Image Leeches

For some reason several of my sites were recently infested with image leeches. I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or not, but every one of these blood suckers were users of the MySp*ce.com (link purposely not provided) service.

My first reaction was to rename the images so that their links would break. Granted this is only a temporary solution and there is nothing stopping them from linking to the renamed images.

One of the leeches was linking to the header banner from the Bullfrog page as part of a reasonably harmless comment on one of their “friends” comment sections. Not a huge deal, but they are still stealing bandwidth (albeit not very much). I guess what I could do is take advantage of this and modify the image to be an add banner. But without a link pointing back, this probably wouldn’t be worth the bother.

Another leech is displaying one of my photographs from my photo gallery site. Again, not a ton of bandwidth, but since their profile is private I have no idea how they are using the photo. I added a much more obvious copyright notice to the photo, but left this one’s URL intact for now.

I’m not really sure how to handle this, it’s my first leeching. I’d be interested in hearing how others are dealing with this sort of thing. I realize that the web is built on linking and publicly published content, but if there’s a simple way of minimizing the damage of the casual content thief, I could use some pointers.

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