Web Guard: How to Fight Back
Found one of your pictures or sound files on someone else's page? Looked a little deeper and realized that not only are they using your file but they are linking directly to it on your server?
Unfortunately, many of us these days are finding ourselves with this problem! But there are ways you can fight back.
Update as of July 3, 1997
There is now an easy way to find people who are pulling images from your site (bandwidth thieving). Go to Alta Vista search site and enter into the search box this code:
For example, if you are at the address http://www.inter.net/~superman/ then enter this exact code into the search box at Alta Vista:
Although this trick only searches sites that are registered with Alta Vista, we hope that you will benefit from this information! Please remember when contacting bandwidth bandits to always be courteous and give them the benefit of the doubt at first. Please read on to see ways of fighting back.
e-mail the web author.
The most important thing is to email the author of the page where you found your graphic or file. Let them know that you don't appreciate them taking your bandwidth -- but keep in mind that the person may simply be ignorant of the situation and not know that it is wrong to do that. Point them to the Web Guard homepage so that they can read to learn why it is wrong. If you have difficulties arranging your thoughts, we have sample letters available for ideas and good points to remember.
Always keep in mind that hostility is not the answer.
Despite the fact that this person is doing something wrong, and you may be justifiably angry about it, try to keep your letters courteous. It never helps anyone to be rude in matters like this. Other people may be unwilling to help you if you attacked the web author before you found out whether they knew it was wrong to do so or not.
Wait for a response.
It's important to wait for a response. Sometimes people don't read their email every day. Wait a few days or maybe even a week if possible, for a response to your letter.
Download one of our replacement graphics and put it into your directory with the name of the graphic the person is linking to.
This is a simple, but effective measure of getting your point across if they do not respond to your email or respond viciously. Our graphics, as you can see by going here, plainly and vividly let everyone know that you are displeased with having your graphic stolen.
Make your own graphic.
If you don't like the ones we offer, or want something more personal, make your own! We'll be glad to display any additions that may help others, as well. The point is to let everyone know that someone is stealing your images, and that it is not a good thing to do. Go to our bandit graphics page to see tips on making your own images.
If all else fails, mail their webmaster.
There is no web space provider out there, that we at Web Guard know of at this time, that encourages their clients to steal bandwidth or copyrighted material for use on their web pages. Period. It is against the use policies of many providers, and by letting them know what their client is doing, you can in most cases easily solve the problem.
Please mail us at Web Guard if you have any ideas on how to fight back. Similarly, we ask you to let us know if there is anything you need help with that is not covered here.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of easy ways to fight against copyright violations on the web. Web Guard will do its best to find them all.
This page created: