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Author Topic: Hotlinking: what it is, and why it's not allowed.  (Read 2646 times)
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Chaavik
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« on: June 25, 2009, 05:00:38 pm »

There is still confusion about hotlinking images and why it's not allowed. Hopefully this explanation will help clear this up for those of you who are still confused.

Hotlinking to an image (also known as piggybacking, leeching and other descriptive names) is when you use the img tags to wrap around an image found on another site to make it appear here, or any other site. This is bandwidth theft. Every time a page with a hotlinked image is loaded, the outside server has to use bandwidth to display the image... bandwidth someone else is paying for. It's bad netiquette and we don't allow it. If it helps you to understand, it's like someone else plugging into your phone line to make a long distance call you have to pay for. Bandwidth theft is a serious issue since you are, in essence, stealing money out of someone's pocket.

What you should do is save the image to your computer and upload it to a third party image hosting service, such as Photobucket, Imageshack or whatever hosting site you prefer, and display it here that way. Most image hosting sites are simple to use and will provide you with the bulletin board code you need for your images to display here. It only takes a few minutes to upload and grab the code (so the oft seen "I didn't have the time" excuse is a poor one, indeed). Any images we find hotlinked will be removed and if you keep hotlinking after being asked not to, you will be warned and possibly even banned. 

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