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KatsBits Web

What is HotLinking?

In a nutshell, hotlinking to files and downloads is where a third-party web site links directly to files that don't belong to them so as to exploit the users visit for AdClick revenue.

It's a practice commonly regarded by many, content creators and authors in particular, as an abuse of material that might otherwise have been freely provided, and is derogatorily known as "file leaching", "bandwidth theft", "traffic hijacking" and a whole host of other 'names'.

Why do sites do it?

Money.

The 'scam' isn't to host the files or provide any sense of a legitimate service in that respect. It's simply about page-views and visitor hits - the more they can get, the greater the revenue generated through Advertising; it's why these sites are typically loaded to the gills with pop-up, pop-unders, video ads, scrolling ads, time-delayed ads, anything in fact which tricks the user in to a click regardless as to whether they wanted to or not.

It's "huckster-ism" in another word.

What can we do to stop Hotlinking sites?

Short term: avoid using them. If you are looking for a specific file take a few moments more to check link destinations before clicking. Or check who the originator of the file is and go directly to their site; HotLinkers only exist because people use them.

Long term: solutions are more complicated and requires content owners take an active stance on their 'data' being used in a way that's 'harmful' to their continued existence.

So... support legitimate creators, authors and distributors.

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