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The strange case of the Romanian agricultural ultralight with a penchant for pinup

22nd November 2012

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An eyebrow was raised this morning when glancing through referring sites—not something I do every day—I noticed I had a Wikipedia page as a referrer!

Now, I'm no where near illustrious or even infamous enough to get a Wikipedia page and stranger still the page was an entry for a type of Romanian agricultural ultralight biplane!

I'm used to referrer spam—sites which don't actually have any link to you but forge the HTTP referer header to get a mention for their site in your access logs—but Wikipedia?

That couldn't be right I thought. Normally I don't even take a look as if it is referrer spam you are giving them a hit, which is just what they want, but it hit me I'd semi-noticed, but paid no attention, over the last month a lot of hot links to an image from forums and sites with an aeronautical theme, with keywords such as "Aero-Services" "Cessna planos" (Portuguese for planes).

Hotlinking is cheeky!

Could it be some manufacturer of Eastern European airborne agricultural equipment has a penchant for pin-up and decided to honour me with one of my painted babes as nose art? My interest piqued, I had to take a look!

I couldn't see any images of mine on this entry for said Romanian agricultural ultralight biplane, nor any link and was about to give up, but then I hit on a link to what promised to be a depiction of said biplane in the External links section and, sure enough, one of my images loaded, and the mystery was solved.

Sadly I had not become an overnight hit with agriculture in Eastern Europe, the site to which the Wikipedia entry linked for it's images had decided to hot link protect its images by hot linking to one of mine from an entry on allowing search engines to hot link.

Now I sympathise with the owner of the site, I get the same thing (though not from Wikipedia), so I hotlink protect my images too, and I too use a substitute image—but from my own site, not someone else's site which they had found on Google images or whatever. So the irony is that their sites hot linking protection refers to an image on my site which in turn is hotlink protected and refers to substitute image, and this being Wikipedia, one that had me raise my hands to my face in shock.

Well, until I started laughing. The thing is you see, rather than the semi-risque "hotlinking is cheeky" image expected, my substitute image has bare breasts on it. And now Wikipedia was linking to them!

Ohh the sweet irony! But as my laughter died I concluded this was not good—I didn't really want to overly excite any moderator at Wikipedia with those painted tits, so I figured I best do something.

I passed on a very polite note full of "pleases" to owner of the site substituting their images for one of my images which was then being substituted for another image because … you get the idea, and I explained that with their hotlinking I wasn't so keen on Wikipedia linking to my very adult-only illustrations and that I didn't have a problem with a copy of the image being saved to their site or a free upload site for them to use—heck, I even uploaded a hotlinkable copy to Picasa for them, and I wished them well.

I'd have liked to have added that a link to my site on the image or one their site would be appreciated but I figured a respectable repository of aeronautical information wouldn't really want a link to my naked painted babes (even though it thought it fun to do so for their anti-hotlinking substitute image) and brought to a close the strange case of the Romanian agricultural ultralight with a penchant for pinup.

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Tags: hotlinking.