The new Image Linking Hall of Shame is the result of my efforts at gathering some statistics on this. The amount of traffic that a single message board post can generate (such as the one at crapforum.nl) is quite surprising.
In comparison to the rest of my server, the amount of traffic generated by image inlining is small. So I'm not really concerned about that aspect of inlining. The thing that bothers me is that people seem to feel free to use my images without mentioning the source. I don't think a single one of the other sites currently listed in the Hall of Shame mention where the picture came from, or offer a link back to where it was found.
The above reason is why I added the copyright notices to all the images in my image gallery. Under United States copyright law, such a notice is not required to be present to ensure at least a minimal level of copyright protection. However, adding the notice serves a few purposes:
- Remind people that the image is in fact a copyrighted work
- Provide a URL link (though unfortunately it can't be clickable) back to the source
- Include the image caption, if available.
A somewhat more audacious use of somebody else's images is to present them and then claim them as your own. Somehow, "HondaH8r" likes driving my car, and claims to have had problems with it. That's news to me!
Finally, I know that if I don't mention this myself, at least one reader will feel obliged to mention that it's easy to replace an existing image with a different one of, shall we say, questionable taste, or to use
mod_rewrite to automatically augment or replace images served via an off-site referer. Hopefully my position is clearer now - I don't really mind people using my images as long as they say where it came from. My image annotations should help people do this without having to think about it.