Google abets theft.

Re the thief stealing my bandwidth:

From: tamba2@gmail.com
Subject: BLOGGER is STEALING. Bandwidth theft
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 16:50:53 -0000

Check this blogspot:
http://www.alexanderchristian.blogspot.com/

He is stealing my bandwidth.
Please close his site. Ban him.
Please also give me his email address.

Thanks.

Mark

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your note. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims about the content of these pages. In cases where a contact email address is listed on the page, we recommend working directly with the author to have this situation remedied.

Additionally, there are measures you can (and should) take to protect your images from being linked to, described in the following articles:

-Apache-Sever.com, “Preventing Image ‘Theft'”,
http://apache-server.com/tutorials/ATimage-theft.html

-BestFX.com Tutorial, “Preventing Hot Linking of Images”,
http://www.bestfx.com/static/tutorials/servers/htaccess11.phtml

-Webmaster World discussion thread, “Using htaccess to prevent image
linking”, http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum10/3272.htm

Please follow up with your web host if you have any questions about implementing these techniques.

Sincerely,
Christine
Blogger Support

Does Google have the power to stop this theft ? Yes. Do they use that power ? NO.

Does Google care about what their servers are used for ? Obviously not.

Does Google seem to be providing both the tools and a safe haven for digital theft ? Yes.

Does Google care if you take a logo of theirs or any likeness ? Hell yes they damn well do

16 thoughts on “Google abets theft.

  1. yeah, and you could blog about this story, and others like it (which you could make up) from the point of view of a dickwad tech at blogger support. You could send in comments from Mark (and others) and post arrogant, insensitive replies. You could make them stupid too, spelling errors, logical errors, hey this is fun as long as we’re just dreaming of a bunch of work for Mark to do, eh Ian?

  2. Not a lawyer but…

    Surely, if this guy is stealing (which he demonstrably is) and is using Google’s resources to do so, then, you’d think that having been informed of this abuse of their facilities to break the law, they’d have to attempt to stop it, or face being accused of complicity.

    Tom

  3. Indranil – not completely possible.
    What he has done is create a blog, View Source here and do a complete copy/paste of what he can see. If you do a hard refresh, you will see the images disappear from his site (mostly). Although I could do tricks with mod_rewrite and the CSS, I’m not confident enough of not accidentally serving tubgirl here – and I’d really rather not do that.

    When it comes down to it though, he has stolen what is mine, and Google do not care.

  4. Mark,

    if you use the following code:

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?tamba2.org.uk [NC]
    RewriteRule \.(png|gif|jpe?g)$ tubgirl.$1 [NC,L]

    in your .htaccess that should see you right.

    A quick explanation of this code –
    The first line here turns on mod_rewrite (a rule-based rewriting engine (based on a regular-expression parser) to rewrite requested URLs on the fly) and only needs to be done once per .htaccess file.

    The next line is needed to allow your site to be viewed through proxy caches. If you take it out, then anyone without a referer won’t be able to view your site. Many proxy caches, for instance, block referers… and that looks the same as a directly-entered URL.

    The third line tells the .htaccess file where to allow image files to be served from – in this case it will allow images be served from http://tamba2.org.uk and http://www.tamba2.org.uk

    It is a very good idea not to redirect a browser from one file type to another. The cleanest approach is to make a seperate version of your the tubgirl.jpg file in each format that you use on your site. Then redirect each hot-linked image to the matching filetype.

    In the RewriteRule above (the final line), the “$1″ in the last line refers back to the contents of the parenthesis in the same line. That is, a request for a .jpg file will be redirected to http://www.tamba2.org.uk/tubgirl.jpg, and a request for a .gif file will be redirected to http://www.tamba2.org.uk/tubgirl.gif, etc.

    The L in the square brackets is the “last ruleâ€? – it stops the rewriting process here and tells the .htaccess file not to apply any more rewriting rules while the NC ensures that the rules are case insensitive.

    For more see http://www.tomrafteryit.net/category/htaccess/

  5. Mark,
    I was just snooping in Blogger’s site and came across this page:
    http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=723&topic=34

    I don’t think a real person answered your email. Here is the text from that page:

    Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims about the content of these pages. In cases where a contact email address is listed on the page, we recommend working directly with the author to have this situation remedied.
    Additionally, there are measures you can (and should) take to protect your images from being linked to, described in the following articles:
    * Apache-Sever.com, “Preventing Image ‘Theft'”
    * BestFX.com Tutorial, “Preventing Hot Linking of Images”
    * Webmaster World discussion thread, “Using htaccess to prevent image linking”
    Please follow up with your web host if you have any questions about implementing these techniques.

    Look familiar? Are there any REAL people working at Google, or is it all Googlebot?

  6. Hmm…decided to read their Terms Of Service, and under Section 12 – MEMBER CONDUCT there is this interesting little paragraph:

    Member shall not interfere with another Member’s use and enjoyment of the Service or another entity’s use and enjoyment of similar services.

    I’d say this member was interfering with YOUR use and enjoyment of a similar service.

  7. Cheers Craig – I’ve sent them emails, I’ve told them to look at the header (which in a minute I will switch to rotate) and now I’m just going to drop the isue – for now. Not forgotten, not given up on, just not actively pursued :)

  8. I found this interesting. You know….you could make yourself a bundle of cash from this circumstance. The Millemnium Copyright Act in the US has very strict sanctions on ip theft. The nice thing about it is, you really do not have to pay a lawyer as I understand it. And Google’s response would be considered an ‘aggrevating factor’.

    Just a thought….

    Frank

  9. Hi Mark… this is alex the guy who you think stole your designs and bandwith… it was done unintentionally… I do apologize for the choas it brought… I’m kinda new here and I really thought your blog was COOL but believe me I would never take or steal someone else’s creation intentionally… I am REAL sorry for everything… I think you are a great designer and I admire your talents… I am so embarrassed with what happened… and I’m sorry for the inconvenience I have caused… God Bless… Alexander christian.

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