much smaller than itself.

Categories: News, What Is   

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