Let me update and preface this article. There are many sites on the internet, like PhotoBucket or Multiply that allow hot linking. However, sites that pay hosting fees, we are talking about those — they pay for hosting, and they pay for bandwidth usage and overages.
Hot Linking: Illegal
Are you guilty?
by Jean Laverdiere
What is a hot link or hot linking?
This is when you see a gif or picture on another web site, copy it, then paste it right away onto a message on any internet site.
This is the exact same thing as Bandwidth Stealing! It is illegal and some have codes embedded that can trace the source where there pic is located on the web.
You can even see a source where it came from in the html coding source on the page.
Another thing these people do, is move their graphics around so that if you do steal a pic/gif, eventually, you will end up with a box with an x in it on your page OR a box that states: “This gif was illegally stolen and put on this website (includes URL).” That message coming from the victims site to the stealer’s site when they change their graphic upload locations.
Every time the page loads, you are costing the person you stole from both in money that they pay for their site and also wasting their web building space. People pay for as much or as little space as they need. You are costing them by doing this practice. Every time the page loads on another site, they get charged for your illegal action.
To avoid blatant stealing and to protect yourself — right click, save picture as, and add to a gif file on your puter. Make sure you can identify where it came from also if you are going to use it on your message and web page and give a link back to that site.
There are some sites that have snake, weasel, fox, or theft pages. This is where they publically announce and post sites/emails that have illegally used their material (including content). Cases have gone to court over this issue.
Perfect example of bandwidth theft and hot linking:
People who go to HGTV, copy and paste one of Carol’s instruction pages with pictures onto another site or message board. Those instruction pictures are stored on HGTV website. When you open a message or page, it is being downloaded from the HGTV site NOT the site you are on looking at it. It is one thing to copy for your own use, but another to copy from a website and post the entire content of the page. Just send the URL instead.
Save a site for future viewing instantly:
Left click on the icon which is right of the word “address” on the address bar at the top of your screen.
Hold this and drag it down to the bar on the bottom then release the icon.
The icon should appear on the bottom bar.
You can now click this to get to your favorite site.
If you care to add it to your desk top, just left click and drag to the desk top page so you can click from there.