Competitor using my pictures

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by luckyg, Nov 30, 2008.

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  1. luckyg

    luckyg UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    334 15

    only untill he sees them and then takes them down which i think woudl be a matter of days.

    I'm really battling myself over this. Ive jumped to no 4 on page 1 in past 2 weeks and im thinking it may be because of this.


    I have no hesitation putting up damaging images, but he may have done me a favout in terms of seo, which i dont want to lose out on.
    Posted: Dec 3, 2008 By: luckyg Member since: Sep 17, 2008
  2. areth

    areth UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 0
    If you are on a linux server its pretty easy to prevent people hotlinking to your images. Try searching for ".htaccess and images" on google..

    Its not that technical to implement.


    Posted: Dec 3, 2008 By: areth Member since: Dec 1, 2007
  3. groovyjon

    groovyjon UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    596 65
    So how can we all find out whether our images are being linked to by a competitor in this way? I'd love to pull this trick on a low-life competitor.
    Posted: Dec 3, 2008 By: groovyjon Member since: Jun 12, 2008
  4. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,965 709
    I too vote for the image swap (replace with an advert for your company).
    Posted: Dec 3, 2008 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  5. Mr. Mu

    Mr. Mu UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    288 11
    I agree - subtle, amusing. Have some cheeky fun with this. If you need any help with the images, I'm more than happy to help.

    BTW - this would make a great phone call to our podcast - The Mu Show or a phone interview once done. Would you be willing to tell the story (without naming names)?

    Oh, please - do the your advertising for his swap :)
    Posted: Dec 3, 2008 By: Mr. Mu Member since: Dec 7, 2006
  6. Edward Moss

    Edward Moss UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    406 66
    Posted: Dec 4, 2008 By: Edward Moss Member since: Nov 25, 2008
  7. allsquare

    allsquare UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    571 39
    I'd also like to know how you can find out who's hotlinking to your images - any ideas?
    Posted: Dec 4, 2008 By: allsquare Member since: Dec 27, 2007
  8. adam

    adam UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    930 42
    Okay wait till you get to an SEO point you like then change YOUR IMAGES to something beneficial to your site.

    "Come to [] and get this even cheaper"
    Posted: Dec 4, 2008 By: adam Member since: Sep 12, 2004
  9. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,618 2,149
    Posted: Dec 4, 2008 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  10. MartCactus

    MartCactus UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    983 214
    I agree.

    Many years ago we noted a competitor was stealing a postage icon on our contact page. So that he didn't notice too quickly we swapped it for something subtle... we created an animated gif that looked like the original image he'd stolen for the first 10 seconds, and then started displaying rather disparaging messages about his website. It was on his contact page for months, as it would only been seen by anyone who stayed on the page for more than 10 seconds (we hoped that people at the company in question wouldn't stay long enough on the contact page).

    Its certainly much more fun than a solicitors letter.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
    Posted: Dec 4, 2008 By: MartCactus Member since: Sep 24, 2007
  11. davidjgoss87

    davidjgoss87 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    117 11
    Obviously, being male I am essentially a child, and therefore would insist that you project images of your own bottom onto your competitor's website.

    Slow down, though, and before you rush off to see your photographer, think about a few things.

    1. Your competitor will be less than amused and would probably love to get back at you somehow. Make sure he doesn't have any ammunition - or an easy shot.

    2. Don't go too far and change the images to something that would be really offensive or illegal to publish - it is on your server after all.

    3. Make sure you can prove you own copyright and collect some evidence of what he has done, in case you need it later.

    If you are satisfied that it won't come back to bite you, then go ahead.

    You have an oppurtunity to damage and embarass your competitor whilst keeping the moral high ground. You should take it.
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: davidjgoss87 Member since: Apr 20, 2008
  12. movietub

    movietub UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,859 1,109
    Despite my original post suggesting you plant photos of your backside on your thieving competitor site I'm afraid I do have to agree with the above.

    Also any text that relates to your site is probably not a great idea. Would you buy from someone that appeared to get customers by hijacking someone elses site?

    I suppose the sensible thing to do is to simply replace the images with something that upsets their potential customers and leave it at that. At least you still get a one way image link from his site for SEO.

