July 19, 2011

In an attempt to deal with some persistent plagiarism and reposting of my work on other sites, I’ve [temporarily] disabled hot-linking of images from my site.

If this somehow affects your viewing of the images in the various articles, please let me know here via a comment, so that I may have a clearer idea of the implications of that.

Sorry if this has inadvertently affected anyone.


{ 54 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Sean Phillips July 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Doing this has broken the images in your RSS feed. You need to provide an exception to allow the images in your feed…


2 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

OK… this is a big problem then. I’ll see if we can provide the exception … if not, I’ll have my web techie guy revert it back to how it was.


3 Jay July 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I always use the rss feed to read on my iPad, no images display nope, hope it can be sorted.


4 Steve Mermelstein July 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Images are not appearing in Google Reader or the popular Reeder app that many use to consume RSS feeds. I don’t believe there is a way to exempt Reeder and that is a problem.

The good thing about allowing hotlinked images it should allow you to more quickly discover who is displaying your photos without license.


5 Dulal Ahmed July 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Im not able to see the images and im using a Apple Mac Powerbook G4 10.5.8./ Hope you can get this fixed!


6 Angelo Chiu July 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

No image displayed on Google Reader just like Steve Mermelstein. Hope you can sort it out soon.


7 Blake July 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I’m of the opinion that disabling hotlinking doesn’t really affect plagiarism, in the end the negative impact to legitimate users is usually larger than the gain. People can still easily download any image and host it on their own server. Unfortunately, that’s just how the web works. There isn’t any way around it.

However, I’d like to offer a more enjoyable solution. When you find someone hot linking to images on your site. Just replace that image with one advertising your website. That way you’ll get free advertising on their site…and you’ll chuckle every time you do it. With a little creativity, you can make the images really funny and make those people stealing them look like morons. Just a thought.


8 Amanda July 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

It’s a shame and I deal with it all the time. Even if you find a different avenue so it can’t be pulled from the site itself, people can still screen capture the photo, unfortunately. Like Blake said above, there isn’t a way around it. You can watermark it across the image?

Too bad this has become a huge issue for you after all the wonderful things you’ve done on this site. I’ve learned so much, it would be unfortunate some inconsiderate people don’t respect copyright.


9 devoted tangent follower July 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

It has broken google reader viewing. I don’t mind clicking through tho because your blog is just that good. But a tad inconvenient.


10 April July 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Not working for me either in Google Reader.

It wasn’t working while viewing your website directly earlier, but that piece seems to have been fixed now.


11 Peter van der Does July 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm


I just send you an email with a possible solution for the hotlinking and the RSS feeds. The topic of the email is: Hotlinking and RSS problems, a solution.


12 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Peter .. thank you! I did get your email, and immediately forwarded it to my tech guy.

If this doesn’t solve it, we’ll just revert to how it was. I can’t have a large portion of the readers of this blog suffer because of the actions of a few who abuse it.


13 gioacchino July 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Hy Neil, still no images in google reader… I hope you’ll find the right solution but in the meantime… don’t leave us without your precious work and keep on showing us your gorgeous pictures!


14 Alan July 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Same issue with google reader, images show up as “lifted from”, and when you hit the link to view the site, the image is cached in the browser so it shows up as ‘lifted from’ on your site as well, until you do a shift-reload to clear the cache.


15 Arnold Gallardo July 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Yikes! Can we know exactly what was done Neil? Were they re-purposing your blog and images? Or Lifting it straight?


16 DD July 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Hey Neil, some pictures I take, that I really like I hesitate on posting on websites because I have had my picture show up on e-bay as a way to sell a item. I also think why would someone steal my images when there are so many pictures better then mine to take.

But don’t you watermark your images?? How can they plagiarize that?


17 Griffin Stewart July 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback everyone.

I would like to apologize to all the RSS readers as I did not think to unblock that when changing the code. I have made the changes with huge help from Peter van der Does – Thank so much Peter! – and images should be visible via RSS readers now. Please let me or Neil know if you see any further issues. Thanks so much.


18 Brian July 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Neil, Sorry to hear you’re having the issues. FYI…a quick check shows that I can still drag an image off your page onto my desktop. Yes, it’s screen resolution…but if I were a ne’er-do-well…I could use it on some web project I have. I don’t know what the right solution is yet. I know we ought to be concerned and protect our intellectual property. But as others have noted, sometimes we can only accomplish that protection in ways detrimental to what we’re trying to do in the first place. Really enjoy all that you share, and have certainly co-opted the BFT in my kit! Best, Brian.


19 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm

My concern here wasn’t that someone might drag the image onto their computer’s desktop. In fact, anyone browsing my site will automatically have my images and text loaded on their computer, via their browser’s cache. It’s just how it works.

What really pissed me off this time, was someone who automatically reposts EVERYTHING from my site. And the site’s webhost (DreamHost) wanted me to do a proper DMCA take-down, and advised me to use a lawyer (mega $$) … with NO guarantee that the miscreant won’t just do it again in future.

