Support » Requests and Feedback » “I call it ‘Image-Taking'” – Is this possible?

  • Often I use a linked image for my posts, this news photo, that half naked celeb… whatever… There are a couple problems with this (and I’m not going to mention the possible moral ones).

    1. The linked image may not always be there, if they move or remove the file then my page looks dumb until I go back and edit the post.

    2. Many servers block hotlinking, meaning that I get one of those “stop stealing our bandwidth ass-face!” stickers instead of the image I’d linked to. Honestly I don’t want to steal their bandwidth anymore than they want me to.

    So, to solve these issues I propose a plugin/hack/feature for WordPress (although I’m sure it would be useful in almost any CMS system). As simply as possible it would do this; when a post contained an image link that was not from within the site the plugin would automaticly fetch the image from that site if it is able to, if possible simulating an ie/mozilla enviroment to get past the hotlink blockers, and store that image file with the rest of the sites media. That way you are no longer calling it from an external source and what they do later on won’t affect you, not are you affecting their bandwidth.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Are you kidding?

    You must be kidding.

    Instead of stealing bandwidth and the image, you steel just the image.
    With all due respect.

    This is what you’re looking for:

    Not quite sure what Matt made this for but please do consider the moral/legal implications of it.

    Mark (podz)


    Support Maven

    Stealing Images.

    Doesn’t matter how you dress this up – it’s theft.
    I’ve been hit hard by hotlinking – it’s not good and it cost me.

    On an older website of mine I always used to put up some nasty idiotic pics with “you asshole” text for those who tried hotlinking to my pics ๐Ÿ™‚
    Yeah, it’s theft! And asking for a “plugin” to do it… I am just speechless.

    Moderator James Huff


    Disappointing, and quite sad really. You’re using someone else’s image in the first place, on top which you’re using THEIR bandwidth. So much for scruples.

    When I first started my blog, I was a hotlinking whore. It bothered me and I decided to cut down. (Before anyone goes searching, I haven’t gone back and removed all the hotlinks from my archives).

    I still get hotlinked by others but, so far, my bandwidth can handle it so I’m not making a big deal about it. My Creative Commons license asks that I receive credit but, again, no big deal if I don’t.

    I don’t see the point of developing a plugin that gives legitimacy to the practice.

    No, I’m not kidding.

    My point is to NOT steal the bandwidth.

    This feature would copy the image from it’s current location to my server, it would have to move the image only once (perhaps slightly more than that if it could be made to be self repairing). I’m not suggesting this in an effort to rip someone off of their imagery or bandwidth, I would love to have a comment field as part of inserting a linked image that would create a hyperlink to their original page and let them get credit for the image.

    And don’t give me that hot linking = theft crap. The point of the Internet is to share information and create a community. If I see some interesting product on or some neat article at /. then you can bet your ass I’m going to reference it in a post later on. If I can make my posts more visually appealing and get a reader more excited about what I’m sharing with them then I will do so in whatever way I can. I’m a photographer, and I understand that people can be sensitive about the use of their work. There are some sites that I wouldn’t link to or retrieve an image from. Penny-Arcade for example, because I have a lot of respect for a couple guys who make me laugh on a regular basis. But there are any number of situations where I feel that the use of an image in this fashion would not only be morally benign, but perhaps even of benifit to the parties who have generated that image รขโ‚ฌโ€œ I don’t know how much business I’ve drummed up for simply by posting an image of a product that I’d purchased or would like to purchase… only to have a friend email me and say that they’d bought it or were considering buying. I can’t convince you that I’m not out to screw anyone and claim credit for someone else’s images, you’re just going to have to have a little faith in humanity for once.

    “I’ve been hit hard by hot linking – it’s not good and it cost me.”

    That is a dark cloud over this Idea, I’ve owned and operated multiple sites that had problems with hot linking actually effect my bank account. negatively. This is something I’m trying to prevent, instead of costing someone a fraction of a cent in bandwidth a thousand times (every time the page is viewed) I’m only costing them the bandwidth for when I originally post it, the rest of the bandwidth for that image comes from my servers as the images is now stored there.

