Two sites were linking directly to photos of my motorcycle, so I swapped the image with one that said, “Please don’t link directly to my images. You’re stealing my bandwidth” I left it for a few days but they didn’t change it. I considered writing rude things about them, thinking it would be fun to mock them on their own web site, but decided against it. Instead, I renamed the image and figured they would get the message. They didn’t. They still have the broken links to my images.
I enjoyed reading about Heather’s solution when people were stealing her images. Dave thought of it too. It’s funny for a while, but then it gets old, and the standard solution becomes more appealing.
My stats currently show nearly 1500 hits with 0 page views from 20 different sites. The fact that there are 0 page views means the image was linked directly. If it’s just a few sites, I don’t mind, but when it reaches into the thousands, my bandwidth usage becomes an issue. Instead of trying to convince people to stop doing it, I used the mod_rewrite module in apache to stop the problem. Now, images can only be displayed on my site.
This problem is not going away anytime soon. The recent meme about weight-watcher recipes had the same problem.