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Re: [teacherartexchange] Bandwidth Theft & Copyright Infringement


From: Sharon (sharon_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 07 2006 - 06:28:41 PDT

> Hotlinking drives me crazy!!! I mentioned it on this list earlier this
> year, but until it is your bandwidth getting stolen most people don't take
> it seriously.

I hadn't seen this mentioned here before, but I didn't read too many posts
during the last school year. Long story.... Sorry I missed it then.

>So how did you find out your images were being hotlinked?

I have counters on my pages that allow me to see the PAGES that people are
visiting along with referral info, but I hadn't noticed anything out of the
ordinary. My webhosting company (Dreamhost, which I highly recommend, by
the way) also offers stats but I rarely check them. I HAD seen a notice
from Dreamhost about being over my allotted bandwidth, but I couldn't figure
out why.

About a week ago, just out of curiosity, I checked my Dreamhost stats and
was stunned to see all of these referrals from Myspace! I mean, why?! The
stats allowed me to click on the actual Myspace page of the "visitor" and it
still didn't make any sense to me--I didn't see anything unusual on the
page. I didn't know the kids and couldn't figure out why they were
interested in my website.

A couple of days ago I looked at the stats page again, randomly clicked on
one of the Myspace pages and saw this beautiful tiled background image that
used one of my flower images.... Hmm.... That got me clicking on more
Myspace pages from the stats and scrolling down on the page and I found the
same flower either on the individual's page by his or her choice OR I saw
that flower--or other ones--left in "comments" by visitors to these pages.

In looking around even more, I found other pictures used as backgrounds or
left in comments--pictures of my Betta fish, pictures of our pet rat, a few
art project pictures used out of context, etc., etc. That's when I realized
I'd discovered the reason for the bandwidth overage.

Again, I think it's more a matter of kids hotlinking directly from image
searches on google rather than visiting my website.

For now, as Harold suggested, I've renamed the most often used images so I
guess that will slow things down for a while. Maybe.

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