Bandwidth Piracy Countermeasures

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See also: How To Remove the PopUp Dialog Box

You do have permission to use my images, but not to employ my server.

You must save the images to your own server or web space or hard drive, etc... and use them from there.

The most common way to save an image is: right click on it, hit 'save as', and save it to your hard drive. Then, to use it online, upload it to a web account where it will be accessible to your web audience, or email it, or post it or whatever you want.

If you just copy the shortcut (or url), and paste it, referencing, then you will be creating an unauthorized link. Linking to images on someone's server without permission is called bandwidth piracy (or freeloading). It can load down a server and run up cost, but it doesn't acknowledge or benefit the server owner whatsoever.

Imagine getting a huge electric bill, only to discover that all your neighbors are running extension cords from your house to power their appliances. Bandwidth piracy (or hotlinking) can have the same effect on a web site.

For example, I only have maybe 10,000 images here, but I get roughly that many new unauthorized accesses on them every week. Then a percentage of those are continuous, meaning they'll be affecting traffic levels for some time to come. That accumulation of traffic volume is enormous in scale and cost.

There are many ways to combat bandwidth piracy. My strategy is generous in that you usually can get away with using an image on this server briefly for a fleeting purpose such as in an email or announcement that will not persist or be used or viewed at later dates. But, at some point, any image you may be using on this server will be moved, and the prior location will be password protected with a message indicating that you are stealing my bandwidth. Anytime anybody tries to view the image, or a page containing the image, a password dialog box pops up and cannot be avoided. The only way to get rid of it is to get rid of the unauthorized image link.

Sometimes, a particularly gross or obnoxious violator will get free custom graphics. I just replace the image they're using with one that's more appropriate, like these:

Basically, linking to any discrete file on any server without permission is unethical, improper and unreliable. I wouldn't, if I were you....

Now, linking to a web PAGE on someone elses server is ok, because that directs traffic to that person's web site, which is appreciated and does not constitute using their server for your own purpose.

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