I received the following email today and found it disturbing to say the least (what host wouldn't?) I thought I would share the email with you and ask your opinions of this service as well.
Greetings my friends,
I believe that this is important to all of us. It's a matter of bandwidth theft and it's really bad
Arriba Vista is taking images from websites without permission. They send a search spider through your web site and they harvest every single image that you have and they put those image names into a database.
When someone [goes] there and does a keyword search, they are given thumbnails of your image, and when they click the thumbnail, the full size image is generated (your image from your site) and can be downloaded directly off of their web site, which means the person never has to visit your site to see more or to download the image.
To get the full size image, they pull it directly from your web server.
We know this is bandwidth stealing. If you aren't familiar with how web hosts charge for bandwidth, they generally give you an allotted amount, and if you go over that, they charge you more money for every MEG that you go over. Every time Arriba shows the full size image of your image, they are using your bandwidth which can increase the cost of your web hosting bill. Bandwidth should be for the people who actually visit your site, not this kind of search engines who are making a profit off of your images.
So far we have found my images, Sissi from Fantasy Realm, Close Encounters, Doc Geckos, Mars West, and many other sites images are being harvested.
Arriba Vista is putting all the websites they are pulling images from into a very prime position to go over the allotted bandwidth allocation and therefore will be charged more by their web host. We are suggesting that you go to www.arribavista.com
and search keywords that you might have in your site.
If you find your images there do two things write to them at: firstname.lastname@example.org and request that your images be removed immediately and that your web site should be placed on the block list so that no further of their search spiders enter and harvest your images. Request for detailed information on how you may prevent any further harvesting by their search spiders.
Then rename your images and upload a graphic that can be displayed instead *G*
Please let your friends who do web building know about this site too.
This site is making money off a lot of peoples hard work and that is wrong.
Just check it out and if your work is there or your friends work is there do not hesitate go into action.
As a host you can see why I would be upset about a site like this. As a site owner I would expect, at least, this site would need permission before indexing. This is certainly an engine I will be blocking from my own sites providing it follows the robots.txt rule, if not -- then I'll be complaining to their host about it.
Curious if any of you have thoughts about this?
P.S. This was taken from their very own copyright page!
Remember, respect for individual intellectual property and the laws that protect that property is essential for the Web to remain a truly open resource for all users. When in doubt about materials you want to download, Ask First!!
[This message has been edited by Deb (edited 03-18-99).]