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Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:24 pm
by lordfoul
Of interest to some...

This blog has been accused of “stealing” by Mike Harding over at montaraventures.com, because a contributing editor “hotlinked” a picture on Harding’s site on this blog. The title of Harding’s piece is: Dvorak Steals Copyrighted Work. He further states that John had the “audacity to use my bandwidth in the commission of the theft.” Harding makes no argument in support of accusation of stealing and theft, so I’m sort of left in the dark.

I found this highly interesting.

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:01 pm
by curzlgt
call me a thief then................... this time for a different reason :twisted:

If its on the web, with no obvious restrictions about linking, then TOO BAD!

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:53 pm
by JolietJake
Seems to me the guy is making a mountain out of a mole hill. It may be rude to use someone else's bandwidth to link an image, but i doubt it's illegal.

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:06 am
by IneptVagrant
JolietJake wrote:making a mountain out of a mole hill
The argument is fundamental to the degree of freedom on the web. Hotlinking is the closest you can get to copying a resource, w/o actually copying the resource. But its so close, indeed, that the question arises on the moral impudence of the action.

Is it too much like copying?

2-3 years ago, I would have said hotlinking is bad mkay. But with the arise of so many collaboration based communities, I feel the status que is shifting to what I'll term 'freelinking' -- ie if content exists w/o access controls, then its free (as in freedom) to use/abuse.

As the auther says, if you make something interesting and don't agree with the result... make less interesting stuff.

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:35 am
by HouseCrowd
I don't think it should be regarded as copying at all.

If you were to host an image from another site on a site of your own, then that would be copying. Surely it's better that the image remains on the originators site so that any credit for it may be more easily recognised than if a duplicate of it were hosted on a completely unassociated site.

Complaining that hotlinking is stealing is just bullshit. It's not stealing - it just means people can see your image without seeing the rest of your site. If you're gonna host an image on the internet for the world to see, in my opinion, you're putting it squarely in the public domain, so expect people to link to it or take a copy. If you don't like it, don't make it public, or use hotlink protection and stop whinging!

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:28 am
by olephart
I vote no. It's the owner of a website's responsibility to disable offsite hotlinking. If they're too lazy to do that then too effing bad.

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:56 pm
by IceCube
Well, before when bandwidth was limited, it was a general rule that you don't hotlink to pictures because it consumes too much bandwidth. Now you can host movies without too much of a problem, so I think that rule is pretty much null and void at this point unless you have a crappy old tripod account or something similar to that effect.

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:55 am
by IneptVagrant
HouseCrowd wrote:Complaining that hotlinking is stealing is just bullshit. It's not stealing...
The argument is over the morality, not the legality.

Re: Is hotlinking stealing? Does it infringe copyrights?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:56 am
by Fartingbob
Hotlinking a small image on a blog? Yea that must have set back the original owner thousands in additional bandwidth.. :roll:
I think this whole thing has bugger all to do with him being pissed of that he didnt disbale hotlinking on his site, and far more to do with getting huge numbers of people going to his site when they read about the story.