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Fuddruckers Called Out on Hotlinking 668

naught writes "Fuddruckers, a hamburger chain, hotlinked to a flash game developer's Burgertime clone on their 'Fuddrockers' page. When the developer noticed an abnormal amount of traffic coming from their website, he decided to let the company know how he felt -- and maybe teach them about hotlinking.." From the post: "So, I redirected everything coming from (learned all about .htaccess files also... neat!) Wrote a nice little message pointing out how incredibly stupid their web developer is. And then redirected the main page to a pleasant little website showing photographs of slaughterhouses. And also opened up some more popups, for those that don't have popup blockers."
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Fuddruckers Called Out on Hotlinking

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  • by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:38AM (#13468901) Journal
    This is funny, I would have done the same thing. They cannot counter sue because they had no business.

    If someone steals what I am saying, and puts it on their own site, then sues me when i change what I say, screw them!

    Good for him!

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  • by Nerd Systems ( 912027 ) * <{moc.smetsysdren} {ta} {neb}> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:48AM (#13468929) Homepage
    If the site you retrieve the game from, offers it freely in the form of a Mambo Component, that is placed on your website, and every time someone plays that game on your site, one of the first things they see is the website that brought them the game.... not a thing wrong with that... Stealing? Nope... Free advertising for the site giving it away free? YEP
  • (Score:4, Informative)

    by matthew.thompson ( 44814 ) <`matt' `at' `'> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @03:05AM (#13468991) Journal
    Is anyone else just getting the google homepage when they go to ?
  • by MAdMaxOr ( 834679 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @03:29AM (#13469051)
    We all know what hyperlinking is. Hotlinking is different.

    Hotlinking is the practice of taking someone else's resources, typically images, sounds, flash files, etc, and displaying them inline in your own HTML page. This causes losses to the creator because they still have to pay for the bandwidth of serving the file, but reap no benefits. For example, the creator may have advertising around the page with the Flash game that never gets seen.

    Hotlinking is generally seen as very bad form among web developers.
  • by CrashPoint ( 564165 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @03:31AM (#13469057)
    I don't understand. From the screenshot of the fuddruckers site, it clearly gives the url and email of the flash game site... so how is this stealing content?

    The Fuddrucker's site doesn't give the URL and email, that's only showing up in the game itself. Fudd's doesn't credit the author in any way on their own site.

    Furthermore, as several have already noted, this type of link also constitutes bandwith theft.

    Wouldn't a small-time flash developer want this sort of exposure?

    No. I can say that with utmost confidence, being one myself.

    Doing some sort of goatse move to poor kids who are expecting to play a game is just wrong. This guy should be taken to court or something for indecent exposure.

    RTFA. He didn't put up anything obscene, he put up images from a slaughterhouse. And even if he had put up something obscene, the idea of taking him to court would be ridiculous. He's free to put whatever content he likes on his own site (provided the content itself is legal), and he's not obligated to preserve anything that someone else links to.

  • by p!ngu ( 854287 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @03:36AM (#13469071)
    If you RTFA, you'll notice that fuddruckers was stealing this guys bandwidth, and making money off him. I'm sure he'd let them use the game if they hosted it (as it already has his email address and site name in it).

    Fuddruckers should be taken to court or 'soemthing' for theft.
  • by DavidNWelton ( 142216 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:00AM (#13469131) Homepage
    The real problem is more of an ethical one than something legal. Of course, you can link. No problem. But it was stupid to do without making some kind of agreement with the game's author. I'm sure if they'd asked, he would have been happy to make a deal with them. Since they didn't, they learned a lesson about just including other people's content willy-nilly. Imagine the damage to their image had he used some really filthy image - that's a big risk to take.

    I regularly get people including my photos ( [] ) inline without so much as a thanks or credit. If they ask, I almost always say "sure, go ahead!". I don't use nasty pictures, but do redirect the abusers to a "thanks for your interest in my pictures, they are online at .... " jpeg.
  • Re:Ass (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:17AM (#13469175)

    In addition to that, he didn't even bother to contact Fuddruckers to work with them to correct the problem. Most people are actually reasonable if you give them a chance. There could be many explanations beyond just corporate greed and malice. It could boil down to some incompetent employee who needs to be made aware of netiquette. If they value the game, he probably could have negotiated some reasonable terms for them to continue to use it and made a good chunk of money. As it is, by pissing them off and damaging their corporate image, I doubt they'll want to deal with him; they'll just replace it with another one of a zillion alternatives.

    In other words, he actually had a good opportunity as well as negotiating points in his favor, and he blew it.

  • Best burgers (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @05:22AM (#13469347)
    While visiting the US at the end of last year, whatever you say about them, they definately make the best burgers (they even have a pound burger). Way better than Wendys, BK, McD, Hardys, any others that I have tried.

