Animated GIF's are good for something.
July 17, 2001 2:25 AM   Subscribe

Animated GIF's are good for something. PhotoDude's answer to the image and bandwidth theft double whammy. Got a smile out of me.
posted by southisup (24 comments total)
Good. Now can we have a universal ban on all no-right-click scripts?
posted by darukaru at 3:18 AM on July 17, 2001

Darukaru, if it were up to me, those damned things never would have been invented. As someone who uses right-click to navigate (I have all my browser buttons hidden), it irritates me to no end when it's disabled. Like that really keeps anyone from stealing things anyway.


To the topic at hand -- image theft. A hilarious incident happened last week ... apparently, an ebay seller stole product images from another seller and was pulling them right off her server. She decided to get a little revenge, and by the time he noticed, the auction was over. Of course the page was eventually pulled, but I saved it right here.

The only thing I didn't save that I wish I had was the bidding history page -- three people retracted previous bids, saying things like, "seller switched the photos! that's dishonest!"

posted by shauna at 5:50 AM on July 17, 2001

I had that problem last year with someone stealing my Distortions images right off my server and actually selling "morphing" services based on my work. I tried the strategy with the "thief" images, but he kept changing his links to match mine. I finally had some success months later by contacting his ISP. I'm still pissed about it.
posted by quirked at 6:04 AM on July 17, 2001

muchos gracias shauna...
that coffee spit take was worth it.
posted by machaus at 6:04 AM on July 17, 2001

I created a banner ad for my site that gets displayed when all domains that aren't mine request any gif or jpeg. It's free advertising.
posted by websavvy at 6:22 AM on July 17, 2001

oh, shauna.... we need humour alert for that one so early in the morning. tea up the nose, over the keyboard.

the one simple rule for people using my backgrounds was/is don't link to my server. i've found a few people over the years who've neglected to do this. these are a couple of ways that i've dealt with it when they didn't respond to my email.
posted by heather at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2001

I found a similar tactic from

Question from a tech layman: how do I know someone's using my images? It doesn't come up in the referrer log, right?
posted by brownpau at 6:58 AM on July 17, 2001

Well now Heather ... you know me awfully well. Have you ever heard me use the word "hilarious" unless I really, really, REALLY meant it? ;-)

And brownpau, it absolutely does come up in your referrer logs. A little alarm should go off in your head if one of your images has more hits than the page you have it on does.
posted by shauna at 7:01 AM on July 17, 2001

If you use Apache, there's a way to set up config files (or in versions that are sufficiently recent, .htaccess) to allow images to be served only if the referer is your own domain.

I *heart* Apache :)
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:12 AM on July 17, 2001

if i'd been a good girl, i could use that. i've been naughty and link to stuff between my various domains. i just knew that my poor href hygene would come back to haunt me.
posted by heather at 7:19 AM on July 17, 2001

"poor href hygiene"

Another one to add to the Geek Lexicon.
posted by shauna at 7:21 AM on July 17, 2001

I'm envisioning links with toejam. Eu, eu, eu.

However... since SetEnvIf uses regular expressions, heather, you could write a regexp to say "if the referer is harrumph or jezebel or any other place I deem appropriate", and then everything's dandy and good.

I'd write it up here if I weren't shamefully clumsy with regexp... it may be the single greatest impediment I have to being a black-belt geek.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:10 AM on July 17, 2001

: jaw totally dropping :

I heart *you*, Sapphire. I had to pull my husband's desktop patterns site (self-link here, but they're *really* cool) because we were being linked. And linked. And linked. Somehow, we'd gotten onto some "teen personals" sites (!!!) and every time we'd change the image name, they'd be linked back again the next day. One or two people we could handle; fifty+ is a bit rough, though.

We went the "ugly jpeg" route (ours was even uglier) but even the bandwidth for that was choking us. We had to pull his site down 'cause we were looking at a $300 bandwidth overage bill just for one month. (Unlike Nosepilot, our hoster let us know well in advance what was up.)

M is on Geocities now, but I'd love to put his site back on our server. Hopefully those Apache scripts will help. * bouncing happy people * Thank you!
posted by metrocake at 8:22 AM on July 17, 2001

You use the vertical bar character for "or" in regular expressions. So writing a regex that matches more than one domain is basically trivial: domain1\.com|domain2\.com|domain3\.com.

(Only trick is, you gotta escape those periods with a backslash, as I've done here, since otherwise "." means any character.)
posted by kindall at 9:00 AM on July 17, 2001

heh heh. glad I could help, metrocake, and glad *you* could help, kindall. MetaFilter to the rescue again.
posted by Sapphireblue at 9:20 AM on July 17, 2001

oh... i just love it when people speak geek. thank you. thank you.
posted by heather at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2001

So wait, I can't get past the part where someone is calling himself photodude. Hahaha, photodude.
posted by beefula at 12:47 PM on July 17, 2001

Um, it's a domain name, not a personal name. Like, say, Glass Dog, or Asian Bastard. But, yes, some people call themselves or their site odd things ... beefula.
posted by PhotoDude at 3:59 PM on July 17, 2001

A little alarm should go off in your head if one of your images has more hits than the page you have it on does.

Maybe an alarm should go off in your log file analysis prog too
posted by bregdan at 4:08 PM on July 17, 2001

photodude- I would never call myself a name as strange as yours.
posted by dogwelder at 4:16 PM on July 17, 2001

Well, Oh Common Dogwelder, while I was reading your profile explaining your name, I remembered, I explained mine in in my profile, too. Guess Beefula missed it.
posted by PhotoDude at 4:42 PM on July 17, 2001

The ecstasy users have left the building...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:14 PM on July 17, 2001

Beefula why don't you shut your pie hole you fat loser. Scrub off!
posted by chaz at 5:34 PM on July 17, 2001

I've got a picture of Anton LeVay on my site that some wanna be Satanist keeps using in his .sig on message boards. I just replaced this picture with this one.
posted by dogwelder at 11:22 PM on July 18, 2001

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