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Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members.

Some poor home school kid in the USA just got the sharp end of my tongue .. I had just signed up to a political forum and so had he (he said) and he wrote:

Also I was wondering if you would join my political forum at http://www.xxx.org .(I know this is an advert but it's really hard to get a new board going, and) it's new, and is actually for a senior year homeschool project ... I'm afraid I take a dim view of anyone attempting to steal members in this way. But it's no big deal and I'm more amused that upset.

But there's an irony. Why on earth did I sign up to the Conservative Forum in the first place? Because I found it in a Google search when looking for something on my own site - and I was taken there by one of my own images in use there.

Nyte Byrd steals an image (1)

I recognise Silbury Hill. The guy who used the image is a moderator who hadn't even bothered to seek permission, or to copy the file onto his own site - so I'm paying for bandwidth as people view his pages.

I had a theory. By using a MySQL database to hold images and a PHP script to access them, I could add a degree of control to who views my images - a grand theory, but one I have never put to the test; this sort of thing goes on all the time after all. But this is a cheeky violation by someone who should know better. Well ... I've tested it now. The following lines appear in my image script:

if (eregi("conservativesforum",$_SERVER[HTTP_REFERER])) {
  $error = 1;
  $msgs = array("Image STOLEN","From www.wellho.net");
  }


And all the images look fine when viewed from almost anywhere ... but that site on the conservative web site looks like this:

Nyte Byrd steals an image (2)

You think I lack charity at Christmas? Perhaps I do, but I really don't see why I should put up with attempted theft of my membership, theft of my copyright material, and theft of my bandwidth. And perhaps I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But I would like to thank both the people involved for giving me an excellent tale to tell today!

Edit to add I seem to have hit a raw nerve - one measure of apology, three measures of vitriol, and I have been banned from the Conservative Forum ... oops! It seems they're having trouble with a troll and don't believe that I found their site by searching for my own domain name. They think I'm actually the troll! I can't see the logic in that when they started the whole thing by nicking my image!
(written 2007-12-26, updated 2008-05-10)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
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  [665] PHP Image viewing application - (2006-04-01)
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  [468] Stand alone PHP programs - (2005-10-18)
  [337] the array returned by preg_match_all - (2005-06-06)
  [239] What and why for the epoch - (2005-03-08)
  [54] PHP and natural sorting - (2004-09-19)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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