Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”     John Locke,    Two Treatises of Government, Of Property

April 16, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and Fox News too damned cheap to pay for their own bandwidth

by Stephen Gordon

Screenshot of Limbaugh's website as of 4PM EST today

Being as they obviously can’t afford to serve their own Internet files, both Rush Limbaugh and Fox News have been hotlinking the now-infamous Department of Homeland Security report this site recently released. Since the report was published, we’ve experienced a tremendous burst of traffic, and been working overtime (special kudos to Brad) merely to keep this site operational. Hotlinking is a no-no in the Internet community. If you are new to the Internet, here’s a good explanation as to why it’s so frowned upon. It would be difficult to characterize Limbaugh or Fox as being an Internet newbies, however.

We’d take to take time to offer a special thank you to Michelle Malkin for going out of her way to serve a copy of the report on her own site.

I first learned that Rush had hotlinked us last night. The “talent on loan from God” webteam still doesn’t seem to be aware of what their readers see when clicking on the link.  Here’s what people coming from hotlinked sources will find.

In the meantime, if you came here to read the report, here’s a copy of the .pdf file.


Blowup of the Rush's frontpage hotlink

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  1. [...] The Liberty Papers have a message for bandwidth pirates Rush Limbaugh and [...]

    Pingback by Scott Adcox » Blog Archive » Get Your Own Damned Bandwidth — April 16, 2009 @ 1:07 pm
  2. How dare they drive traffic to your site! Did you ask them to stop or did you just decide to “fight back” and insult their viewers at the same time? “What a country!” Well, I got the last laugh. I still used your bandwidth to get the report and thanks to your insulting tactic I’ll never be back. Bwahahahahahaha!

    Comment by Marcel — April 16, 2009 @ 1:08 pm
  3. lol nice job!

    Comment by Chris Brewer — April 16, 2009 @ 1:11 pm
  4. Marcel,

    They aren’t driving traffic to the site, they’re leaching off our servers by linking to a PDF file rather than hosting it themselves.

    If they’d linked to the actual blog post, rather than the file it referenced, there wouldn’t be a problem.

    And, oh yea, so long.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 16, 2009 @ 1:14 pm
  5. came to your site via google! looking for the documents not rush,or fox ,followed a link on your own website ,for what a very nice not about bandwidth . thanks for the nice informative website!

    Comment by — April 16, 2009 @ 1:18 pm
  6. Marcel has half of a point. Driving traffic to your site is a Good Thing, but linking directly to the pdf doesn’t accomplish that. If they had linked to your original post instead, that would have given you the publicity you deserve.

    So instead of redirecting them to the scolding pdf, perhaps you should redirect them to:

    Comment by Jeff Molby — April 16, 2009 @ 1:18 pm
  7. Or at least serve up a pdf that says “Fox & Co gave you a bad link. Click here to go to find the DHS report.”

    And of course your link would take them to the original post.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — April 16, 2009 @ 1:20 pm
  8. I’ve modified the PDF to point out that Fox has changed the link, and included a link to the original blog post.

    Looks like Rush’s link is now onto yesterday’s show postings site, but it’s still hotlinking the original file.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2009 @ 1:26 pm
  9. Jeff,

    But the thing is there not really driving traffic to the site when they hotlink like this.

    Brad will correct me if I’m wrong, but hotlinking doesn’t even show up as a hit to the blog, certainly not on Sitemeter, just a use of resources that, as the post says, costs money.

    And it’s sort of a tradition to punk the guy who hotlinks you without permission

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 16, 2009 @ 1:26 pm
  10. I would also give a short explanation in the PDF of why it’s a bad link. Still, I think the redirect is the best idea Jeff. That way you get all your good karma traffic without having the bad karma of appearing to be petulant. I always figure that I will just let the other guy look bad and not doing something cause I’m angry that ends up with me looking bad too. To non internet geeks, this looks bad.

    Comment by Eric — April 16, 2009 @ 1:26 pm
  11. Or even better… Since you know that most of the new people seeking that report are Republicans, you should create a new post that gives them what they want, but also pitches the philosophy of freedom to them. Most will just hit and run, but there are probably some open minded people out there that could become regular readers.

    If you don’t have time to write something up, I’d at least embed this video:

    Comment by Jeff Molby — April 16, 2009 @ 1:30 pm
  12. [...] Rush Limbaugh is a hotlinker. [...]

    Pingback by Talent On Loan From God. Bandwidth Taken By Theft. | Popehat — April 16, 2009 @ 1:31 pm
  13. Doug,

    That’s correct, it doesn’t even show up as a sitemeter hit (since the PDF has no code to alert sitemeter).

    Essentially, Jeff, they weren’t linking to our *site*. They were linking to our web host and our wallets. We’re running a blog here, not an FTP service.

    Michelle Malkin was kind enough to link to The Liberty Papers and Stephen’s original blog post. That’s what people who actually understand this whole “new-fangled media” do (and hence why Stephen thanked her for it).

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2009 @ 1:39 pm
  14. Essentially, Jeff, they weren’t linking to our *site*. They were linking to our web host and our wallets. We’re running a blog here, not an FTP service.

    Right, I understand that. Re-read my posts. I’m saying you should redirect them to your site. You can’t change the link on their site, but you can mitigate the problem by redirecting users to the page that they should have linked to.

    That way you get what you want (a fair chance to acquire new readers) and they still get what they want (acquiring the desired content via a pleasant experience).

    Comment by Jeff Molby — April 16, 2009 @ 1:45 pm
  15. Yes… I updated that PDF so it now contains a link to the original post.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2009 @ 1:47 pm
  16. But why publicly shame Rush (and formerly, Fox)? As bad as the GOP has been, there are still a fair number of truly liberty-minded people over there. Yeah, it was bad form to post the link that they did, but the bottom line is that this is a rare opportunity to speak to a large number of potential new readers.

    Considering how pissed off the foot soldiers of the GOP are, it’s an rare opportunity to speak for our movement. I hope you decide to put your best foot forward. If it’s purely a matter of bandwidth, I’d be happy to share the burden. I’m sure there are many others out there that will as well.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — April 16, 2009 @ 1:58 pm
  17. I say get the good karma and take the opportunity. I will happily chip in some money, if needed. Take the high road! That’s my advice.

    Comment by Eric — April 16, 2009 @ 2:23 pm
  18. Well, because publicly shaming hotlinkers is internet tradition! I could have gone far worse with it (I’d considered the photo Stephen Gordon has used once or twice of a particularly large woman), but I tried to keep it factual and brief. Simply put, this is well-known netiquette that they violated, and frankly they deserve to be called out on it.

    After another day or two, I’ll clean it up, because a number of little web sites (who probably can’t host their own documents) have linked the PDF, and I’ll put up a redirect.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2009 @ 2:30 pm
  19. Alright, folks… Per popular request, I did a simple redirect.

    (Had I known I could do that, with some nice googling, I would have done it yesterday).

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2009 @ 3:30 pm
  20. Very cool!

    Comment by Eric — April 16, 2009 @ 4:05 pm
  21. Thanks, Brad! Very nice.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — April 16, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

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