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Thou shalt not steal what is already at your possesion

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So…. there I was, minding my own business like I usually do, and happened across the webcomic Silicon Apartment, which is like Everybody Loves Eric Raymond, but with actual drawing instead of the photo-collage, and the characters are corporate moguls Bill Gates and Steve Jobs rather than Free Software leaders and hangers-on Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds and Eric Raymond.

At any rate, looking at it was I, when I noticed the page is really heavy. Tabbing through it caused Firefox to stutter, which is odd, considering none other of the usual 20+ tabs gave me any trouble. My initial assumption was that the image is heavy. Might be that it’s actually a full-resolution monster resized by setting its width and height rather than compressed properly, or mayhap it’s just a very high-quality image. So I right clicked and chose “view”.

Whoops. This is the actual page I was taken to using Firefox’ “view” option. Attempting to right click and “save as” resulted in the browser trying to download same empty “dontsteal.png” image.

So, what’s wrong with this picture (apart from being an empty .png, that is)? One, the “dontsteal.png”. I realise writing about Gates and Jobs gets you in a certain mood, but, calling your customers thieves is a privilege saved for mega-corporates and Copyrights-enforcement organisations, not budding cartoonists. Two, it’s annoying.

But third, and most obvious, this is a webcomic about two tech figures, which, I’m assuming, is targeting tech-guys. Exactly those who, in face of your ingenious plan, can find their way to your precious images.

Here’s a small advice. Once you place your picture on a web page, that can be seen on a browser, and a user loads the page on his browser, YOUR IMAGE IS ALREADY BEEN DOWNLOADED AND SAVED ON HIS HARD-DRIVE.
The whole “right-click to save image” is BS. So is “view”. It’s there, along with the page’s html, javascript, css, and the rest of the images. If a user really want to steal your images, all he needs is to open the cache folder and copy it. Firefox 3 makes it even easier, with the “Page Info” feature, allowing me to click on the page’s “media” tab, and save every, and any, image (in practice, copying from the cache to my folder of choice). So now I have a copy of “0006.png”, which turns out to be of regular image size and weight, and not the cause of the site’s problems. Perhaps it has to do with this snippet of algorithmic wizardry found on the page’s source:


//specify corresponding links below
var imagelinks=new Array()
imagelinks[1]="mailto:ad@siliconapartment.com?subject=Please send me more Informations about advertising at The Silicon Apartment!"
imagelinks[2]="mailto:ad@siliconapartment.com?subject=Please send me more Informations about advertising at The Silicon Apartment!"
imagelinks[3]="mailto:ad@siliconapartment.com?subject=Please send me more Informations about advertising at The Silicon Apartment!"
imagelinks[4]="mailto:ad@siliconapartment.com?subject=Please send me more Informations about advertising at The Silicon Apartment!"
imagelinks[5]="mailto:ad@siliconapartment.com?subject=Please send me more Informations about advertising at The Silicon Apartment!"
imagelinks[6]="mailto:ad@siliconapartment.com?subject=Please send me more Informations about advertising at The Silicon Apartment!"
var ry=Math.floor(Math.random()*myimages.length)

Written by Erez

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 11:31

Posted in Comics, Internet

Tagged with , ,

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