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June 6 2006

Hotlinking

Luis over at BlogD did a post about someone hotlinking images from him. For those who don’t know what hotlinking is, Wikipedia describes it as:

“Inline linking, also known as hotlinking or leeching, is the placing of a linked object, often an image, from one site in a web page belonging to a second site. The second site is said to have an inline link to the one where the object is located. It is used for such activities as linking images from personal home page storage into the online diary of the person controlling the personal home page.”

Now, this sounds innocent enough, but it’s not. When you sign up for webhosting, you are given a set amount of space to store your files, you are also given a set amount of bandwidth which is the amount of data you may transfer. So, when someone hotlinks your image, they are using your bandwidth, which is essentially stealing from you. Now, luckily with DreamHost, I have an INSANE amount of bandwidth, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it is still stealing.

So, when Luis wrote his entry, I decided to look through my logs for the first time in awhile. Hotlinkers Ahoy! At least one image was being used as the background for accounts on Xanga.com and MySpace.com. Their images now say:

Hello!

I am so very girly and I know
nothing of how the internet works.
Stealing picture’s from someone else’s
site is fun! *tee hee*

…in pink.

Then I found a website in France stealing a picture from me. They now have an image that says:

Je suis une pomme de terre avec le visage d’un cochon d’inde

Which translates to “I am a potato with the face of a guiena pig”. I am so glad my friend Rachel is fluent in French. She suggested some other’s I can’t print here! Suffice to say, they questioned the line of work this person’s mother did.

I’ve discovered a bunch of morons hotlinking an image that says “congratulations!”, but I am hesitant to change that one as I have used it to actually congratulate people. I still might though. I found someone on a Barbie collector’s website hotlinking an image, but I can’t join the board unless I pay $20. I’ll pass for now.

I am sure a lot of this is plain old laziness and people not knowing better, but it still irritates me. And in a lot of cases, if people just asked to use an image of mine, I would say yes, but doing it without permission is just low, and is the same as theft. So my solution? Play with em!



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  • Jo

    What logs would I look at to see if someone was hotlinking?