Thursday, October 27, 2005

freeloading Amazon images

If you would just take a quick look down the sidebar, you will notice that I have added the cover artwork for each of the books I have listed. Being that I'm too lazy to scan in the covers myself, I went to 'teh interweb' in search of quality photos to link to with a "img src=" hyperlink.

Well who else but Amazon.com, right? Well not exactly!
Amazon seems to discourage freeloading of their images by placing obtrusive "Search Inside this Book" arrows or watermarking them with "COPYRIGHT MATERIAL" so that freeloaders like me won't link directly to the image, or even rehost the image file since they appear with defacement gratis.

Well, after playing around with their hyperlink code, it appears that I found the right combo which displays the image I need in the right size for my page.

Here is an example:

<img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/XXXXXXXXXX.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg" />

The first part in blue characters should not be changed. The part in red must be replaced with the ASIN of the Amazon item you are linking to, which should be a 10-character string (the ASIN of a particular item can be found by looking at that items page on Amazon.com.)

As I finished writing about this exploit neat trick, I found a webpage titled "Abusing Amazon Images" which goes in detail into how you can manipulate the Amazon.com server to give you images in different sizes, with discount rates applied, and all other sorts of goodies Amazon.com rather you not know about.

To repeat what the author of that page said -- don't be an ungracious leech; if you're going to link to their hosted images, at least link to the sales page so that Amazon can make a buck off of it.

2 comments:

Dagmer Cleftjaw said...

I find your exploitation of a great public service to be a disservice to the online community. It's people like you with no concern for the welfare of society that cause the internet to be the nest of adders that it is today. You should be ashamed, not flaunting your debauchery.

bkmarcus said...

Ignore what Yokel Slackjaw has to say.

Amazon not only wants you to use their images to link into their sales pages (as you're doing) but if you apply for an associate's ID, you can even make commissions on any sales that result.

OR you could use (for example) Lew Rockwell's associate ID if you feel like donating your commissions to maintaining his website.