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somebody is linking to our css file

 7:36 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here is a new one on an old theme. Another site is linking directly to our styles css file from their site to ours. They copied our meta tags too.

They dont seem to have much money and are publishing an interesting site. Their disclaimer reads...

"...Please do not bother to attempt to sue us. We have no money and we could not even pay off an out of court settlement in tiny installments..."

Its actually a compliment as the css file only went up 16 hours ago and is our first attempt at css! (Pity we cant add any advertising to the cSS file! - or can we? ..being cheeky - just colors i guess...)

Im not worried too much as it is mot much burden on the server- but would this cause any problems with spiders and say google, given their interest in linking patterns etc.

We are treating it a bit of a joke really, but if it harms us other than the small strain on our server, we should contact them. Otherwise will leave them alone.



 7:42 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Pity we cant add any advertising to the cSS file! - or can we?

You could always comment the css... ;)

Comments are denoted using the special start string /* and stop string */. Everything between the two is treated as a comment and is ignored.


 7:48 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

chiyo, depending on what country they're in you could complain of copyright infringement to their web host and get them bounced off.

Silly thought - use a css file called something else for your own site and meantime put something funky in the one they're linking to.

Or cloak the css file, best solution - give them a custom creation. Some know how to do that.


 7:52 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

thanks PageOne!

Actually we could have fun and change our own links to another css file name with the original content and "theirs" to mega sized fonts and hideous colors and maybe even some blinking thrown in for good measure.. Wow ive never been able to change another site like this before..

Now if had some spare time, it would be a bit of a lark..


 8:00 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ha, an interesting situation. It's really just another kind of transquoting [sfc.keio.ac.jp], just like putting an IMG element in my page that has its src= a file on your site. In many respects that's what the web should be all about, and W3C does have public CSS files out there that anyone can use in just this way. But of course those are intended to be public; one should at least ask before linking to someone else's CSS I would think, but if it is, say, a non-profit or educational site doing it I probably wouldn't pester them (except for having bad manners).

Pity we can't add any advertising to the CSS file! - or can we? ..being cheeky - just colors i guess...

Ah, but of course you could do just that, and if you wanted to get back at them it would be very easy: just rename the CSS links on your own pages and leave the CSS file they are linking to in place, but change it however you like. You could make their pages come up with background images, bizarre colors, a tiled pattern that reads "thief" -- just about anything. In fact, forcing someone's site to link to a CSS file under your control would be a good way to wreak havoc in general.


 8:07 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just serve them a different file with mod_rewrite based on the referrer. Would it be hard to move their content offscreen and have them display a suitable background image instead?

Chances are they simply copied the meta tags without really understanding what they're doing, so they may not immediately figure out what hit them... ;)


 8:12 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Man, I was playing fair. Heck, couldn't you just replace their site with yours using the css?


 8:19 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Given the site content, it would seem fair to point out that hi-jacking the css isn't very "politic."

I think they just wanted the metas though.



 8:36 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

yes you are probably all right. We really COULD have fun! I cant work out why they didnt just copy the file. I dont think it will stay on for long. It stuck out of the logs like a sore thumb. So the best explanation is they just didnt really know what they were doing and just copied the whole meta-tag section.


 8:39 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Marcia, they are in Indonesia


 9:05 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Little chance of enforcing copyright on a web site directly in Indonesia.
But then, the site is hosted with uk2net.com in London, which could give you a somewhat better handle.


 9:24 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Bird! I am a complete loss how you know what the site is. -:)

On hang on.. did you do a search for the disclaimer? Anyway iid love to know!


 9:30 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

chiyo, maybe you can copy your css file and send them a copy to put on their own server with instructions how with documentation, and a CC to their web host.

<=== In a very soft-hearted mood.


 9:30 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Wait... that was the wrong version... There are at least three different ones...

But the one you want is still hosted in London, with iXguardian Ltd.
Do a search on www.ripe.net/perl/whois for the IP, and you have them.

Hehe, looks like I'm the find expert among the search experts here, eh? ;)
That disclaimer is indeed pretty unique.


 9:35 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

copy your css file and send them a copy

I must admit that would be the most stylish solution by a huge margin. It really looks like a clueless mistake on their side, and the reply might turn out to be at least as entertaining as any of the other suggestions in this thread.


 11:43 am on Feb 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

linking directly to CSS files or images is bandwidth theft. if it causes bandwidth problems it's always worth placing your CSS files and images where they can only be accessed by files on your site. your domain name will normally be mapped to a directory on the server called "web" or "htdocs" or similar. create an images directory at the same level, then change the links in your HTML files from "images/filename.jpg" to "../images/filename.jpg" etc.

it's easy to add advertising or "theif" messages simply by using background-image in the CSS. i cant wait for someone to try it on with my sites ...


 11:28 pm on Feb 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wish this was happening to me. The fun part would adjust my pages to have my own new .css.

And for the persons napping my .CSS, I would go into my .CSS file and adjust the font size to HUGE!!, and choose eye burning colours! *laughin

Oh the thought of this makes me laugh!



 2:22 am on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Actually, you can put an advertizement for your site into your CSS file. Just create a graphic with your site name and redefine one of the HTML elements to have a background using that graphic. Play with positioning the element and surprise you have a commercial on their site.


 5:54 am on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

In CSS2 there is "content after" that you can use to inject content onto the page (including html) from CSS.

Opera is the only browser that currently support this. When it becomes more wide spread, you can start to use content before and after class names to inject links onto the page at key locations.

That should shut hotlinking to css files off cold.


 6:28 am on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)


body {
margin-top: 10000px;
background-image: url(http://link.to/huge/800x600/advertisement.gif);
font-size: 1px;

Sorry, just had to post that. :)


 10:28 am on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Remember you can hide JavaScript inside CSS, thanks to idiot web browser authors - javascript: URLs, IE's dynamic expressions and behaviours, and Mozilla's bindings can all be used to inject code onto their site. Cross-site-styling offers the same possibilities as cross-site-scripting, eg. stealing cookies, abusing authentication. But you'd probably be more inclined to use -

body {
background-image: url(javascript:location.replace('http://www.mysite/'));


body {
width: expression(window.open('http://www.mysite/thief.html')?'auto':'auto');

or something like that, I think. :-)

You should be all right with search engines anyway, I can't of any that bother look at stylesheet links.


 1:12 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

How about just renaming your css file and updating your pages, then changing the original CSS tags to set display: none <snigger>


 3:15 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

"looks like there's something wrong with your monitor..."


body {
filter : blur(direction=0,Strength=10);
text-decoration: blink;


 3:43 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Apologies for being so ignorant and such a newbie but why would someone want to link to your CSS.


 9:18 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Reduced bandwidth is about it.


 9:18 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, their intention was only to copy the meta-tags portion of the site. What they probably did not relize is that a link to an external CSS file, is normally a hard link (including the full URL, *http://www.domain.com/css/screen.css)

I'm suddenly wishing that someone was jacking my css file... oh the tempations.



 9:35 am on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Apologies for being so ignorant and such a newbie but why
>>would someone want to link to your CSS.

a) because they like your css and don't know how to copy it to their own server, and don't realise it's wrong to link directly to your css file
b) because they like your css and do know how to copy it to their own server but prefer to link as it uses your bandwidth, not theirs

same applies to images

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