    I think we have no wittled this down to the most sensible and effective course of action. Having said that if you do have a photo of your arse there is no reason not to post it to the site owner directly. Just don't spread the cheeks as that would be obscene ;)
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: movietub Member since: Nov 6, 2008
  13. maildodge

    maildodge UKBF Contributor Free Member

    62 0
    I recently found a competitor using my photos -! Asked them to remove the photos straight away, at first they come back with some rubbish about being given them by the brand but I stated that they were my own photos that I took the time to take and edit so remove or I would take matters further. They did finally remove but wouldnt give me any compensation - was hoping for some free DVDs, lol.

    Also found a lot of mine on a different site recently, again emailed to say remove them - they obliged by removing 2 and emailed again listing each one and they have all been removed, although I never heard from them about it.

    I did think what could be done to benefit me but it didnt seem worth the hassle.
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: maildodge Member since: Nov 14, 2005
  14. Swiftspin

    Swiftspin UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 2
    I love some of the image message ideas on here, but I'm going to put myself in the customer's position...

    If I were to visit a site and saw a message on an image I wouldn't buy from either site because I wouldn't think it very professional. I think it might amuse a few people but would that be enough to make them buy?

    If it were me I'd ask my solicitor to forward an invoice for the use of the images. Then I'd ask one of the SEO experts on here to help me get to the top of Google another way.

    Boring I know, but that's my 2p worth.
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: Swiftspin Member since: Dec 3, 2008
  15. luckyg

    luckyg UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    334 15
    news update:

    today i have moved up to no3 on google. and the guy who stol the pics has went from no down to no 5.

    obviously no way of telling, but perhaps he has done me a huge favour..hehe
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: luckyg Member since: Sep 17, 2008
  16. MartCactus

    MartCactus UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    983 214
    I certainly wouldn't advise marking up the images with "why not go to instead" as that might make it appear you've hacked their site, so both of you look bad (them for shoddy security, you for hacking it). They'll have no idea those images are coming from another site and those savvy enough to find that out would probably understand enough about what has gone on to be impressed, I know I would.

    However if you replace the images with something that doesn't identify you, then customers are going to think that the store in question isn't very secure (if its been hacked).

    There is no legal implication, so long as the images don't defame, infringe anyone else's copyright, or have illegal content (obscene). If they are hosted on your site then you have every right to change them. If someone else has chosen to not only steal the images, but to steal your bandwidth as well, then that is their problem if you later change the images to something else.

    A solicitors letter costs money and is very dull. From experience some people will either ignore them, or they'll claim "I'm not stealing the images etc" even though they are - they call your bluff and then you have to pay more legal fees. Often the company in question won't know what their web designer has done so will deny any wrongdoing. Swapping the images for something else gets it resolved very quickly.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: MartCactus Member since: Sep 24, 2007
  17. o2creativedesign

    o2creativedesign Guest

    90 5
    Easy problem to solve....

    Taking the serious approach you can setup hot-linking protection on your hosting. This will mean that those images cannot be indirectly shown on other sites, only directly through your own. Anyone trying to attempt this will get a placeholder image in place of the stolen image.
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: o2creativedesign Member since: Nov 12, 2007
  18. A Party Shop

    A Party Shop UKBF Regular Free Member

    192 18
    Posted: Dec 18, 2008 By: A Party Shop Member since: Aug 11, 2008
  19. UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,599 706
    Ebay listings come and go so it is difficult to track these. The search engine can be useful for tracking what more permanet sites and pages are hotlinking to your website's photographs, since it includes these when you use the link:domainname command. According to yahoo, it looks like your website's photographs are quite popular, due to their subject matter, people embed them in their forum posts for comedic effect. It might be worth watermarking your photographs - at least then you get some free advertising on those forums.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
    Posted: Dec 18, 2008 By: Member since: Dec 21, 2006
  20. SillyJokes

    SillyJokes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4,504 598
    We have a system in place which means that when one of our images is hotlinked it shows our URL like this


    but the URL doesn't appear on images on our site.

    This is great as our images are used by many people and our URL therefore appears everywhere
    Posted: Dec 18, 2008 By: SillyJokes Member since: Jul 26, 2004
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