Hotlinking Idiots

Let me begin by stating the my graphic art capability is, at best, quite poor. This makes the fact that tons of myspace/friendster/blogger mouthbreathers decided to hotlink to my wallpapers all the more amusing. At first, it was just a few dozen kids that seemed to fancy my "pink horizons" wallpaper (which I could never really stand looking at). Now, however, hundreds of these special people have put the magical URL incantation into their interweb computarspace to make my wallpaper (and by bandwidth) serve their purposes.

I'm totally cool with my image making the rounds online, but I'm not cool with my money doing the same. It costs actual dollars to send those bits and bytes along to the kids, so I replaced the two major offending wallpapers with a neatly worded letter explaining the situation. Here's a random smattering of screenshots of what these sites looked like shortly after the change:

- 01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 -

UPDATE (22 February 2006): Well, several days later I thought I'd check back at our friends and see if they took the hint. Some hadn't changed and still had my letters, some had just picked something else, but one moron actually updated her background to the new location of the wallpaper! Unbelievable! She had to read and understand my letter, ignore it, go to this site, find the wallpapers, find the one she had before at its new location, and update her page with it. This retard now has a new background. Screenshot.

UPDATE (1 May 2006): Holy crap for crap. What the hell is wrong with people? After all this, a ton of people STILL hotlink to my images. I went ahead and spent the 15 seconds to look up how to use .htaccess to block image leechers, and spent the 15 minutes to put together a replacement image that is hopefully sufficiently obnoxious to get the message across to these retards. Please, kids, don't make me break out the goatse. Don't make me stoop that low. Anyway, here's what morons have blinking on their background now. Screenshots:

- 01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 -

UPDATE (13 May 2006): I got this email a while back, but forgot to post it. It is truly magical.

From: "Josh Stoli" (
Subject: Your Website Horizons.jpg
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 22:02:31 -0500

Hey asshole before you go blaming KIDS or others for you highbandwidth
costs why don't you blame GOOGLE. This is where I came across your
pink-horizons image and it is directly linked from them.

So replace your image with a fuck you to google ASS FUCKER. Do your
homework before you cast blame.

It saddens me to see someone so bereft of knowledge (or common sense), so I sought to explain the situation.

From: Tyler Bletsch (
To: Josh Stoli (
Subject: Re: Your Website Horizons.jpg
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 09:25:21 -0500

Dear Josh,

I believe your assertion to be inaccurate.  Google's entire business 
consists in providing links to files on the Internet.  The actual Google 
service uses a negligible amount of my bandwidth, since they cache HTML 
and image thumbnails each time they crawl my site. Because they only 
cache thumbnails, it's not actually possible for them to provide the 
files themselves, and even if they did, using that URL would just mean 
you'd be using their bandwidth instead of mine.  That's why it's up to 
you, the web site operator, to provide your own hosting for all content 
you provide. 

The correct course of action is to save the file in question, and place 
it onto a web server that you are authorized to use (either your own 
hosting or a free image host that allows hot-linking of images, such as 
ImageShack).  This way, every time someone visits your site, it only 
affects your servers.  Also, this would completely eliminate anyone's 
ability to manipulate the image remotely, since you'd have direct 
control of all your content.  If you still have questions, feel free to 
email me and we can discuss this further.

Tyler Bletsch

Sadly, I never received a reply thanking me. I hope Josh is okay!