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Outraged email from a content thief. I took my own picture from them!

Some people have a lot of nerve...



7:48 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is too funny. I just got an email from someone who was apparently thwarted by my site's hotlink blocker (which replaces the graphic the hotlinker wanted to use with a graphic displaying a message saying that the graphic is stolen.)

Paraphrasing the email message:

"I didn't take your dumb picture. You took my graphic off [popular blog site] and i want it back. I did not even get it from your [stupid] site!"

Uh, what? How does my "no hotlinking" message show up instead of a picture that I (apparently) "took" from them? And why, if they think my picture is "dumb," are they using it anyway?

The stupidity and nerve of people continually amazes me. This is at least the third time now that I've gotten responses like "I didn't take your graphic, someone gave the picture to me" (when they are getting the embarrassing "this graphic is stolen" image instead of the image they intended to steal). I have to admit, though, this is the first time someone has accused me of "stealing" my own content, simply because I'm not allowing freeloading hotlinkers unfettered access to all of my content.

Where is the logic here? How can someone else give them my graphic residing on my server? And how exactly can I "steal" my own content, residing on my own servers?

I have so far responded to this absurd email with a simple query, asking which file they are talking about. I just want to know how far this person will carry this. . .


7:54 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

crescenta, that made my day.

I am still wiping the tears from my eyes.


8:13 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, not to make excuses for the clueless bunnies, but is it possible that someone put the link in their site for them and they really have no idea how that picture magically appears?

Still funny though, nonetheless.



11:25 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Be careful of these clueless? and obnoxious! "bunnies". I had one go so far as using my domain name to sign me up to a bunch of spammy newsletters. This was after they accused me of having code on my site that copied my images into their pages.

Some people, when caught doing something wrong, take a very aggressive approach in trying to defend themselves.


12:57 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have a client that has a competitor that kept stealing his content and posting it around the internet in news groups. We had all those "press releases" corrected with the correct URL, so gained lots of links this way. We also managed to get his multiple freebie sites with stolen content removed. He has one main site he doesn't use these practices on--all the freebie sites were linked to his main site.

I told my client we can remove what we can but don't sweat the rest as this guy will be going down the tubes soon due to his dishonest tactics.

And sure enough my client is beginning to outrank him for almost every keyword.

So do what you can and let the Search Engines take care of the rest.


5:25 am on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I haven't heard back from my irate content thief. I may never hear back from them. Too bad! I am glad that this tale has been amusing for everyone else, anyway. ;)

They seem to me to be a clueless blogger type, so I doubt they'd know how to mess me up too much, no matter how much I upset them. (Not that I intend to make a big deal out of this. It's more hilarious than anything else.)

I know that people are stupid, but you have to be pretty darn stupid to not know that the image URL that you are using is not your own, and that when you are being served up a picture that says "This graphic belongs to [URL]" that the URL is not stealing from you. And where do they think that these graphics come from, anyway? All my site images are created by me (with the exception of product images like book covers from Amazon.com). Many of my images also have copyright notices on them. If they didn't create the images themselves, how do they know that I "stole" them?

The whole thing is just ridiculous. Stupidity + an absurd sense of entitlement = this exact scenario.


8:53 pm on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

crescenta your actually nicer about it then I am. Awhile back I found a site that kept on hotlinking to images from my site and even after an email they kept doing it.

Since this image was being shown on their homepage I took 2 mintues to swap the image out with something that lets say wasnt G rated as the image they were stealing and put up some R rated (or worse) image. They never did snag another image from me.

How do you serve up your Default image? Using Apache or what? Ive seen it done but havent looked into how to do it for my own site yet and am now a bit curious.


3:42 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

check this post [webmasterworld.com] for how serve up a replacement image to a hotlinker.


3:57 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks nancyb Ill have to look into it.

Just more work for me this weekend :)


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