No Miners Allowed in this Bar
I don't know quite what to make of this one, it's a practice I just recently discovered on the Internet, but after doing some research I found it's actually been going on for quite some time. It all started when a few weeks ago someone named Prottoss posted a message to The Help Desk's advertising forum, advertising a site called mediaminer.org. At first I didn't pay too much attention to it, but a few days later, one of the forum's regular posters warned everyone about how Prottoss was posting his site on several forums. He went on to explain how their site contained an image search engine, including one for several anime. When you typed in a search for say "sailor moon" your results came up with several images, which upon closer inspection turned out to be all lifted from other websites! This not only included images from image galleries, but images that were used as part of layouts, and other things like fanarts, and link banners. Just about everything they could "suck" off a website they added to their image database. For the final kicker, when you click on the larger view of the images, you get an image direct-linked off the site they took it from.
Now before I get into why this stinks (I think that's the first time I've used the word "stink" in a rant!), I should also mention Altavista has been running a similar image search on their site for quite sometime. However, in some ways, AltaVista is not quite so bad. When you click on a thumbnail, AltaVista takes you right to the index page of the site where the image is located. This way at least you a chance to read the site's policy on image usage, and give the site a proper page viewing, by getting a chance to look around the site. On the other hand, Mediaminer does give you the link to the site, and the image's actual location, but you don't have to actually visit the site to get the image.
Who gave them permission to come in and "mine" all of these images off other sites? Several sites have some strict rules about their images being used on other sites, especially those rules about other sites using up their bandwidth. So you can end up with two violations in one here, first you get Mediaminer adding the image to their database, then you get someone who comes in, saves the image to their hard drive, and then adds the image to their website. Sure you could argue anyone can steal an image without Mediaminer, but the problem is, with Mediaminer, it just about encourages it. Why else would it have all these images indexed in one place? So you can find the images you want, save them, and use them. Meanwhile you can skip the disclaimers, skip the policies on images, skip the site, and just take, take, take.
Imagine if you will, someone who goes to one of these image searches, downloads a fanart, or layout image and then uses it on their page. The person who created the image finds a site using their image. They then have to ask for their images to be removed. This can sometimes be a messy situation. Then imagine how it could only be made worse if the person using the image believes they don't have to remove it simply because they didn't get it from the site where it was originally, but from another site like Mediaminer.
My suggestion to website owners out there who are worried their images might have been indexed by Mediaminer, I would suggest visiting their site (http://mediaminer.org) and running a search for your images. Use something that might be in your site title or something to find the image. For example, I searched for "Sailormoon worst" and "Amazoness Quartet" and ended up finding one of our link banners, and one of our award banners in there. Then email them and request that all images indexed from your site be removed from their database.
UPDATE (April 28th):
I have since received a reply to my request to have our images removed from Mediaminer, and I was pleased to find they respected my request, and responded to it fairly quickly. I also have been receiving reports from others who wrote them, that said they could get their images removed without any problems as well. All you need to do in order to get your images removed is to write them, give them your URL and request all images from that URL be removed from their database.
UPDATE #2 (May 8th):
As of May 5th, Mediaminer.org has altered it's database system. It no longer allows it's visitors to go directly to the images on other sites. It now has implemented a system similar to Atlavista, where the only clickable link you are provided with is the HTML page the image sits on, so if they click the link, they now end up going to the website, not the image. This was the biggest problem we had with their site, so it is a welcomed improvment. They still list the URL of the image, but it is no longer clickable.
By the way, they announced this change was sparked by several concerned webmasters who were visited their site and complained about their original system...
News, with a Bit of Reality on the Side
Let me squeeze in a bit of news item here. Normally I would post this on the updates page, but because I'm only passing on this news due to something I read on that most reliable of news sources, SOS, [cough! cough!] I'll stick it in here.
Anyway, SOS is reporting how Sailor Moon is being taken off Toonami and Cartoon Network at least for the time being. Now this much they got right! However, their whole speculation about how it might only be removed for May sweeps is incorrect. If you have been following the news coming out of Cartoon Network lately you will have known Sailor Moon has been due to be taken off the schedule since the beginning of April. On April 4th it was reported on Toonami's schedule that with the arrival of Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon would be dropped from Toonami's schedule. Now Dragon Ball's air date has been pushed back to June 25th, from when it was original to be started on June 4th, which is quite some time away, however, this week Toonami announced it would be dropping Sailor Moon in favour of an extra episode of Gundam Wing. By the way, this was something else SOS had right. However, they didn't mention the hour of Gundam Wing would only be on for one week, May 7th, to May 11th. After that week is up, Toonami would be changing from three hours, to only two hours. Sailor Moon would not be included in that new two hour block, and will only include, Superman, Tenchi, and then one hour of Dragonball Z. If you can read the writing on the wall, that schedule will more than likely stay in place until June 25th when Dragon Ball is due to start.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when you look at all of this, and consider how Toonami has a bunch of new shows starting to line up for this fall, it could be quite some time before Sailor Moon is seen on the network again. Nothing is carved in stone, the show might be back sometime in the future, it might even appear outside of Toonami in another time slot, but for now who knows?
April 20th, 2001
As usual any comment made on this page is that of "The Amazoness
Quartet" or one of its members. Tripod has nothing to do with our opinions,