So, does this seem fair?

I’m a nice enough person, but today, while checking around, I discovered that someone is using one of my photos on her site. With no credit given to me.

I scoured for her email address so I could gently notify her that you’re supposed to ASK first, but came up empty. I’m just itchin’ to inform her of the rules and etiquette of the internet. Or am I making a big deal out of nothing? I would never dream of doing that to someone else. It seems a bit like thievery when you don’t give credit, especially when the source site clearly contains a copyright notification.

Any thoughts or solutions out there? I’ve read about this happening to others, and about them blocking the link somehow. But I’m not all that technologically inclined.

UPDATE: I used the best option I could think of as far as technical solutions go. I renamed the image, uploaded it again, and took down the other file. So all she gets is a blank. I feel slightly mean about doing it. Yet shouldn’t she feel slightly mean about what she did? (Thanks, Kristy, for your offer to scold her. I’m one of those non-confrontational people, though, so I opted for the stealth fix. You could still scold her if you so feel compelled. I won’t complain.)

10 thoughts on “So, does this seem fair?”

  1. This sadly is a very common misdemeanor. When I forst read your article it sounded a bit like the person who stole from you also said that it was she who actually took the photo. Now that I’ve read the article, I see that she didn’t do that.

    What you did was probably the nicest choice. You also could have uploaded a picture to you server stating “I WILL NOT STEAL IMAGES” and name it “zucchinibread.jpg” which then would be displayed on the webpage of whoever hotlinked that picture from you.

    One thing you should not forget is that many people who steal images in that way don’t know what they’re doing. They search the web using google images (In your case Zucchini Bread) and when they find one they just copy the image location and paste the url onto their site – without even knowing that they a) steal your bandwidth and b) use a picture they actualy aren’t allowed to use.

    There are two things you can do against those things, a) tweak you webserver (which you probably have no access to) b) Just name your pictures cryptic. Like e.g. using dates as filenames 20051022-a.jpg. This will maybe keep them from appearing at google images.

    Another thing you might think about is keeping some sort of webserver statistics, they usualy show refering URLs from which then you’d see who is hotlinking your pictures and that would enable you to just move those pictures that they stole from you.

    Hope this helps a little – oh, and don’t be to mad about it, it happens all the time.

  2. Hey, that’s nicer than Kevin used to be. He would put an entirely nasty picture (ie: something pornagraphic) under the same name. It seemed to work for him though.

  3. Lori,

    You take beautiful photos and should receive all the credit! Don’t feel bad about taking back your photo. She’s the one that should feel bad!

    Connie

  4. Lori,

    You take beautiful photos and should receive all the credit! Don’t feel bad about taking back your photo. She’s the one that should feel bad!

    Connie

  5. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Lewe is right about this happening all the time (as Kevin can attest to as well). I just had a desire to educate her on why she shouldn’t just grab photos. But many, many people who use the internet don’t truly understand some of those issues. I don’t think she was being malicious. I started naming my photos differently about a year ago, but this one was taken before then so it missed that strategy.

  6. As for file naming convention…
    I’d recommend using a format of YYMMDD followed by file extension. Never use a subject title like, for example, “devin_on_swing.jpg.” You’re opening the door to every image search engine to locate that file and present it to others. Changing that “devin_on_swing.jpg” to “051023.jpg” will also force your OS to display that, along with other files named like it, in chronological order.

    I haven’t had any problems with hot linking while using this in conjunction with a “robots.txt” document.

    Lastly, check your “Search Strings” within your site stats. That should provide you with a list of words that have lead people from search engines to your site. Knowing which words act like a beacon can help curb or ehance attention to your site.

  7. Actually, you were being kind by giving her a blank. I’ve seen webmasters do much worse; they replace the hotlinked image with sexually graphic photograps/other wise lewd images and a caption that says “I steal images from _______.com!”

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