OUTRAGE. This morning I was checking my Roald Dahl site statistics and noticed that I’m suffering from some bandwidth theft. Several jerks on various messageboards have linked directly to large images without asking me. Wait, let’s be clear here. They didn’t make a link like this. They created an HTML image tag that referenced an image on my server. In other words, every time another jerk viewed the message board, I had to pay for them to download the image. According to my server logs, I’ve had an extra 2000 hits this month alone from image thieves. My problem isn’t them claiming my work as their own so much (though that’s what nearly all of them are doing); it’s more that my work is being used to add value to another site and I’m being forced to pay for the privilege! But fine, whatever. I can configure my server to block them. The REAL PROBLEM however, is…
THE SNOOK THINKS IT’S OKAY. He thinks it’s perfectly reasonable that since I put something out on the Internet, other people should be able to use it however they want. I agree, as long as I’m not paying for it. He claims that since I don’t pay by the megabyte for bandwidth, I can’t claim that they’re stealing any money from me. I counter with the fact that once I breach my bandwidth cap, I will be, so it’s the same difference. And irrespective of the “theft” issue, I just find it completely rude. The argument went on for some time. It climaxed with:
Me: “Okay, so you’re posting to Slashdot and there’s this image you’ve found to illustrate your argument, so you just embed it directly from the source?”
Me: “That’s it. What if it was my site? YOU’D SLASHDOT ME? We’re breaking up.”
It’s a gorgeous day out today, but it’s pretty chilly here in the house.
Later: An uneasy truce has been called. I think we’ve got an unspoken agreement to disagree.