I solved some mysteries today–not only the “Legolas search,” but also why my bandwidth usage has been so high. According to my statistics, practically the whole world visits my site every day, but my email says otherwise. The problem turned out to be that some people liked the images I have on some of my movie pages so much, they “hotlinked” to them, instead of just copying them. Linking to an image might feel more ethical than copying it, but it’s much more insidious. While the Web works by people linking to **pages**, linking to images is a very subtle form of theft that drains bandwith without visits. None of those images were mine, anyway, they belong to their respective studios as noted, and can be included in other sites as “fair use” as they were here.
The bandwidth drain wasn’t critical, but it might become so if I choose to publicize my site. I decided to cut all the hotlinks now with a .htaccess file. Hey, you like the pretty picture? Just right-click and take it, OK? (Unless it’s a personal picture, or something I’ve obviously taken pains to customize–then ask, please!)