Let's explain what bandwidth is, when you own a domain you have it hosted, and you are given a certain amount space to store files, you are also given a certain amount of space for visitors a month. It's the
visitors that use bandwidth. It's called "bandwidth" band is the thickness of the pipe it's going through, and the width of it tells you how much of that band you are using.
To steal someone's bandwidth means to run off another ones server, other then your own. Never link to an image or file on someone else's server. Many demo sites get thousands of hits a week. If a person gets 2000 visitors a day to their site and if only 1/10 of those visitors linked to just one file on that server, that would be 200 people per day stealing bandwidth from them. In just one month, that would be 6,000 people who have linked directly to a voiceover file, and even if they were all on low traffic sites that only got 10 visitors a day, they would be paying for the bandwidth of 60,000 hits a day for people that didn't even visit that site! Add that up over a longer period of time - for one month it would be 1,800,000 hits. That doesn't even take into account the people that link to other people's voice-over files in email. You can see why sites shut down because of the high cost of popularity. It's just not fair for anyone to expect us, the people who provide demos for everyone's enjoyment and benefit, to pay money out of our pocket for illegal linking because someone is too lazy to learn or to be bothered to do things right.
Stealing Bandwidth is Illegal. People don't realize how easily they can be caught stealing bandwidth and images. Each time a file is called from the server, it is recorded in what is called a log file. If you link to a file on someone else's server, it records the web site that the file is called from, so if you link illegally to someone else's files, each time your page is accessed by anyone, that is recorded. You may think if you signed up with a free host you can get away with it. Perhaps you used a fictitious name and address when you signed up and used a free email account too. Doesn't matter. Every time you send an email; create, modify or add to a web site, your IP address is recorded by your ISP. Your IP address can easily be tracked to your ISP, who has logs of which account has used which IP address and on what dates. You are never completely anonymous on the Internet. These are the same files the FBI uses to catch child pornographers, hackers, and other nefarious types.
In conclusion, the law states: Log files are considered legal evidence and you can be sued for stealing bandwidth (or copyrighted property for that matter). Damages are awarded up to $100,000 plus proven costs. Proof of monetary loss isn't necessary for damages to be awarded.
Another thing I would like to explain, to the many who are not sure what all this means. Sharing links via emails, linking back and/or saving a link to your favorite site does NOT constitute as bandwidth theft. All of that is perfectly legal & OK to do.
I have noticed many of you email me wondering if what they are doing is correct. Don't worry. You can share as many sites as you like as well as save them in your favorites. That's why we create pages. We want you to enjoy them. In my opinion, if one doesn't know about "direct linking" or doesn't know HTML, chances are you are NOT doing it.
Many of us who pay for our servers to host our sites sometimes pay extra for "others" who run off our servers. That is why we get upset. I personally do NOT think it is right that I or anyone else should have to pay for your pretty emails or web pages as well, when you link directly to my files. There are many FREE servers the Internet offers. Stealing Bandwidth is no different then someone who illegally hooks up to your phone line, calls all over the world & you get stuck paying for their conversations. So please, on behalf of me & many others who have sites, free or paid for, DO NOT link directly to our files. Thank You =o)
Those of you who are thinking about linking directly to my graphics & running off MY server think about this...
This server allows me to see exactly where my hits are coming from. It also tells me where my files are being pulled from. Every day I check these stats. Not because I care about my hits, but because I want to see who is STEALING MY BANDWIDTH. Recently I have decided to do something other then report these people. All I can say is, if you think the voice files you are linking too are the voice over files people are hearing when they view your site or email GUESS AGAIN & if I haven't gotten to certain ones, rest assure I will! It can be quite embarrassing to have people hear a page stating you're a "thief"
I feel this is fair warning to those who do this. If all this does not work next step is to send the information to my server, where I have been told legal action can be taken. They can also shut you down & you can loose your ISP for ever.
Now I ask you... Still plan on linking directly to my voice files?? I am not the only one with this problem & I feel anyone who creates demos for you to enjoy, you have an obligation out of respect to those people who take the time to create these files NOT to do this.
There is no excuse to those who do this. If in doubt ask or research the correct way on how to add download to your hard drive. All of us who create demos and/or make web sites will be more then happy to explain what is right & wrong. Everyone has terms, some differ, but WE ALL ask that you DO NOT link directly to our files.
Those of you who do the right thing; I thank you & appreciate you using my voice files.
This page was inspired by http://www.phenomenalwomen.com:80/donteventhinkaboutit/ Sadly her site is no longer active but the page is archived and brillant!