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