The other day I was called out for one of my bad practices: stealing image bandwidth.

Originally when I started my blog I made an attempt to secure all my images either on wordpress’s file hosting or on my Imageshack account. However, I got lazy. It’s far easier just to do a Google image search, get the direct link, and then pump the URL into WordPress’s handy-dandy url to image posting converter.

The problem is, that isn’t really the polite thing to do. A lot of people pay for their bandwidth and directly linking their images like that is basically just leeching off their bandwidth allotment. I knew this, I knew it was impolite, and I did it anyway. As I said, I got lazy and slouched into a bad habit. Earlier this week I was called out on this practice by one of those people whose images I was leeching bandwidth from. He was none too gentle about it either. And really, I know where he’s coming from: I knew better yet still did it. For my part I’m sorry that I did it; but it’s time to be more than sorry.

So, in an effort to be a more stand-up member of the online community, I’m working at restructuring my image posting practices. For the time being I’m in the process of moving all my leeched images over to my Imageshack account so that I don’t steal any more bandwidth. However, as I’ve lately noticed Imageshack is having more and more issues with stability, I’m going to slowly work on transferring myself to Picasa as one of their hallmarks is stability (And being Google based, they can make those claims).

There was also the question raised of Copyright. This is a much murkier issue; especially on the internet. Generally if I can find an image online and there isn’t any kind of watermark obscuring said image, I tend to assume that the original author of the image was intending it for fair use open distribution; especially when hosted publicly on a site like Flickr. Further, other than some occasional cropping or resizing, I leave pictures in their original state; specifically leaving identifying text as a citation for the image’s origin (Such as with my Webcomic posts; I feel that the comics are very well cited as the origin of all the images posted in association with the webcomic). And while it isn’t the author’s responsibility to identify all his/her images with their information and web address, it’s a darn good practice: one that I should really start to do myself.

However, in the murky depths of internet image posting there are bound to be mistakes. Images that aren’t free, or should not be available as such get posted by others. Because of this I’m inviting anyone whose image I’ve used or will use to contact me if they are upset by my use of their image. I am entirely fine with taking down an image if the original author of the image never meant if for open use; or conversely, if all you want is a link and citation I’m more than happy to add that to the image.

Again, apologies to those who were upset with my poor internet conduct. I shall make more of an effort to prevent such happenings again.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

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