Hotlinking on AotW

Update: I removed the block until I can find a smarter way to do it. All is back to way it was before.

I am experimenting with blocking hotlinking of images from Ads of the World because of excessive bandwidth usage. I would like to get your opinion on this measure.

Hotlinking is when somebody posts an image on his site by copying the url of the image instead of copying the image itself. Therefore every time somebody looks at his site the images are served from Ads of the World servers instead of his own server. With the block in place they will see a placeholder image (see on the right), which is only 7K instead of several hundred Kilobytes.

Our bandwidth is going over 3 Terabytes a month and a big percentage of it is a result of hotlinking. We love the fact that people share our content, but sometimes our servers are strained and we get no links back in return. It's a measure I really don't want to take, but forced to.

Most blogs copy the images and upload them to their own servers and link back to AotW and this is the ethical and correct way to do.

If you have no means to upload your own images or you have a problem with this new policy because of historical reasons, please let me know and I will add your site to the list of sites who are excepted from this block.

We only want to block abusers, not our fellow advertising bloggers. So we're currently looking into other more efficient ways to do this in order to prevent abuse, but allow reasonable amount of hotlinking.

Thank you for your understanding!

5 comments

Guest's picture
Guest

This is really not helping people that follow you through RSS readers.
We cannot see pictures at all...
This is not clearly not a proper solution.

ivan's picture
ivan

Yes, that's true. I'm trying to fix this asap! What RSS reader are you using? Thanks!

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm using Google Reader. It's all back to normal thanks to your changes.

Unfortunately there's no easy way to allow ALL rss readers to access pictures that are protected from hotlinking.
I'm assuming that your protection was achieved via .htaccess rules. So, you can add condition to your hotlinking protection rule to allow most common rss readers:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://www\.feedburner\.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://feeds2\.feedburner\.com/Websourcingfr-LeBlog$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://feeds2\.feedburner\.com/websourcingfr/comments$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?google\.com/reader(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?netvibes\..*(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?wikio\..*(/)?.*$ [NC]

But this gonna have to be exhaustive as new readers will emerge.
Good luck and thanks for you website.

ivan's picture
ivan

Thanks a lot of the help!

Guest's picture
Guest

How about howiespinger, I think thats a great tool too!

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