Revisiting the ZDnet.FR hotlink issue

Disclaimer: While the rest of the LUX staff would probably agree with my assessment, this is my personal judgment on the matter and not a reflection on LUX or its staff.
Remember the little hotlinking issue that we saw with ZDnet France? Laurent Dupin has been doing some damage control and posting comments on multiple blogs. Laurent, I’m going to be a frank and point out a couple of boo-boos you made on your PR run. Read below for the posted comment at the original mention of the hotlink. And remember… there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Thanks for your technical advice, about what one’s got to know on IT matters in an internet media. Don’t know this allow to give a kind of HR advice…
My answer to BC, as it was put on his blog on the 22/12 :
“Hi everybody, I must say that reading all the comments here took me some time… Here is my answer to Bryant, and to the rest of you who have followed this (long) story.
– First of all, sorry for any trouble created on your server Bryant. I was calling the image from your server because of a bad use of the edit system, without knowing precisely the consequences of the “click” button for “image to add”. In this case, there was no intentional “leaching”. I used many others platforms before, on personal blogs, and never had any problem nor complaint on that point & servers matters…
– About my so called lack of reaction, just notice it is Christmas time, and that I am on vacation, not connected all time.
– Also, there are many other ways to inform us about the situation, like sending a mail to me or directly to, or adding a proper comment to the page. You could have chosen that, and we would have reach back to you immediatly.
– Concerning insults & violent comments (you keep online on your blog) about French people & others… my god, what could I say to those types of arguments…? Just thanks to your readers who posted more peaceful & rational comments.
If you would read french, you would see in the post & in the whole blog that my goal is to talk about IT news and behaviours. Your feedback would have been appreciated in this case; in lack of that step, thanks already for giving me inspiration for my next thoughts upon the IT community.
I hope now that the situation is clear for both of us.”

Okay. After reading the comments on Bryant Choung’s site, the commenters are pretty immature. Yes, there is a stereotype of snobby French people that look down on other people, especially Americans and there is always a hint of truth in all stereotypes. But that doesn’t mean all people act as such and Laurent hasn’t acted in such a way to justify such animosity.
When it comes to the hotlinking issue, here’s my problem with this argument. ‘In this case, there was no intentional “leaching”. I used many others platforms before, on personal blogs, and never had any problem nor complaint on that point & servers matters…’ For a person that writes on IT news and behaviours, this is one of those basic things that you would have known already, especially if you were posting on personal blogs before.
Bryant’s actions were in all reality justified, while drastic. Hotlinking can justify lawsuit, but when it reaches over international waters, the issue gets hairy. He could have contacted ZDNet France, but there’s no saying if there would be anyone responding to his inquiry at all. I have left many a comment/response off commercial sites that have probably rotted in some conglomerate inbox to be trashed in three months. Shock value not only brings traffic to his site, but it gathers attention just as Jeff Jarvis’ issue with Dell got him faster response from Dell.
The point of this story is: I haven’t seen an apology within the original posted comment by Laurent. Here’s a little something you might want to learn from blogs.

  • Corrections are made usually made with an apology.
  • Pointing fingers attitude will get you into more hot water – referring to when you told Bryant he could have contacted ZDnet.FR directly instead of the actions he had taken.
  • Trolls will exist anywhere on the Internet, whether forums, blogs, etc. Getting all riled up about the comments is just going to get you into a deeper rift.

What’s amusing here is that Laurent did pretty much what any old school journalist would do. What I would venture to point out is that if you speak to IT matters then get with the technological behaviors of today, not yesterday. If you are a blogger then as some in my family would say, “for shame, for shame.” If not, then it might be about time to learn the application of what you write about instead of the complaints. My apologies if this sounds harsh Mr. Dupin, but my analysis only echoes the thoughts of millions of other geeks.