Date: 2004-03-23 00:57:00
Tags: web
image linking

As a followup to [info]goulo 's post about other people linking directly to images on a different server, I finally put together some stats on image inlining from my own server.

The new Image Linking Hall of Shame is the result of my efforts at gathering some statistics on this. The amount of traffic that a single message board post can generate (such as the one at is quite surprising.

In comparison to the rest of my server, the amount of traffic generated by image inlining is small. So I'm not really concerned about that aspect of inlining. The thing that bothers me is that people seem to feel free to use my images without mentioning the source. I don't think a single one of the other sites currently listed in the Hall of Shame mention where the picture came from, or offer a link back to where it was found.

The above reason is why I added the copyright notices to all the images in my image gallery. Under United States copyright law, such a notice is not required to be present to ensure at least a minimal level of copyright protection. However, adding the notice serves a few purposes:

A somewhat more audacious use of somebody else's images is to present them and then claim them as your own. Somehow, "HondaH8r" likes driving my car, and claims to have had problems with it. That's news to me!

Finally, I know that if I don't mention this myself, at least one reader will feel obliged to mention that it's easy to replace an existing image with a different one of, shall we say, questionable taste, or to use mod_rewrite to automatically augment or replace images served via an off-site referer. Hopefully my position is clearer now - I don't really mind people using my images as long as they say where it came from. My image annotations should help people do this without having to think about it.

ahh...but where is the picture of the squirl, i think that is... :)
The chipmunk is here. I think I'll make the small images on the hall of shame page link to the original so they're easier to find.
that work? (sry, that is a great pic...)
Yup, that worked. In order to see his feet, I hereby give you full rights to use that picture without the copyright annotation. :)
replace an existing image with a different one of, shall we say, questionable taste,

I wouldn't use something of questionable taste but rather a simple black image w/ white text that says something along the lines of:

"This user is stealing images from other people"

The more that is done to prevent people from doing this the less of a problem it (might?) become. Maybe I'm too much of an idealist... :)

I think I might get on the hall of shame list for fun :)
I was looking over your Hall of Shame list. Why does the last item linked to ( ) not show your copyright notice at the bottom?
The full-size images (without _resize_ in their URLs) continue to be taken straight out of the camera unmodified. Since those are often the images that people link to, I may modify those to include the copyright notice too, and have the unmodified originals available under yet another name.
What about just blocking remote-loading for only full-size images?
I don't trust the Referer header. Sometimes it is blocked by proxy or firewall software, and the end user may have no control over this. Also, HTTP cache software will cache just one copy of the image, because they don't distinguish between different referers (to do so would obviate most of the benefits of caching). If the wrong one gets cached it would mean that other legitimate users going through the same cache may get the wrong image.
[info]dopplertx : Fun with CSS
A few years ago, a local short film fest sprung up to provide an alternative to the hated (by them) SXSW film fest. In order to emphasize the point that they were anti-sxsw, they stole the look and feel of sxsw's website... by linking to sxsw's css files! So I made a copy of sxsw's css files and pointed our site at them, and proceeded to agressively modify the original css that the 'other' site was using. Among other grotesque design choices, I made their base font size 250 pixels :)
[info]ghewgill : Re: Fun with CSS
Haha, that rules. Did they figure out what was going on?
[info]dopplertx : Re: Fun with CSS
I revisited the site post-festival, and they still hadn't created their own css, so I guess they didn't really pay much attention to their own site.
Greg Hewgill <>