I know it's childish...

...and so 1997, but I derive considerable enjoyment from punishing people who direct-link to my images without permission.

Like (NSFW, now) these people (screen grab).

Until recently, that was a picture of a keyboard.

See also (SFW).

(The, um, hippopotaduck in that second image is a picture I myself took, which is not the usual way this game plays out. Yes, I am aware of the irony involved when, as usually happens, Site A complains about Site B hotlinking its images by replacing those images with more amusing ones, which Site A have themselves ripped off from Site C. But at least they're not hotlinking them.)

I guess I could set the server to block direct links, but I want people to be able to hotlink my images when I send out a new article announcement; I don't mind if their news page uses my pic directly, or if they copy it to their own server. And I'm not that honked off when people use my server's bandwidth to show my picture on their site. It's not as if it actually does cost me any perceptible money, most of the time.

But it's still rude, and it's fun to put pictures of big hairy men playing with balloons, or whatever, on their site as retribution.

About three years ago, there was a Web site called Hardware Cafe that ripped off a bunch of images. They'd post news from one site, and use announcement images that were all from another, loaded right off that other site's server, as if nobody would notice. It was crazy.

Various other site owners got together to make replacement images, to express the communal nature of our disapproval of this behaviour. My picture (maybe NSFW, I guess) was a tour de force of comic brilliance, and everybody else thought that was a pretty good idea and imitated me, so there was a Festival of the Middle Finger at Hardware Cafe shortly afterwards. The only screen I grabbed of the defaced site was this one, though.

Hardware Cafe was part of a site network called Invision Gaming, which "WAS the future of the internet". The hwcafe.com and ivnonline.com domains still exist, but they belong to completely different people now.

I wonder if there's a sort of horror movie situation, here. You move, all unknowing, into a domain whose previous occupant (I'm getting tired of saying it, but "NSFW"...) was a monster who died a violent death...

Sometimes, in the night, the server moans.

(Do I even need to link to Rob Cockerham's classic Image Lifting Impostor Prank page, now? Oh, OK.)

4 Responses to “I know it's childish...”

  1. matt Says:

    Those people should think themselves lucky that they didn't get tubgirl'd. Although I'm sure that's been done too...

    (No, I've never seen tubgirl. Haven't seen goatse either. But I did get fooled into following a link to lemonparty. What is it that they say? Just remember that you can never unsee something.)

    For anyone who doesn't know what these are, but would like to be forewarned, look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_site for enlightenment that won't leave you wanting to scour your retinas with a brillo pad.

  2. ex-parrot Says:

    "Sometimes, in the night, the server moans."

    Wot, you mean like this?

    Thank you IBM and any number of Geocities websites frozen in time but not yet beyond scavenging for WAV files of Macs booting and zombies chatting.

  3. ex-parrot Says:

    It might help if I linked to the right file. If I'm feeling generous maybe I'll set up a redirect for the wrong URL....

  4. Arlo Says:

    Childish? Maybe. Incredibly satisfying? No doubt. Myspace users seem to be the worst
    offenders, at least on my site. I always hit them up with: this
    As in: this
    web page
    , which has been up now for MONTHS.

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