So, it seems as Leaving Only Footprints continues to get more and more popular, so does its images. Last month, I noticed that my visitor stats were kind of funky and discovered dozens of sites linking to just my pictures. This is called direct linking or hotlinking. Instead of hosting an image themselves, other websites and blogs simply link to the images on this site. This equates to stealing because hotlinkers use bandwidth paid for by other people. For example, in the previous month of January, I received thousands of direct links from MySpace.com sites. If the average image size used was 50KB, over 100MB of my bandwidth was stolen.
After doing a little research, I found this website that explains how to prevent other sites from hotlinking your images. Well, the good thing was that these other sites could no longer use my images. The bad news is that no one removed the now broken links to me on their sites so my stats are still getting messed up. Also, I noticed new people continue to hotlink to me even though the images are not showing up on their site. Not too bright.
Not only can I prevent my images from showing up on a hotlinkerâ€™s site, I can make any image I want show up on their site. With inspiration from Matt Kelley, J-Luv, and a poster inherited by Alicia, this is what I came up with:
If theyâ€™re going to link to me, I might as well get some free advertisement with a little help from Burt Reynoldâ€™s and his famous Cosmo picture. Also, I hope that it encourages them to take down the links.
Check out what it looks like to this MySpace holtinker stealing my squirrel image before:
Check out these other sites. I took screen shots for a permanent memorial.