Stop! Thief!

As most of my regular readers will remember, earlier this year, I discovered that someone had “borrowed” an image I was hosting on my server. I’m generally a giving person, but I’m not going to let someone else steal my bandwidth. So, I did what any self-respecting web nerd would do, I exchanged the JPG file with a little sign. It looked great on their website, for days and days, until they caught it.

Well, I have discovered another one. This time, a dude had taken a free image of John Hancock’s signature, that I have on my server, for my post about said founding father. He’s been using it in his signature on a forum he frequents. It’s getting more hits than almost any other JPG I host. Not cool.

So, I did it again. Check out my screen shot of his new “signature”. He, he, he. (Also funny, read text of his forum post. You’ll have to click on the image.)

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Author: TREVOR

Leukemia survivor. Son of The Most High. Father. Man.

11 thoughts on “Stop! Thief!”

  1. Yeah, Allan. I thought about linking to the thief. But, I didn’ t want to increase his/her fame. I share about it here, mostly to highlight that it happens. Hopefully, if any of my readers can be reminded to watch their own stats, and stop the bandwidth thievery on their servers, we all win.

    I’m sure he could have been linking to me, but he wasn’t. I checked for that. Since he was using my image in his signature, he was looking for a ton of impressions, without having to pay for the hosting. What’s funny is that he could have downloaded the image file and tossed it up to a free Flickr account, for free bandwidth.

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  2. You should add something in the image that specifically states where the image was being stolen from. Technically though, not sure if it is stealing. What if he linked to you?

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  3. it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. You can setup a special folder for your own hosted pics, domain.com/pics, and then allow that folder to serve requests from anywhere, but any image (or javascript, I get a lot of people referencing my js folder) elsewhere on the server rewrites to serve the hotlink photo.

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  4. Thanks Mike. I’d do that, but I tend to use my own domain to host my own images for forum posts and sometimes for craigslist posts.

    However, your tips are probably the best way to fix this sort of problem.

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  5. What web server are you using? With apache you can setup an alternate image, and then redirect any image requests that don’t originate from your own domain to show the alternate image. You leave your site intact, with all of your images in place, but any hotlinking attempts get the redirect image.

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  6. Heh. I’ve had similar problems, and generally tailor the “punishment” to fit the crime. Anything from a “gosh, I’m flattered” image (with my URL, of course!) to one that says “do not steal bandwidth.”

    Most people don’t understand about bandwidth theft, but there are the few that don’t care. Information should be free – as long as someone else is paying.

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