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As a first measure I just renamed the picture, but that just got me a whole lot of 404s for the original picture. As a second thought, I found my revenge could be a bit sweeter.
So instead of the nice and shiny product photo that he uses on his auction, I found a grubby, dirty, messy scene that's still ok for kids to look at, but that will not exactly add spark to his auction. I gave the pic the same name as the original photo, uploaded it and - voila - there is his auction with the link to my grubby pic. Nice.
I'll probably still have that traffic for a while, but at least I feel I've paid the lazy bugger back some!
If people steal they might as well try to be clever about it and not leave their traces all over the place.
I have the right to name the pictures on my web site any way I want, and also change them around at my whim, don't I? Or are there any recriminations in it for me?
depends on the mood whether i just block it or do something else, though.
I had a similar issue a while ago, not with auctions, but a few popular sites were linking. I replaced them with mildly offensive images and some embedded text talking about the theft, and just left it. Was quite a few sites linking to the same image. Most were gone within a month.
And I used mod rewrite to serve the images without a stamp for hits with refferrer as my domain or no referrer at all. But if there was a request with a referrer that was not in my list, the response was the duplicate image of the same product, but with that stamp on it.
That turned those ebay sellers and other bandwidth thieves into my promoters.
On top of that, I added a 2-week ahead expiration header so that the product images would be cached by the browsers. That way, those sellers still kept seeing the images without a stamp because they themselves have first requested it from my site. The sellers saw the normal image on their auction page while everyone else who visited their auction saw my stamp.
I wish I had even an inkling of how to do what you describe, and I can't wait for the new site search to research mod rewrite and expiration header. I'm not a webmaster, more a dabbler in visual appearances but I am intrigued about what you wrote.
How about a crash course for the technically challenged?
Love the idea!
How about a crash course for the technically challenged?
Teylyn: For information on hotlink prevention and serving up alternate images, do a search using keywords such as "hotlink protection [google.com]" (without the quote-marks). Your server host may also have information, and you may be able to install hotlink protection through your cPanel, if you have such.
Luddite replied to teylyn, saying:
If you'd like to search [WebmasterWorld], just use "advanced" search at [Google] and limit the results to the WW domain.
Luddite: Actually, that doesn't work any more. In an effort to deal with overwhelming bot attacks, all bots have been banned from WebmasterWorld through the robots.txt text file. (Various threads have been started on this issue; check the "Home" page for some recent ones [webmasterworld.com].)
So WebmasterWorld is no longer listed in Google. There is currently no way to search the site.
This is even though they not only have my company name on them but are even being hotlinked off my server.
They don't seem to have a problem with copyright, so I suggest you send them an image with their logo with words below it saying, "Ebay is a strong supporter of Abortion" or "Ebay supports anti-abortion". Then send a link to the page to a bunch of news channels or websites.
If the story were to break into the news, Ebay would then have to come foward and say, "thats not our image, that image came from this website". Now you have them admitting they stole your image, and sue them. They will either have to tell the judge that indeed it was their image or that they leeched it from your website.
There is no reason that Ebay should be held to some type of higher standerd than any other website that allows it's members to steal images and leech bandwidth. Except they have deep pockets :)
So I decided to notify some of the other people who are being hotlinked to by this vendor. Let ebay deal with all their complaints also.
joined:Mar 13, 2005
What kills me is I have Hotlinking disabled so even if someone hotlinks, the image is immediately broken and will not display on their end... Still, I guess some folks never check their work after clicking save.
Usually, the problem is temporary in nature and lasts a few days, a week or two at the most OR it draws a low amount of hits / 404's... For me, this is not enough to catch my attention, the problem has to go on for months OR draw enough 404 errors before I notice much of anything out of order. Not to say 404's don't get caught, but a few dozen hits simply don't make the top 50 and are usually buried way down there somewhere.
But when I see it, I DO review the problem in question. If, for example, it is a legitimate auction and the ebayer simply thought it would be neat to include a picture they found on my site, I may enable hotlinking for the course of their auction just so they can have what they wanted... After all, most folks simply are not aware of the issues surrounding hotlinking and it is, in these cases, an honest mistake. So, let them have the image, let them run their auction, everybody is happy, ok cool.
Unfortunately with ebay and hotlinking, honest auctions have not always been my experience... At least from what I have seen, it's then some #*$! enlargement product or what have you weird stuff that I can't see most folks finding an interest in, but that's just me. I am not saying ebay auctions are dishonest, but it does appear the honest folk do not hotlink thou it can happen every once in a bit.
With this it becomes a matter of persistence... IF the ebayer runs the auction and steals the image and all that problem then goes away when it's all said and done, I am ok with it. But there is the occasional brute who, 3-4 months into it simply will NOT cease and desist, despite my contacting them via Ebay to inform them of the exact nature of the problem and to please fix it, the problem continues and gives no outward or apparent sign of disappearing, at this point I usually contact Ebay's abuse department.
At the same time, there has been some soccer forum in Brazil that was hotlinking to an image hundreds of times a day. Must have been someone using it for an avatar, but I could not find out because the forums were hidden from public view and everything was in Portugese. I tried emailing the webmaster, but no one responded, so I learned how to use htaccess to block their ip. I've been wanting to learn how to use it, so this had a good outcome.
I'm not going to block all hotlinking, though, since it seems like one easy way to find out if someone is using my text. It seems like lots of hotlinkers steal text too.
in fact, changing the picture on hotlinked sites is one of my favorite things to do, it's hilarious, fun, and you can just imagine the other person's surprise, especially if they are hotlinking without knowing what they are really doing (most hotlinkers seem to be clueless that they are doing anything wrong....)
if all else fails, use an htaccess file to stop hotlinking for good, there are several threads on this site that address htaccess and it's pretty easy to do
on the "Apache Web Server" forum here on webmasterworld, which has lots of threads like mine, starting: "ok, i don't know anything, what can i do to have .htaccess step by step..."
just post something like that as a new thread on there, or look through the old ones...
btw i'm still showing the pictures as "hits" on my logs, but when i look at the hotlinked sites, they just have a blank space on them where my picture should be, so i assume there is less, if any bandwidth being stolen?
Its a little bit of work but .. consider:
1 - rename the imaged being hotlinked from image.jpg to image-1.jpg
2 - use .ai or some other image editor to create a washed out image (transparency set to 25%) .. then create a layer with a nice text add .. "For all Your Widget Needs, consider mysite.com" .. then save that as image.jpg
3 - er .. don't forget to change to the image-1.jpg on your own pages!
I had had a hotlinked image being used as a *background * on a myspace (dot) com member page .. ;>)
The only drawback is that for some sites, with family oriented contents, there's no way I could upload adult material there to fool hotlinkers.
There are many drawbacks to hotlinking, so I don't apply it to all my sites. I have to pick and choose.
I've had lots of fun with Brazilian sites. I got users banned several times by replacing stolen images with large, and I mean interface wrecking large images of porn.
Instead, I created a neon orange jpg with baby blue and gold lettering thats says "hotlinking forbidden" + the domain name.
It's so ugly my eyes water when I look at it :-)