Slapping down the bandwidth stealers.

I recently activated something on our web hosting account that I hadn’t bothered to use before. It’s called hotlink protection and prevents domains outside of the ones I own from linking directly to graphic images we have on our server. I had to do this as some folks over at a message forum devoted to Farscape (of all things) had taken to directly linking to the smilies we have here and on my sister’s blog.

Now I don’t care if folks download all of the smilies we have in use here and use them someplace else as it’s not like I created them in the first place, but if you’re going to use them on other sites at least have the decency to save them to your system and upload them on your own server. Surprisingly enough, SEB chews through quite a bit of bandwidth a month and while we’re not close to using our full allotment anytime soon I don’t want to push my luck by playing graphics host for other people’s websites which may be way more popular than my own and thusly much more bandwidth hungry.

I mention this only because I know a few other bloggers who have hotlinked to my 80×33 buttons over on the left advertising SEB who will suddenly find that my button is no longer displaying on their site properly and might be wondering why. I just wanted to let folks know that I’m not out to punish anyone over this, but it was an issue I thought I should nip in the bud before it got out of hand. If you’re hotlinking to a graphic at SEB or any of the other sites I maintain, please feel free to download the graphic in question and re-upload it on your server.

5 thoughts on “Slapping down the bandwidth stealers.

  1. I had to do it, too, as people were linking directly to my images. Currently, it’s a bit messed up (host is looking into it), but it will usually redirect to an image I have setup at

    http://www.utterlyboring.com/images/stolen.gif

    The URL in that image describes what/why I did it is here:
    http://www.utterlyboring.com/block

    But basically, I ran into the same problem. I don’t care if people upload the image I post to their server—they’re not mine to claim, so knock yourselves out. But when they link directly to my server and don’t give me credit, but suck up a pile of my bandwidth, then I get annoyed.

  2. Hey! I just did this today, too. Turn on hotlink protection, I mean.
    I also made it so they get redirected to a another site about bandwidth theft

  3. The ultimate revenge would be to replace all your pictures with some gay porn pictures,  and rename all your pictures on your own site. 

    A lot of trouble but diabolical.

  4. Why rename, why not just use the tools your server gives you and do it that way - you can send em anything you want, with out changing anything but one line in htaccess

  5. Actually, I’ve since reinstated hotlink protection, but only on my smilies folder as that seems to be the bulk of what folks were linking to. Mainly for use on message forums. Now it points to some random offensive picture instead.

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