I announced a few days ago a major change in site security. The intent was simple: Allow a broader range of access to multimedia files while blocking illegitimate uses.
The result? Frustration.
I originally modified the referrers and user agents that could access images and videos hoping to allow a larger swathe of news readers and other valid users. Instead, I found myself trying to manage a rapidly growing list of thieves. Within days I had an access control mechanism containing more than 1,000 idiots trying to steal my bandwidth and content, and similarly I found myself having to filter through massive log files every day just to keep that list up to date.
That’s simply too much for me to tackle just so I can offer content to those who need it while invalidating requests from those trying to steal it.
Needless to say, I’ve since put back the controls that allow access only to those I authorize.
So here’s how it stands: Multimedia content can only be accessed from my various sites and servers. Well, that and several search engines I can identify. If you’re using a news reader that now cannot display images from this site or my photoblog, contact me and I’ll try to add your specific service to the allowed list.
It’s just that I can’t keep up with all the useless, idiotic, asshole thieves in the world who focus on taking from others illegally and at cost to the content owners. It’s much easier for me to block en masse and address exceptions as needed/possible.