Did you know that finding a picture on the internet, right clicking the image, copying the link location and pasting it to another location is bandwidth theft?
You should not hotlink images because:
1. Hotlinking is stealing bandwidth.
Bandwidth theft is a huge deal to those who actually pay for their own web hosting because it sucks bandwidth (transmission capacity) from the site and costs the site owner money. Essentially the site owner pays to host an image that you a linking to for free. Site owners usually don’t intend to have others linking to their images and they generally don’t appreciate it.
If you find an image you like it is always best to ask for permission to use it first. The images owner will either tell you to hotlink to their images or they will tell you to simply download the image and hots it elsewhere.
2. Image hosting is free!
Hosting your own images is very easy and it is free! You can visit your favorite search engine and search “free image hosting” to find many hosting potions. I know that photobucket.com, yahoo, flickr.com and many others are great image hosts.
3. Hotlinking allows other to alter your content.
When you link to an image on another’s site you have no control over whether or not the images will change over time. Copying the link location of someone else’s photos means they can maliciously change the look of the photo- wherever it may be on your site. Mean/ angry people have maliciously changed their hotlinked images to make the people doing the hotlinking look silly. Basically copying images = possibly looking like an idiot when the image owner changes the image.
Bottom line is hotlinking is stealing. Always ask before taking and host you own images to have the utmost control over the content you publish.