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Posting of images - please read this first!

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 4:27 pm
by Judah
It happens from time to time that folk will post images directly from another site to this one, probably using copy-and-paste of the original URL, and quite possibly without knowledge or permission of the owner of the image or the one who originally hosted them.

It may be that some folk don't know that this is called HOTLINKING and is considered THEFT.
It is theft of someone else's bandwidth for which they are paying.

Hotlinking is said to have taken place when you do not download the image to your own computer first, then upload it to your own image hosting account, and then post it from there. Someone else is paying for the hosting of that image, and the person using it in this manner is doing so without making any contribution to that cost.

The danger with hotlinking, aside from the ethics involved, is that the person hosting the image may exchange the image, keeping the same address, for another which will embarrass the one who hotlinked it. I have heard of an instance where the hotlinked image was exchanged for another that read in huge bold letters "This person is a thief!" and another where the image was exchanged for a pornographic one.

A related issue concerns the copyright of images. Unless you are certain that the image is copyright-free, then permission should first be sought of the copyright owner before the image is posted.

I am pointing out these practices so that people are more aware of them, have a chance to consider the ethics involved, and of course to avoid the possible risk of embarrassment should, oh horrors, their sins find them out.

This is a Christian website and we should not be stealing the images or bandwidth belonging to anyone else.

For more information on hotlinking, click here.

What is hotlinking and bandwidth theft?

Bandwidth theft or "hotlinking" is direct linking to a web site's files (images, video, etc.). An example would be using an

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tag to display a JPEG image you found on someone else's web page so it will appear on your own site, eBay auction listing, weblog, forum message post, etc.

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data transferred from a web site to a user's computer. When you view a web page, you are using that site's bandwidth to display the files. Since web hosts charge based on the amount of data transferred, bandwidth is an issue. If a site is over its monthly bandwidth, it's billed for the extra data or taken offline.

A simple analogy for bandwidth theft: Imagine a random stranger plugging into your electrical outlets, using your electricity without your consent, and you paying for it.
For information about FREE image hosting, click here or alternatively, Google the words "free image hosting".
It is not difficult to set up an account with an image hosting service and many of them offer a reasonable amount of bandwidth for no charge at all.

~ Judah

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:03 pm
by Canuckster1127

Thanks for putting this up. I realize reading it, that I've been guilty of this through ignorance and inattention here on occassion and elsewhere.

I'll change my ways.

Thanks for the info.


Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:04 pm
by Judah
Bart, I think most people who have done this really have not known that it should not be done. It is not a deliberate setting out to do wrong.

I am most aware of it as I find people hotlinking the images on my own website, individuals who just take the images as though they have a right to them, and then offend further by taking my bandwidth as well, and also the bots who "scrape" content from my site in order to increase revenue for their owners - and in the scraping also steal bandwidth as well as intellectual property.

Some individuals don't know about it and are horrified when I tell them, but the bots are the worst as the website owners certainly are aware and continue stealing anyway.

The fact is, the practice is not ethical, and this being a Christian website... we do need to be aware of it so we can be "squeaky clean" ourselves.

Re: Posting of images - please read this first!

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:38 pm
by ageofknowledge
Doesn't New Zeland have some of the toughest internet laws in the free world outside of places like China, Cuba, and North Korea? Our internet culture has historically been more laid back than New Zelands and you almost never see a case being made over someone hotlinking an avatar or a graphic from another site unless it's used in a libelous manner or someone's private artwork they wish to protect their copyright on.

In fact, there are plenty of free graphics perfectly OK to hotlink to and some sites here encourage it by having buckets on their site full of graphics they actively advertise for people to use and hotlink to. Also, we have image sharing sites where people store graphics and link to them. Furthermore, many graphics, such as graphs used in studies for public release, are publicly available to link to and distribute.

I think "it has to be your own or you can't use it" is not an good policy nor, as I have shown, legally required. Here at least.

Re: Posting of images - please read this first!

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:25 pm
by Judah
Whether or not a prosecution under a law can be effected, and the fact that this may be difficult and very costly to achieve especially on an international stage, the issue for Christians should also be one of ethics - as in should I help myself to other people's property without their knowledge or permission when it is not made available for that purpose? Should I, without permission, use their purchased bandwidth which may cost them more due to my doing so? Where images are provided copyright free, that is not an issue. However, some who provide images for others to use freely may require that you download them to your computer and upload them to your own hosting site first. Posting images directly without doing so is not an issue when the hosting site offers free hosting. That is not, for instance, the case on my own website. I don't provide free hosting. Christians do need to consider these things if they intend to behave ethically in this area.

Re: Posting of images - please read this first!

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:22 pm
by Murray
So when i copy and paste an image for like a school power point, I am stealing?

Re: Posting of images - please read this first!

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:15 am
by 1over137

Re: Posting of images - please read this first!

Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:46 am
by neo-x