Stealing Bandwidth

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Aperture, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    Hello. Excuse me if this is in the wrong forum. Is there a way I can track to see if visitors to my website are stealing my bandwidth by linking to the images on my site? I have seen this done before by websites where an image might appear that would say something like "Stealing Bandwidth Is A Crime" in place of the stolen image. I would love to know as I am suspicious that someone is stealing bandwidth on my website.

    Thanks
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    If you have stats turned on in your web server, you should see a report called "referrers" - these are the pages that linked to your website and resulted in visits. You can visit the pages and see how they are linking - that is, whether they are making a hyperlink to your page, or whether they are loading an image from your page. (this technique doesn't work as well with discussion forums and search pages that are database generated)

    Then if there is abuse, notify the webmaster or hostmaster at the server and ask for it to cease. (you do have a copyright notice on every page of your site, and a statement somewhere that deep-linking and use of images is forbidden, right?)

    The other thing you can do is to periodically move your images to new directories and globally change the path within your own pages. This will make unathorized links come up broken. If you are really ticked, you can replace the image they were linking to to an image of a fresh, steaming pile, or a notice that says "This website steals images without permission. Report it to the ISP it is hosted on".
     
  3. Aperture thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #3
    Reply

    Thanks. I checked my stats and I guess no one is stealing my bandwidth.;) I had a very high rate of bandwidth usage so I was just curious. But if someone does ever steal images, you can rest assured I will replace the image with another:p .

    Thanks, Kevin
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    You can also just use an anti-leeching system, which some webhosts even have built-in. This essentailly says "if the referrer is not coming from this site, feed them a broken image or something insulting". They occasionally cause problems with people with firewalls, but generally work passably well.

    My favorite image leech was annoying not for the amount of bandwidth, but for the brazen copyright violation of it. There are some simple drawing lessons up on my site, and an idiot on eBay was selling a "how to draw" manual of some sort that clearly must have consisted of just text ripped from my and probably a couple of other websites. The amazing part was that the moron didn't even bother to copy his "sample" images and host them himself--he just direct linked to mine.

    So, I had a little fun replacing them with a notice identifying the auction as fradulent and telling people where they could get the same info for free. I also tried to go through eBay's intellectual property abuse system to report it, but it's absurd the paperwork hoops they make you jump through to report flagrant violations, and nothing ever came of it. I probably didn't send the form on carbon paper filled out on a typewriter in triplicate or something.
     

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