April 2, 2010
HORROR OF HOT LINKING
Critcononline.com. Since 1982, Fred Adelman has been keeping his finger on the pulse of horror with his independent publication Critical Condition and more recently his website. One of greatest resources on his site is the page called "A Visual History of Video Companies in the 80's" that boasts an impressive collection of scans and photos of vintage 80s-era VHS box art.
Recently Critcononline.com went offline and had its account suspended by its domain host. In correspondence I began with Mr. Adelman today, he said that 1000's of sites are hotlinking to his VHS scans and images, stealing his bandwidth and forcing the server host to shut him down.
EDIT: Hotlinking commonly occurs when someone (person A) shows an image on his or her website by linking to the image's source on the server used by someone else (person B). Whenever other people download the image from person A, it costs person B bandwidth. Person A should have uploaded the image to his or her own server and linked to it from there.
I thought it was worth reminding people that lazy actions such as hotlinking to a site's content can do a lot of unintended harm, especially when it threatens such invaluable historical resources as the content that Fred Adelman keeps on Critcononline.com.
While steps are being taken to get his site back up and running with code to prevent hotlinking, he shouldn't have to do this. In today's digital age, with the availability of free image-hosting services, there's really no need to hotlink. Unfortunately, with so many more people starting up blogs and websites in and out of the horror fandom that there's also a lot of careless image-hosting going on. Some people are just to lazy to take the time and find their own space to host images.
If you want to support a strong horror fandom, stop hotlinking.