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Author Topic: Hotlinking: What it is and why it isn't allowed  (Read 2547 times)
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caffeinated.joy
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« on: April 15, 2010, 08:21:31 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. Whether there are img tags around a hotlink or not, a hotlink is a hotlink.

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.

A clarification courtesy of Tenshii~Akari:

Another clarification on hotlinking:

Posting links from another site that goes straight to downloading a file off of their site is also bandwidth theft.  Please refrain from doing this.  If you have a link to a download on a site you want to share but the page won't allow you to directly link to it, please remember to link to the site's homepage and add instructions on where to look instead of doing the previously mentioned.
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