The person in this case, makes a few pennies off click-through adverts, using material posted on my site, and Kirk Tuck’s site and Strobist, and a few others. What really bothered me, was that this scammy site ranked higher than me for certain search phrases. Otherwise I’d shrug it off like I unfortunately have had to shrug off dozens other similar sites which auto-posts my material.

On a related note:
What I find puzzling, is how often I find my text and images copied & pasted and used on another site. The great puzzle of course is …. the stuff here is for FREE. It’s not like they’re saving money by re-posting it. Or doing the world a great Robin-Hood flavored favor by giving away my riches for free …. since, you know, it is already for free.

There is of course, the blatant theft of my images by Dino Direct recently.

But the worst case so far of theft a few years ago, was when my entire HTML-based wedding photography site – One Perfect Moment – was stolen and reused. Mandy (and her obnoxious “web designer”) had the temerity to claim that my website and images were a template they had bought, denying all wrong-doing, and not even offering an apology. Oh, nevermind the apology, Mandy started to smear my name in at least one forum, that I was bullying her.

It’s a strange, strange world.


20 HITOSHI UJIIE July 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm





21 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm
22 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

So let me use the comment by Hitoshi Ujiie as an example.

The world revolves around his perception and needs. Since, temporarily at least, he can’t view the images via an RSS feeder, the only option would be to just close this site. There’s a certain crazy logic at work here. No appreciation for all the help and info received over the years. The site is immediately worthless.

It reminds me of the great line from The Dark Knight:
Some men just want to watch the world burn.

As I said … it’s a strange, strange world.


23 HITOSHI UJIIE July 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I know you are upset by my comments. But this is the reality of blogs and internet world. I post very valuable information on my site including marketing reports of inkjet textile printing. Someone might pay a lot of money for this but I made it open for my choice.

I appreciate your sites and information you gave to all of us. But the problem like this is given. This is why I said it.


24 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Hitoshi .. your reply still makes no sense whatsoever.
But I can offer this reply – feel free never to visit my site again. I can do without your type.


25 HITOSHI UJIIE July 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm


I am not going to type or visit anymore.

But my last comment is that you need to understand “this is the concept of social network”, which involves inherited problems like this.


26 Kevin July 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Great. Now where am I going to go to find commentary from experts in inkjet textile printing!!!

And, yeah, no images still. :(


27 Neil vN July 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Kevin … we’ve reversed the changes, so it should be back to normal.
Try clearing your cache, and see if it comes back up again.


28 John Woods July 20, 2011 at 12:02 am

Neil, I’ll jump through rings of fire to read your site. I’ll pay. I’ll dual-boot my Mac to Windows if that’s what it takes. I read every damn relevant photography website, just about every day, and Tangents is the best. It’s sad that people are willing to copy your work outright (I googled your paragraph on your ‘About’ page, that thing has gone international!) and asinine that they think people won’t notice. People say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but fuck ‘em. Do what you have to do to keep this thing running and I’ll do what I have to do to follow you.


29 Leo July 20, 2011 at 12:35 am

It works fine for me now, using google reader; you did not allow to comment on the newest post, the one asking if it works or not.
Thanks for the great blog!


30 Neil vN July 20, 2011 at 12:40 am

Good to hear it is back to normal! (phew)


31 DT July 20, 2011 at 2:52 am


I understand your frustrations. I had a website a few years ago (non commercial and just something I put together to share my interests in trekking and photography) but I too got fed up with people taking my images etc., and finally I pulled the plug on it.

What I hope, is that you take some solace in the fact that so many people find your blog such a valuable resource. I don’t do any paid photographic work, but I learn so much from you, and I transfer that in to helping me improve my own photographic skills.

You are one of those photographers who are willing to share your knowledge in helping to develop the wider photographic community and for that I salute you.



32 Jan July 20, 2011 at 3:01 am

I have no issues if there are no pics in RSS. I use RSS only to see the blurb of a post before clicking thru to the post. RSS is not supposed to replace the whole post. If somehow apple has misused this by somehow reading the whole post via RSS then …

Also your link to the post with ‘Mandy’ doesn’t do anything?


33 Klaus July 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

Neil, i am totally with you. I drive a small BLOG with text and pictures and i experience the same you do ! There are some persons not willing to accept copyrights, they will not stay on the legal side, they are Thieves !! They are criminals ! And they should be treated like such! It is indeed hard to open lawsuits against them due to protection thru the internet. There is no real legal regulation on such Internet crimes. And due to the international aspect of internet we do need some internation valid legal methods to protect our products. It does not matter what it is. When it is NOT mine, i have to ask or to buy it in order to get the rights of using it. But those persons in the dark, anonymous IP World, will always do their ciminal acts….they lack of moral, sense of what is right and wrong. They are spoiled brats… need punishment ! I hate to say that but such persons are criminals in my eyes. They use products from other persons to enrich themselfs without paying for it. The believe INTERNET IS FOR FREE !!

It is NOT !

So please, stay online. I love your website and i bought both books :)
Sometimes i think i should watermark all my published stuff like this “This picture was stolen from kweide and his BLOG”



34 parv July 20, 2011 at 5:40 am

Thanks Neil for the humorous Louis C K video.


