Yep, that’s right. Some pathetic waste of bandwidth and skin set up a crawler to Chainmaille related images over to his own photobucket account, and post them to his site. Around a week ago, Peter Croteau of Virginia made the mistake of stealing images and articles submitted and owned by the members of M.A.I.L. Following him failing to understand the burden of proof, intellectual property laws, or how to conduct himself as a member of a civilized society. His website was shut down.
That lasted about a week.
Now Chainmaille.org is back up online, and using a loophole in the EULA with photobucket and several other free image hosting services. Packed with images owned by myself, and many other maille crafters. The solution, aside from pulling all my images from photobucket, is a bit elusive. I’d move everything from photobucket right away if I could find anything on flickr that allows me to link to my images directly, so they could be used in forum posts and such. Since I haven’t found that yet. I’m left with keeping my hosting private, which revokes the license loophole, but it may for the time being mean until I can obtain another hosting option I’m limited in where I can post my images. Unless I begin leaving them here as blog posts and linking to them.
The rest of the solution, is more important. Association with little Petey and Chainmaille.org should be cut off by anyone with any respect for intellectual property. There’s a reason I’m not linking to him like I try to remember to do with everyone else. His site is an attempt at Search Engine Optimization, without putting any real effort into creating his own content. Search engines require links from outside sources, such as bloggers, community sites, or anywhere else, to partially determine how useful users are likely to find the site in question, and thus the order in which a site appears on a search return.
What Peter wants is to steal traffic from artisans and crafters by appearing in the top slots of search engine results, without actually being a crafter himself. Worse, he wants to steal traffic from you by using your work. Taken without permission through a segment of the EULA that states basically, that while you still own your work on Photobucket, you automatically grant every other Photobucket user the right to publicly display, alter, edit, add to, remove from, etc. He wants your traffic, maillers, for one reason, to generate revenue from advertisement links. Yes, like some of the ads I have here. The difference however is a vast chasm: I’ve made maille, I’ve taken photos, I’ve written articles and the occasional bit of funny; Little Petey there, hasn’t yet shown any ability to make maille, snap photos, or write anything but whiney confrontational blather directed at people who own the things he’s stolen in the past.
What have we learned from this? Peter Croteau is one of the lowest kind of parasites. Photobucket isn’t as cool as it seems. In the end, there’s still assholes on the ‘net. I wonder what Google will think about using the edge of the law to coerce adsense clicks?
Have fun, Unless you’re Peter Corteau of Virginia Beach, VA. If that’s the case, have a stroke, or a cardiac arrest.