Hotlinkers

Man, what a pain. Now I know this site ain’t exactly boingboing, but I’ve got my fair share of readers. Even so, my bandwidth allotment at ipowerweb, who hosts HOLLYWOODLAND, has never set foot past the 15% mark. Imagine my surprise when I check my stats tonight to see that bandwidth has suddenly jumped to over 50% in the past couple weeks. A thorough check reveals that, apparently, mp3 search engines have gotten pretty savvy in the past month or so. What this means is that all the music I’ve got sitting on my server for the enjoyment of my visitors has been discovered. One can type in, say, “U2 New Year’s Day” on some mp3 search engine and a direct link will pop up that grabs the song from my own servers and delivers them to the net-surfer on a silver platter as if hauled from their very own vaults. Not so. I’m paying for that transfer. You’re welcome.

(UPDATE: Check out this foreign site I discovered this morning that does just that.)

Hotlinking image stolen from 100magicbunnies.com
(image stolen from 100magicbunnies.com)

What’s really interesting is when I check the stats page for all the other links to the site. Apparently, MySpace is a big fan of sixsquare.com. But then, not really. People are hotlinking my images like mad over there. Again, what this means is that when MySpacers post a pic on someone’s page, they just grab it from the Net and drop the link to it wherever they want it shown. It’s funny to see stuff from my own site peppering MySpace boards.

But then, it’s not really MY stuff. For example, a commonly hotlinked image is this one. People LOVE Rilo Kiley. but it’s not “mine” in the purest sense. I didn’t take the photo. I found it somewhere on the net. I may have done that pretty lavender tinting and cropped it “just so” and re-sized it all by my lonesome, but it’s not MINE. However, I do happen to host the image. I provide this version for visitors to my humble little site to enjoy. It doesn’t seem fair for someone to send browsers to my server to show it to others. Copy it, fine. That’s what I did (giving credit where credit is definitely due.) But stay away from my servers.

Especially, if you’re looking for music.

The sad truth is that since I don’t have my own home server and I don’t have unlimited funds, I’m going to have to put a cap on the mp3 posts. I’ll still post when I can, but if there’s the possibility that what I’m posting is going to be popular (like this particular post, or this one) I’m going to have to limit the time frame. There’s gonna be a deadline on this stuff now, folks. If you see an mp3 on this site, grab it, enjoy it and then go buy the cd. I’ve had to go through my media folder and deliberately break some links to keep from exceeding my bandwidth allotment for the year. Savvy websurfers will still be able to find them all, but I’m not worried about them.

Heck, I’m one of them. We deserve the world. And in the meantime, hotlinking has been disabled. Sorry, folks.

About the author: will

2 comments to “Hotlinkers”

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  1. Dayle - March 20, 2006 at 6:41 pm Reply

    Now you know I’m not very tech savy….I’m not a blogger…heck…I don’t even ready YOUR blog very often and you’re one of my best friends. So feel free to correct me if I’m wrong….but I’ve always been of the opinion that people who post things on the net (via blog or other way) sort of give up any “right” of ownership. It’s the internet for crying out loud! You put it out there in the world for anyone and everyone to see…and clearly people are seeing it….and then using it. But again, what do I know. Maybe I’m just hungry and should go eat something.

  2. will - March 20, 2006 at 6:46 pm Reply

    I don’t mind people using the images themselves. I just don’t want to have to pay for the bandwidth they use up by hotlinking to them. Copy them to your own server, but don’t simply link to mine…

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