35 Edy July 20, 2011 at 5:40 am

I am really disgusted by the behavior of some players in the “stealing” the images that your wonderful work produced.
All your work, your pictures, your photography lessons must be absolutely unique to your property ‘.
No one can ‘and should take advantage of this amazing site for their own benefit.
Some people should be punished!!
We will report ‘, here in Italy, If I find’ bad guys who dared to take advantage of your photographs.
Forever grateful and supporter of this wonderful site.
Edy Trigona Genoa Italy


36 Jay July 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

Works for me now, many thanks.


37 Bruno Delzant July 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

Thanks it works again.
It’s true that yesterday seeing those images been replaced was quite annoying.
But I do understand the reasons why you did this.
Quite happy you find a solution to let us read your articles through google reader :-)


38 Vincent July 20, 2011 at 8:22 am


I have to agree with John Woods. Your website is one of the best I’ve found. Every time I read a post, I come away more knowledgeable, more equipped to handle the variety of situations in which I find myself when shooting. Thank you so much for providing all of this knowledge (and the accompanying examples and illustrations) for free. I hope that the actions of some people don’t negate the benefits that so many of us receive.


39 Shane July 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

Neil, I too, think you should just close your site. Then, adopt me as a son and second shooter. Hell, I’ll even let you date my Mom and call you Dad.

Thanks for everything you do on here. Not only do enjoy the images but the information is priceless.


40 Ovidiu July 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

images are showing up now in different RSS readers for me.


41 Klaus July 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Neil you are allowed to smooch with my neighbors young cat ….



42 Neil vN July 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Klaus … I dunno. I got a better offer from Shane already.


43 Shane July 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

LoL I was hoping that comment had enough sarcasm dripping from it. Though, my mom is quite a catch!


44 gioacchino July 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Neil, all’s well that ends well, your great images are popping out again from my grey google reader.
BTW, I really liked your photo of the bride with only available light.


45 Rob Lowry July 21, 2011 at 1:19 am

It’s kinda mind boggling how the semi-anonymity of the internet gives some people license to let loose their inner @$$hole. Knowing there is pretty much nothing you can do to stop them, the bottom feeders suddenly find a pair of b@ll$ to ‘do as they wilt’. The facade of strength, covering up absolute cowardice.

The internet is within itself, both heaven and hell.

Keep up the great work Neil. You’ve taught so many people so much … please don’t let the actions of a couple fuktards ruin it for the rest of us.



46 Alex July 21, 2011 at 2:23 am

Hi Neil
Maybe you can have a look at the website http://www.rayjardine.com/index.shtml.
I don’t know how he does it, but is seems that one can copy neither pix nor text from there. I don’t know how it is with RSS etc. Maybe the techniques could work for you as well.
I hope this helps.

PS: Since a few months I am reading your tangents site. It is quite a mind-opener. Just like the Jardine website: different topics though.


47 fotografii aniversari July 21, 2011 at 7:30 am

Sorry about that. But I’m happy now it’s OK, it is indeed a crazy world.


48 Lance July 21, 2011 at 11:22 am


There are small scripts one can place into the code of a web page that will disable all right-click actions and simply throw up a small dialog box instead. That appears to be what he’s done. The images are all individually loaded into embedded flash players though. No, you can’t right-click > save, but you could still hit printscreen and paste into a document in Photoshop, so I don’t really see why he went to all the trouble.


49 Neil vN July 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Alex, disabling right-click & save-as, does nothing to protect the images and text. There are numerous screen-grab software out there. The one I use is Snag-It. Even just hitting Cmd-Shift-4 on a Mac will allow you to snag anything you see on the screen. And that’s the truth … if you can see it, then you’re able to grab it.

As for the text, via the menu … View >> View Source … will give you the text.

That’s the sad reality. Anything is up for grabs. And therein lies the problem with the Napster-era web user … where it is felt that everything should be free. And in my case, where it is available for free, we have clowns that insist it is okay when material is stolen and misappropriated, and that it’s just how it is. And that somehow we should just accept this abuse.


50 Arnold Gallardo July 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I guess the only think to do is a very large watermark across the image ehh Neil?


51 Erin July 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I’m so so so SO sorry morons are making it difficult for you. There are so many of us out here that ADORE you and your site and would be so sad if anything happened to it. For most of us, it would never cross our minds to use someone else’s images! That is the very essence of our business and you would think fellow artists would understand that one thing if nothing else!

I’d pay for your site. I’d pay just for your pithy liners and analysis. You are phenomenal!
We are not entitled to your wealth of information and you are gracious and generous to let us have it for free. For that, I thank you. No really. THANK YOU.

-Erin, just a random photographer who is indebted to you and extremely appreciative of your insane talent


52 Lawrence July 23, 2011 at 1:52 am

I am using RSS feeds i cant see an image at all


53 Neil vN July 23, 2011 at 5:21 am

Hi there Lawrence

There is no photograph accompanying this article. So if you only see text …. that is fine then. We were referring to the other articles.


54 David Kindler July 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I use Reeder for Mac and the images are back!


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