Stupid stupid stupid….


By Shawn Robare

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is I have to offer, either through this blog or generally nostalia-wise outside of my inane observations in my lame podcast.  Not much.  I mean this in the most literal sense, I don’t have a huge collection of 80′s toys that I can take pictures of, I don’t have a slew of old VHS copies of out of print cartoons, and I don’t have a ton of various other odds and ends that I’ve been talking about in the blog.  All I really have is an interest in these things and a butload of links to post.

So in that train of thought it occured to me that I might have been doing something evil in terms of posting about this stuff.  I was hot linking to other’s stored media and I didn’t even realize what I was doing was bad.  Luckily nobody called me on it considering like no one reads this blog, but I’m glad I caught it when I did.  It’s funny how to me the lines between good and bad form can so easily be blurred on the internet in the interest of good will.  I happen to stumble upon something awesome like the Star Wars Planet of the Hoojibs record book and think, man I wish this was like in glaring blinking lights so that everyone else who loved this could hear it too.  So I linked the mp3 files.  My thought process is like this, as far as blogger goes, it’s really up in the air as far as linking to a page.  Most blogger templates keep ‘x’ amount of entries on the page before it chucks them into the archive, so if I just link to the page it’ll most likely be a longer search for who ever is looking for that particular post.  Now sometimes you can link to that post directly, but getting to that post isn’t always obvious depending on the template the blogger uses.  Some pages, you just click on the title of the post (like on mine here) and it takes you to a nifty page with just that entry.  Swell.  But in the case of the guy running Check the Cool Wax, it’s not that obvious, and therefore I linked to the files themselves.  Seemed like the soultion.

Well I checked back today and it turns out to get to the page for just one particular post, you have to click on the link embedded in the time text of when the post was put up.  So yipee, now I just link to the page.  Now I feel like I have egg on my face, and wish I had know this earlier.  What kills me is that this can so easily happen and make people out to be bandwidth stealers, when they just want to point to something, and most blogging sites are so hands off in terms of technical knowhow that you never need to learn about this kind of thing.  Any Joe shmoe (read: me) can put up a page without really knowing anything about the do’s and dont’s.

Similarly, there’s all this hubbub about music copyright infringement in podcasts and vlogs and stuff.  Now I took the time to think about this before doing my own podcast, to me that was a little more obvious.  But what about all these kids who are videotaping themselves rocking out to some band in their room and posting the video on Youtube?  To a 13 year old kid this is fun and easy.  I mean how many people did the same thing when they were younger if there was a camcorder in your house?  In the strictest sense, this is illegal and bad form.  But on the other hand, it’s harmless energetic expression.  Hell it’s what leads to that same kid directing music videos and movies.  Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, but the technology to share video and sound is so advanced and easy that it’s hard not to screw up.

I mean how many volgers think about getting permission to film when they’re walking the streets of their city filming themselves in front of stores and junk?  What if the TV is playing in the background of their vlog?   What about talking pictures in Disney world and you get a close-up of a tourist and you post it online, not for the tourist, but for Cinderella’s castle in the BG?

I’m so getting off topic.  Anyway, I fixed all the links I’ve put up to link to pages not files.  The question I have now is, is it wrong to link to an image, not actually putting the image on this blog (all images I have here are pulling off my own bandwidth), but just linking to it?  Does this steal bandwidth or is it basically the same as linking to a page?  I mean pulling up my page doesn’t automatically use bandwidth from another site if I just put up a text link to an image right?  If you clicked on the link to get to the image, would it not be the same as clicking a link to get to that page as well?  I hate being internet dumb.