    Of course, I had to leave the country, or I would have exploded.
  • by sonamchauhan ( 587356 ) <sonamc@gmail.3.14159com minus pi> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @05:50AM (#13469409) Journal
    > No - they're rehosting google, with all frontpage links intact but for the domain - FUDDRUCKERS.
    > These are the dangers of having an outreach program in your IT dept... webmaster on crack rocks.

    This is probably a hack on their site
  • by entirety ( 909951 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @06:46AM (#13469498)
    Absolutely fascinating! I hope they did not point everything dere. host has address whois -h OrgName: Google Inc. OrgID: GOGL Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway City: Mountain View StateProv: CA PostalCode: 94043 Country: US
  • by amcdiarmid ( 856796 ) <amcdiarm AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @07:35AM (#13469615) Journal
    The parent to this makes several claims & bashes the developer. Mod the parent down:

    Most of his claims are unsubstantiated:

    1)The developer got free advertising: This statement is true in a minimal way. Not like going to [] though

    2) An insignificant amount of bandwith used: This statement is unsubstantiated: There is no mention of actual bandwith use; just that Fuddruckers was creating ~10% of traffic.

    3) The developer chose to do something malicious: True, but funny. Although the developer may be vegan - and thinking that Fuddruckers is incredibly malicious. (I doubt it)

    4) The developer takes others content and does not give credit & is hypoticritical): This is malicious and unsubstantiated claim. It needs examples to be made, and it should get the author modded down. I went to [] and there is no evidence that he has stolen any code. In fact it's a crappy page with some games on it.

    I am suspecting that this is the webdeveloper who just got canned from Fuddruckers - although his boss told him to do it.
  • by roseblood ( 631824 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:09AM (#13469936)
    So, presumably, he's not hosting the slaughterhouse images himself, but he's redirecting Fuddrucker's traffic to innocent third parties... The very thing he's pissed off at Fuddrucker's for doing

    No. It's the diffrence between me providing a link to your post [] where you are properly credited for your creation, and it's presented in the way YOU intended, vs me presenting a portion of your post in such a way that it looks like I created it, while YOU still get to pay the price of MY use of part of your post taken out of content.

    Bad on Fudruckers. They stole the resources of some guy to further their goals.

    This guy on the other hand is furthering the goals of the meat-is-murder webhost by presenting their site as it was intended to be viewed, to the customers of a meat centric business. It's like free advertizing. []
  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:31AM (#13469997)
    Check it out! [] Look's like Fuddruckers is now hotlinking all Google's content too!

    [let history show that the above link is redirecting all traffic to in an attempt to live through the /.ing]
  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:03AM (#13470142) Journal
    I wanted to teach him a lesson, and thus the "Powered by Goatse" image was born. After setting Apache to serve the new picture instead, requests dropped dramatically during the next week :)
    No such luck here. About a year ago, I noticed that a customs broker was linking to a logo on my website. The logo, which I made myself, is for a very prominent company that's also about 125 years old (no, it's not Bell Telephone) and a notorious croporate welfare bum.

    So I replaced the icon with one that scrolled "$COMPANY_NAME, croporate welfare bum since 1881". A year later, they haven't still replaced the hot-link...

    Elsewhere, whenever dopes on totally unrelated subject blogs link to my photographs (when it's related it's okay), I replace them with very explicit pictures of men having sex together. Often, the links disappear quick, but some don't...

    (I actually had a story here on Slashdot [], back in February, about this).

  • by SnowDog74 ( 745848 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:56AM (#13470689)
    Fuddruckers has taken their site down and configured their DNS servers to redirect traffic to google. According to the developer's LiveJournal, they voluntarily took the site down and apologized to him.
  • You asked (Score:3, Informative)

    by ( 142825 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:07PM (#13471081) Homepage
    The court ruled that framing was copyright infringement.
  • by ceejayoz ( 567949 ) <> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:26PM (#13471185) Homepage Journal []

    " A misspelling of 'referrer' which somehow made it into the HTTP standard. A given web page's referer (sic) is the URL of whatever web page contains the link that the user followed to the current page. Most browsers pass this information as part of a request."
  • by ceejayoz ( 567949 ) <> on Wednesday September 07, 2005 @01:28PM (#13501339) Homepage Journal
    1. The reply is a direct quote from the page.
    2. If your definition of "culturally ignorant" is "doesn't know how many 'r's are in a single word" then I'm hardly hurt by your calling me that. Especially considering I myself am an Australian citizen, not a "Yank".
    3. A Google search of "pages from the UK" for "referrer" yields 2.5 million results [] while "referer" yields 226,000 [].
    4. And finally and perhaps most conclusively, the Oxford Dictionary Online returns no results for "referer", but a definition for "referrer" - and that's in the UK view!

    See for yourself: ts&freesearch=referer [] ts&freesearch=referrer []

    In short, fuck you.

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