Stealing Bandwidth: when someone links directly to internet files from another Web site without the owner’s permission. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) often limit the amount of monthly “traffic” to or from your Web site. So, often victims of bandwidth stealing are charged whenever other people use their files in this manner.
Every morning I do a quick check of my referral log to see who is linking to what on my Web site.
Last week I noticed that one blog had linked to an image I had posted here on Life Outtacontext a couple years ago on the occasion of my tenth wedding anniversary. I went to check it out and found this guy had used a photo of our wedding chuppa (a ceremonial canopy over the bride and groom) as an illustration for a story about his friend’s wedding:
Going a bit deeper, I looked at his code and lo and behold, he hadn’t lifted the image he was linking directly to it on my server! The image was coming directly from my server and I was paying every time a viewer looked at his page. Stealing bandwidth.
To add insult to injury he referred to our chuppa as “typical.” The nerve. There was nothing typical about our wedding canopy. In fact, it was handpainted by a friend of ours who was a set designer for the Seattle Opera.
What does one do when confronted with such a double effrontery? I looked for an email address on his site but found none. When faced with such a travesty I remembered Ivana Trump’s response to Donald’s divorce papers: “Don’t get mad, get even.” And so I set about informing this man in the only way I could.
Since he was linking directly to my image I had control over that image. And with a little bit of Photoshop magic I simply changed my image file from a photograph of our wedding to a little missive for Mr. John Doe (I’ve changed his name because I don’t want to crucify but merely instruct):
Mr. Doe received my message. A few hours later he was linking to someone else’s “typical” chuppa. Some people just will not learn.
Ivana, you would be proud of me.