    I would like to say however, that this is my first post here at the WordPress forums, and to have what I would consider a fairly benign question immediately assaulted makes me wonder if I like this place to stick around long. I’m honestly only trying to contribute to a great tool and the community.

    And the one user who posted something actually constructive and useful gets all my thanks.

    Calm down PJ. I guess hotlinking is a hot button topic. Your explanation goes some way to changin the impression left by your original question.

    I can see the use of this for links to the big boys who love the publicity and probably wouldn’t give a dam if you stole a little bit of their bandwidth. What I, and probably others saw, was something that sounded like “I want make my site look extra cool and I need some way of getting around people who don’t want me stealing their hard work”.

    Having said that, I would still prefer to copy the image to my site.

    Please don’t judge this forum purely by these responses. Like I said, you hit a nerve. Hope you’ll stick around.


    “I’m a photographer, and I understand that people can be sensitive about the use of their work.”

    So am I on both points. I will not steal your work, if I want to use it I will ASK, if you say no I will not use it, if you say yes, I will give you credit. I hope you would provide me the same respect.

    “There are some sites that I wouldn’t link to or retrieve an image from. XYZ for example, because I have a lot of respect for a couple guys who make me laugh on a regular basis.”

    So if I am funny you will not link to me, if I am not…

    Again respectfully, I think many people here have posted something constructive.

    When someone clarifies that they are being respectful, they usualy are not. – Evan Thompson

    I agree with you EyeNo, I don’t want this tool to be used to rip off someones work, If an image can be assumed to be public domain, then providing a link is (imho) a good wholesome practice – but not a requirement. I will do it, but I’m not going to go to any extravigant effort. However in any situation where it’s obviously copyright and the owner has a right to accreditation then I try and provide that whenever possible via a return link to their site in proximity to the image and full disclosure of the images original source.

    That is of course my reply to steveyoung’s comment as well.
    “So if I am funny you will not link to me, if I am not…”
    I will return-link to you if I have used your intellectual property, I simply used PA as an example that many people would recognize. I don’t know how frustrating it must be for them to see their strips included in every third blog or so. For the longest time, they placed their web-address on the artboard in addition to the copyright information because they knew that these images would be spread over the internet and the only thing they could do was hope it drove traffic back to their site. They’ve stopped doing that… I suppose they have plenty of visitors these days. Heh.

    “I want make my site look extra cool and I need some way of getting around people who don’t want me stealing their hard work”.

    I don’t want someone stealing my hard work either, I have to make a living off of these things. But at the same time, If you put something on the internet that you don’t want circulated… well… you might be dissapointed. I like to have my galleries availible to potential customers, both for the purchase of prints to an art lover and for the sale of images rights to an advertising firm. I know that some of my images are being used outside of my site and without my knowledge and permission. But I’m only going to complain if I come accross one of them and I’m not given any credit for it.

    “Having said that, I would still prefer to copy the image to my site.”
    And that is exactly what I’m trying to achive, I’m just wanting to automate the process of snaging the image, making it easier and more enjoyable instead of the tedious task of downloading, uploading and then referencing every image.

    Thanks to macmanx’s link, this discussion is now purely one of principal, seeing as the script seems to work fairly well. Thanks again MM. I will use it for good and possibly for awesome.

    I think EyeNo pretty much explained how the question seemed to be expressed to everyone who replied. People are very tetchy about stealing things, as it’s so easy to do on the web now, so don’t take the comments out of context. Perhaps a clarified question next time, should a topic such as this come again as you noted, it can be easily misconstrued.

    The no plugin way to do it:
    1. Copy image to disk.
    2. Upload image to site.
    3. Link to that image instead of the offsite one.

    The plug wouldn’t work anyway. The no-hotlinking feature would block the plugin’s operation as well.

    As I understand it – hotlink blocking works because the page is built and sent through Apache to a browser, which can tell whether or not it is seeing a browser due to the invisible header traffic.

    A plugin wouldn’t send the appropriate headers (without way too much extra work and overhead), so Apache would deny the request for the image and instead give you the fickle finger of fate.

    I could be wrong on that. Please feel free to expand or correct as necessary. I agree with the majority of sentiment expressed, though, and think Satoshi’s method is probably the best for now.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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