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I wonder if anyone has any facts here (as opposed to principles and assumptions). I am trying to determine if "bandwidth theft" is a real crime in the face of the law. I am NOT thinking about any copyright issues here, just the bandwidth required to pull and display (on my site) an embedded image residing on a site not owned by me.

 

I have read so many statements about "bandwidth theft", reasoning behind it (high load on the server etc), but all statements seem to be assumptions, with no legal facts behind them.

 

Any facts and references much appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Mark

 

ps I have a good reason for this question (I know I could simply upload the image, but that is not the point here).

 

Example: my image pulled from the alamy site embedded here on the forum site (or on my site)……logo could be an issue, but let's assume the logo is not present for the sake of discussion):

 

DF70B3.jpg

 

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It may depend where you are, but in the UK, theft is taking something with the intention to permanently deprive, and using up your bandwidth doesn't take something you then can't use. It doesn't stop you doing something. Even if it did cost you, say, a penny or two, it would be so trivial that de minimis would probably apply.

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Thanks Mark,

 

I don't believe it IS a crime, but there is a lot of discussion around it (and use of the terms "crime" and "illegal"), the main argument being I (and perhaps 10,000 other people who embed images hosted on one site) am using THEIR bandwidth to display images on MY site. Add it all up, and a website can be pulled down.

 

I think it is an urban myth (example), but just wondering if any facts out there.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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I believe what you are talking about is called Hot Linking i.e. displaying an image on somelses server.

 

Have a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inline_linking

 

The problem you have is that the person who has the image on their server may change it at any point. There was a case of where the Daily Mail hotlinked to an image. This caused the image host problems as they didn't have the capacity for that much traffic. The image host then changed the image to something offensive.

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Thanks Andrew,

 

indeed there could be problems, of course, but the scenario I am thinking of would not generate such problems (I just need to determine if there is potential for any legal friction simply due to bandwidth……the bandwidth "theft" caused by me would be minuscule, but you never know!).

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Ah, I see, you are the 'thief' as it were, not the victim. It's too strong a word for the practice. But beware,though, hotlinking an image may well be copyright infringement, at least in the UK. All our Act needs is for the image to appear on a webpage, it doesn't matter how. it's not 'fair use' or exempt.

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Hi Mark,  

 

yes, I am the thief!

 

There should not be any copyright issues (my images and texts). Am looking into this, though (again, you never know!).

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In that case the infringer is the other site.

 

Actually not. They have my permission. Sounds a bit mysterious I know. Just need to check all avenues for loopholes.

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