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August 8, 2005
Why Did Daily Kos Poach Graphics From Joe Sherlock? (Update)

The Daily Kos has enjoyed tremendous success, and despite conservative criticism of its content, it appeals to a large number of readers from the port side of the blogosphere. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, its proprietor and chief original writer, generates envious amounts of ad money and has used that money to support the causes that matter to him. His voice has power, and his ideas get discussed -- truly one of the blogosphere's biggest players in terms of readership, scope, and influence.

So why did one of its writers poach on the bandwidth of a small blog like Joe Sherlock?

Last month, Kos contributor 'theglobalizer' not only lifted a graphic (relating to Keith Olberman) from Joe, but didn't bother to copy it to their own servers. That meant that every time the page loads, the graphic gets downloaded from Joe's server and eats up Joe's bandwidth. The diarist didn't even give a link back to Joe.

In response, Joe has changed the graphic to read, "The operator of this site is a cheapskate, a bandwidth thief, and a jerk." That may be a bit unfair. No one knows if Markos has any awareness of what his diarist did, but Joe's commentary certainly applies to 'theglobalizer'. In the end, though, Markos as the site operator has the responsibility to make sure his blog doesn't do things like this.

Daily Kos can afford its own bandwidth. It shouldn't poach it from Joe, nor should it take graphics off of other sites without getting permission and giving credit. As Joe notes, it is similar to to siphoning gas from a Plymouth coupe to a party limo. I'm sure that Markos will take the appropriate action when this comes to his attention.

UPDATE: As I predicted, Markos set this right:

Now, he doesn't understand ... that I have no control over the diarists. If he had emailed me about it, I would've deleted the image in question.

But the fact they can't distinguish between me and the diarists doesn't negate the fact that he's got a point about hot linking images from small sites, especially when you aren't offering a link or anything tangible in return.

Don't do it. If you want to post an image, upload it to a personal account and link to that. Hotlinking to images on other sites is rude, it's theft. You do it, and it's a potentially bannable offense.

I said that Markos would fix the problem if he found out about it, and he did. Good for him.

Sphere It set this right ... I said that Markos would fix the problem if he found out about it, and he did. Good for him. &topic=politics"> Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 8, 2005 5:35 AM

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