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. Web Guard: An Introduction

[Don't be a bandit]It is a sorry fact that due to ignorance or deliberate disregard, too many web authors 'steal' content from pages that are not theirs; they use copyrighted material without permission. Some not only do this, but do it by linking directly to the graphic or other file for use on their own pages without taking their own copy. This is rude and most always harmful behavior, as many ISPs (internet service providers) charge their customers for something called 'bandwidth'. If you don't know what bandwidth is, think of it this way: a server sends information out every time someone accesses a page, graphic, or other file from it. This information is measured, and when the measurement passes a certain point (which varies according to service provider) the owner of the account is billed extra.

Please go here to read more on what bandwidth is and how it affects you.

Many web authors are unaware of this, due to the fact that they have non-commercial pages that do not see enough traffic to raise their bandwidth (measurement) above what their ISP allows them each month. Those new to the web or those who do not understand this concept therefore see little harm in linking directly to graphics or other files that they do not own for their own personal use. If you still do not see why this is harmful, you might want to follow the link above that explains bandwidth. If you already have read it, you might want to consider a few practical reasons why it's not a Good Idea to use files on your webpages like this.

First of all, when you use someone else's images, sound files, or other work on your pages without permission, it's always possible that they could sue you for damages if they chose to be nasty about it. There have been cases where this has been done. Go here for more information on copyright laws as pertaining to the internet. And even if they don't sue you, you're still stealing, and that is not usually a very nice thing to do.

Secondly, and most importantly, when you link to images and files that are not under your control, they may disappear or change without warning. You may suddenly find your page full of broken pictures, the whole ambience lost with no chance of recovery, because you did not save your own copies or use your own content. It is hard to imagine someone not minding that sort of thing happening to their web page.

Lastly, loading images from another server takes a lot longer than using them from your own directory. The information has farther to travel, and therefore takes longer to get to your screen. That is certainly not a desirable effect, either.

All things considered, 'stealing' bandwidth is not a good idea. It could end up making you enemies (I don't know one person who likes having their images and other files taken without permission, especially not when it could cost them a great deal of cash), or ruining your own creative effort that is your homepage.

Because so many people do this, or suffer from this type of behavior, we have formed a group and a webring called Web Guard. It is made up of pages and web authors who can proudly present content unique in that they do not 'steal' bandwidth, or disregard copyrights. Our members also have the distinction of not being afraid to fight back against bandwidth bandits. This website provides examples and ideas of how you can do so, as well as being a place where netizens who support these ideals can see that they are not alone.

Remember, it's understandable to use a copyrighted image or other file out of ignorance, and everyone has probably done that at least once. You don't need to go out of your way to make sure the images and files you used aren't copyrighted, but if someone informs you that it is, it's probably a good idea to remove it if they ask. Be a good netizen and respect everyone's right to original work.

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This is the New Web Guard Home

This page was migrated from the 
original Web Guard site with minimal changes.

For more information on 
this move and these changes, click here.

Over the next months 
these pages will be reviewed and adapted.

If you would like to make comments or 
suggestions, please email me, James S. Huggins.

You can also email the original
creator and Mother of Web Guard, Shena Delian O'Brien.
Shena remains the moderator of the
Web Guard mailing list
(ONElist, then EGroups, now YahooGroups).



This Site is Being Rebuilt

After much delay, this section of my site is being completely restructured.

If you are looking for the Web Guard Webring, you should go to the NEW Web Guard Webring page at www.JamesSHuggins.com/h/wbg1/web_guard.htm

In the meantime, the "old" pages all still link together so feel free to explore while the restructuring continues.



The extra text menu links (previously here) are being removed in the site redesign.
Browser and search engine improvements have eliminated the motivation/necessity for them.

This page created:
Fri, 25.Oct.2002

Last updated:
16:20, Sat, 10.May.2014


 Explanation of the rewrite: New Page Layout.
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 Want to email me? I'd love to hear from you.
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