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Image leeching and how to avoid it

8/31/12 11:00am

What is image leeching?

When you copy an image URL from another website (such as IGN, for example) and paste it on your blog here as an image, you're leeching. It's also known as hotlinking, direct linking, bandwidth theft, etc.

Why is it bad?

First and foremost, you're using another website's bandwidth and that makes you look like a jerk. On top of that, you make ScrewAttack look bad by association.

Second, if the website that's hosting the image decides to stop hosting it, well that's it, your blog is now ruined because the picture is gone.

Finally, some websites prevent hotlinking by replacing it with another image. Usually it says something along the lines of "Stop stealing our bandwidth," so now no one can see the image you wanted to use and everyone can see that you decided to be a big ol' jerk and leech images. Great job.

How do I avoid leeching images?

Very simple. Re-host it. All you need to do is either save the image to your computer or copy the URLs of the images you want to use.

  1. Go to imgur.com
  2. (Optional) Register an account if you want to keep track of your pictures
  3. Click "Web"
  4. Paste the URLs of the images
  5. Click "Upload"

Alternatively, if you saved the image to your computer, click "Computer" instead. If you want to upload several images at the same time, hold Alt and click the images you want to upload.

So now I can use this picture of Iwata holding a bunch of bananas without leeching it from another website.

Awesome. Now use this knowledge to help make ScrewAttack a better place!

More wicked cool stories and video from around the web. Got tips for us? Tips@ScrewAttack.com

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