Author Topic: Someone's Stealing My Blog Images & How To Deal With It  (Read 4693 times)

Offline Karen {Admin}

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My blog was hacked. It's been devastating, a huge mess and in working on the clean-up... one thing I am dealing with is several websites are "using" (actually STEALING since I never gave permission) my images. I spend more time formatting my blog images than I do writing so when people use them with out my permission (usually not even linking/crediting my blog) it's very upsetting. And illegal! If I do use stock photography, not that that makes it OK to take, I have paid for it.

Just becasue something is on the web, does not mean it's "public domain" and free for the taking. It's not something that is done maliciously but it's common and something that is probably happening to a lot of you (or you are unknowingly doing it). So I wanted to to start a thread here about it. Many of us have pics of our kids in our blogs so those images are especially important to protect. I've read many member posts who were really upset about discovering their childrens images were being used on other peoples posts! I'd be sick if I found that.

What is hotlinking?
If you take an image from a website and use it on your blog or website, using the same image URL as where you found it, you are hotlinking (in addition to other naughty things if you don't have permission). Hotlinking is also referred to as bandwidth theft. For my blog, I pay a monthly hosting fee for a certain amount of bandwidth. When someone hotlinks one of my graphics, they are stealing my bandwidth. So, yes it is theft.

One way to deal with this, if your feeling saucy, is to switch out the image that's being hotlinked with something else. Here is an excellent post about detering hotlinking with a very creative solution from DavidAirey.Com. Here's someone who found their images on Ebay and what he did.

For a more traditional way, use your .htaccess file or cpanel (if your hosting package gives you acess to it). For me, I allow people to use my badge (given in html form) so I didn't want to completly disallow all hotlinking. I just want to dissallow certain domains who were making a habbit of lifting my images and a few who had completly copied my sites template. So I followed this tutorial which also gives instructions on redirecting hotlinked images with a different image.

If you want to block all access from outside domains and have a cpanel, there is a tutorial here or to directly edit your .htaccess file, see this great tutorial here.

If you have a wordpress blog, there are several plugins available. Here's one (but I don't use wordpress so you would probably want to check out a few others).




Offline BrennaBoyd

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Re: Someone's Stealing My Blog Images & How To Deal With It
« Reply #1 on: Jul 07, 2012 @ 08:15 PM »
How did you find out someone was stealing your images? That scares me as I put a lot of pictures up on my blog. I would love to be able to check to make sure no one has stolen them.

Offline Karen {Admin}

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Re: Someone's Stealing My Blog Images & How To Deal With It
« Reply #2 on: Jul 28, 2012 @ 04:49 PM »
One really easy way to find your images is with Google. Just today I found another stolen blog post graphic by using Google images. Either google the image name (you may need to click images at the top of the page to go directly to the image results) or something that describes it.

Another way is to rename an image you suspect other people are using and then keep an eye on your error log. If other people are using it directly from your server, it will show up in the error log eventually. That's if you have a cpanel that will report broken images.

Because of pinterest I have started watermarking my images. My posts are rarely pinned directly but from someone who's taken one of my images unfortunatly. Getting 'pinned' is fantastic but it's painful to see other people getting all the pin credit from a stollen image!

 


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