I am having difficulty with correct syntax to restrict others from live linking to images on my web site. My web site is hosted at Earthlink, on one of their virtual domain servers. However, they tell me that I should be able to use my URL as the "allow" referrer. I have done that, but it also restricts the images or pages from being displayed from pages on my web site. If I click a link to a html page in the restricted directory, I get a HTTP 500 Internal Server error page. This is the COMPLETE .htaccess file I am using in the restricted directory:
People who link to your images are stealing not only the images but your bandwidth as well. If it is possible to change the image names, that could be a path to take. I read of a site that did solved this problem quite well. The owners of the site had notices requesting folks not to directly link to the site's images. They had contacted those who did, and got tired of the situation. They noticed one site boasting of an upcoming event, and on the day of the new event altered the images. Porn banner ads replaced what the pilferer thought was on his site. Perhaps a little mean spirited, but the owner of the site, where the images were being stolen, had requested people stop and had even made sure he notified the "event" site. Not only that but it spread stories, such as this, which can be used to help educate others as to why live linking is not a good practice...and the actions that might result from doing so.
Thanks for all the comments. I found out that Earthlink, on their shared servers, does not make the REWRITE command available, so including that in the .htaccess file only generates an HTTP 500 Internal Server error. I have to find another web hosting company that will enable the kind of features I need. Thanks again.