Steve's Photos - digital photography by Steve Rider



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Image Use Policy

We allow non-commercial use of the images on this site with attribution to Stephen A Rider per the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License as illustrated below.

No Hotlinking Please!

Hotlinking is the practice of embedding a link to an image on one website into a page on another website. Please do not hotlink to images hosted on this site, it uses our bandwidth without allowing us to control the fashion in which our images are presented. Hotlinking is essentially theft. Here is what WikiPedia has to say about hotlinking.

Inline linking and HTTP

The technology behind the World Wide Web, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), does not make any distinction of types of links—all links are functionally equal. Resources may be located on any server at any location.

When a web site is visited, the browser first downloads the textual content in the form of an HTML document. The downloaded HTML document may call for other HTML and/or stylesheet files to be processed. These files may contain tags which supply the URLs which allow images to display on the page. The HTML code generally does not specify a server, meaning that the web browser should use the same server as the parent code. It also permits absolute URLs that refer to images hosted on other servers.

When a browser downloads an HTML page containing such an image, the browser will contact the remote server to request the image content.

Common uses of linked content.

The ability to display content from one site within another is part of the original design of the Web's hypertext medium. Commonly accepted uses include: Web architects may deliberately segregate the images of a site on one server or a group of servers. Hosting images on separate servers allows the site to divide the bandwidth requirements between servers. As an example, the high-volume site Slashdot stores its "front page" at; individual stories on servers such as or; and serves images for each host from

Many web pages include banner ads. Banner ads are images hosted by a company that acts as middleman between the advertisers and the web sites on which the ads appear. The tag may specify a URL to a CGI script on the ad server, including a string uniquely identifying the site producing the traffic, and possibly other information about the person viewing the ad, previously collected and associated with a cookie. The CGI script determines which image to send in response to the request.

Hit counters show how many times a page has been loaded. Several companies provide hit counters that are maintained off site and displayed with an inline link.

Controversial uses of inline linking

The blurring of boundaries between sites can lead to other problems when the site violates users' expectations. Other times, inline linking can be done for malicious purposes. Content sites where the object is stored and from which it is retrieved may not like the new placement. Inline linking to an image stored on another site increases the bandwidth use of that site even though the site is not being viewed as intended. The complaint may be the loss of ad revenue or changing the perceived meaning through an unapproved context.

Cross-site scripting and phishing attacks may include inline links to a legitimate site to gain the confidence of a victim.

Pay-per-content services may attempt to restrict access to their content through complex scripting and inline linking techniques.

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