Hot links

Britblog Roundup No 129 - Philobiblon

The first link on the roundup concerns 'bandwidth theft' or 'image leeching' . Matt of Wardman's Wire had an image hotlinked to (through a genuine mistake, as it transpired) and complained about it. He received an apology and everything is sweet again.

I get a little pissed off when people throw around the term 'theft', as in 'image theft' or 'bandwidth theft' because in most cases the person complaining has actually lost nothing at all. In my book someone has to be deprived of something before a theft can be said to have taken place. It is possible, of course, that The Wardman Wire is paying a lot for its bandwidth for some reason in which case the best thing to do is block hotlinking altogether using ht.access or some other method (or find a better deal).

I don't block hotlinking and I don't monitor it either. With over 4,500 gigs of bandwidth available for my image hosting  (increasing by 16 gigs every week) the leeching of a 20kb image isn't going to cause me sleepless nights. Nor is it going to cost me anything, which is my main point. I don't pay extra for the bandwidth I don't use so, effectively, it's free. Even if I did pay for bandwidth like I pay for my electricity the cost to me of 10,000 image calls would be a massive 2 pence. It might be polite to ask before hotlinking but, frankly, I am not about to call you a thief if you do it.