Page & Bandwidth Theft


#1

Who do I talk to about my domain pages being stolen? They’re even changing the URLs so they’re stealing my bandwidth. I emailed the Abuse department but received an automated email saying they may or may not have time to get back to me.

Self Edit: Contact initiated with thief, hopefully they will comply and remove my stuff from their site.


#2

[quote]Who do I talk to about my domain pages being stolen? They’re even changing the URLs so they’re stealing my bandwidth.

[/quote]

Not sure what you meant exactly by changing URLs and stealing bandwidth.


To have lived is not enough for them, they have to talk about it. – Samuel Beckett


#3

I don’t use full paths for images, and they had changed the URLs to the full path so they would show up on their own site.


#4

I used to create some really … ummmm … errrr … interesting images for theives to display, but that got old after awhile. Then I started encrypting my pages and all the bandwidth theft came to a screeching halt. But now that I’m running commercial sites, I can’t encrypt the pages or the web browsers don’t pick me up. Today’s problem has been solved and the other site removed my stuff.


#5

Are you referring to “hotlinking”? If so, I wrote a piece for the DreamHost wiki that covers this problem: Preventing image “hotlinking”


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#6

Thank you Simon, I will study this today! :slight_smile:


#7

“Hotlinking” is a form of bandwidth theft.

[/quote]

Good grief.


#8

You don’t agree?


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#9

I don’t. Nor does e.g. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Hotlink

I think its great you’ve produced a useful article about the subject, but not that it confuses by reusing an established term in a very different meaning.


#10

But we are talking about hotlinking. See any of these well known resources:

  1. A List Apart: Smarter Image Hotlinking Prevention
  2. Wikipedia: Hotlinking - redirect page to Wikipedia: Bandwidth Theft
  3. altlab.com: What is Hotlinking? Bandwidth Theft?

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#11

Clearly your article has been influential. :wink:

Seriously, the fact other people have written web articles making the same confusion doesn’t mean “hotlinking == bandwidth theft”. Have a look for that definition in a respected well-established dictionary, and I suggest you won’t find it.

More to the point, to the majority of readers, “hotlinking” means something else.


#12

Well established dictionaries are not great repositories of computer/internet jargon. And the definition at Dictionary.com that you linked to is not mutually exclusive with my definition. When you “hotlink”, you are linking to a “live resource” that may or may not be updating. Usually, that means a “remote source” - a different website.

I disagree. I’m sure the majority of readers automatically associate the term “hotlinking” with some form of internet resource theft, usually images. Others call it “leeching”, although in my circles the term is less common. I’ve heard the term “hotlinking” being used in the way I have described since the mid nineties, when I started building web pages for the first time.

Note to other readers: Without looking it up, what do you think “hotlinking” means?


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#13

I’m with Simon on this one. No doubt the term “hotlinking” itself is more general in nature, but I’ve never heard it being used removed from the bandwidth theft context.


#14

[quote]the definition at Dictionary.com that you linked to is not mutually exclusive with my definition.

[/quote]

As definitions, the two are wholly incompatible, because only yours which restricts the meaning to “bandwidth theft”.

[quote]When you “hotlink”, you are linking to a “live resource” that may or may not be updating.
Usually, that means a “remote source” - a different website.

[/quote]

Yup - no mention of “bandwidth theft”.

[quote]Note to other readers: Without looking it up, what do you think “hotlinking” means?

[/quote]

Good question… except for the highly selective sampling! :slight_smile:


#15

[quote]> When you “hotlink”, you are linking to a “live resource” that may or may not be updating.

[quote]Usually, that means a “remote source” - a different website.

[/quote]

Yup - no mention of “bandwidth theft”.[/quote]
But bandwidth theft can be implied. By linking directly to a remote resource, you cannot avoid “stealing” bandwidth from the remote server. Put another way, every instance of hotlinking, by your definition, must result in the use of bandwidth from the accessed resource.

[quote]> Note to other readers: Without looking it up, what do you think “hotlinking” means?

Good question… except for the highly selective sampling! :)[/quote]
That’s the whole point. You said that “to the majority of readers, ‘hotlinking’ means something else.” I’m challenging that assumption. If readers have to look it up in a dictionary, they don’t already have a preconception of what it means, do they?

I’d even go further. Since I believe that most people think hotlinking is a form of bandwidth theft, I regard the definition given at dictionary.com to be inaccurate.


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#16

[quote]By linking directly to a remote resource, you cannot avoid “stealing” bandwidth

[/quote]

I’d refer you to the dictionary definition of “stealing”… except I think it better that we just agree to disagree :wink:

[quote]I regard the definition given at dictionary.com to be inaccurate.

[/quote]

:wink:


#17

For a completely different POV, you might want to check out Ted Nelson’s (the conceptuliizer of hypertext) “Transpublishing” idea. With “transpublishing” and “transquoting,” rather than copying a picture and putting it on your page – and referencing it possibly – or including a quote and its source in a hypertext document, permission to hotlink to the original source is granted through a flexible copyright (sometimes for a small use fee) attached to the image itself. The idea being, that a protected image, say a corporate logo, or picture of a celebrity, is linked to over and over again, but the original context and ownership remains intact.

Give a little bandwidth – take a little bandwidth.

http://xanadu.com.au/ted/TPUB/TPUBsum.html

This harkens back to the idea of the web as a two way communication medium, reader and author, who both can ammend and notate a page, the memex concept. Wiki’s are the closest thing to this early vision of the web, I think.


#18

I wouldn’t necessary say that. It just that over time, the meaning of a word may change. People stopped calling hyperlinks in web pages hotlinks, which is what they are. I imagine most people would rather say “link” than hyperlink or hotlink because its a frequently used term. However, the word ‘hot’ has different connotations, and one of those is ‘bad’: a hot item is stolen, or one may hotwire a car. So as a prefix, apparently hotlink has become a ‘bad’ link. However, it should also be noted that the old ‘hotlink’ means something you have to choose or select, like an anchor element in HTML. The new ‘hotlink’ means a link to someone else’s content that is displayed as part of a different web site, such as an image, applet, JavaScript file, or a page in a frame, etc.

In my opinion, bandwidth theft is a form of theft of services

:cool: Perl / MySQL / HTML CSS


#19

Probably also need to take into account intent. After all, someone a bit ignorant of how the web works might just cut and paste an image url because they don’t know better. While others may do it specifically so they can avoid having to use their own host, or rather intend it as an attack on the source (by making it too expensive or getting them kicked).

It’s probably more comparable to shrink (inventory/merchandise loss resulting from theft, spoilage, short deliveries, etc.) though. You don’t want your bandwidth to be ‘wasted’, much less the waste cost you financially.

:cool: Perl / MySQL / HTML+CSS


#20

Well said.