Mac rant site

Being hijacked

I am not referring to an airline hijacking.
Michael informed me this morning that our host for ATPM told him we went over our bandwidth limit for the month of February by 17 GB.
After further investigation, we learned that most of this extra bandwidth is going toward serving up various JPEGS to other sites. In other words, rather than downloading the desktop pictures we offer to our readers each month, and hosting it on their own server, people are linking directly to the file on our server for display on their sites. They are hijacking these images, and our bandwidth. This is nothing new. It’s just never happened on such a large scale before with any site I’ve been involved in.
People, this is not cool. First off, those desktop pictures are the copyrighted property of a photographer or artist who graciously donated their use to ATPM, and subsequently to our readers, as desktop pictures. This means if you want to use said picture on your web site, or any other medium, you should be contacting that photographer or artist for permission. Second, if said photographer or artist grants you permission for usage, you then host the picture on your own site. To link to the picture directly on ATPM means you are stealing our bandwidth, and driving up our costs.
We are not a for-profit publication. Our staff is all-volunteer, from the top down. Any moneys generated from ads and sponsorships goes in to our hosting costs, and after ten consecutive years of publication, those costs can be considerable. Thus, bandwidth is not something we can afford to give away, and certainly not at the rate of an extra 17 GB every month.
If you are one of the many persons out there linking directly to one of our pictures, please stop. You are violating legitimate copyright and stealing bandwidth from a group of people who do something each month out of love and joy.