What Is Hotlinking?
Hotlinking refers to practice when a web page of one web site owner links image or other multimedia files from another website. Instead of saving a copy of image on their own website, a website owner uses a link to the picture. Hotlinking can also be used for file types other than images, including videos and documents.
Is Hotlinking illegal or legal?
Hotlinking is generally without permission and also consumes Bandwidth of hotlinked website owner making Hotlinking file hosting illegal. It also comes under intellectual property theft.
It is violation of copyright. If you are displaying an image or file that does not belong to you, makes you open to litigation. The owner of the file can give your information for use in legal proceedings and also make use of DMCA law to have your site shut down.
Hotlinking can be legal if a person owns multiple websites and is using images, videos or documents from single point saved on server for his different websites.
Implication of Hotlinking and how you can prevent it:
So if you are hotlinking free your webpage will load slower moreover the owner of the image has full control to delete or disable illegal hotlinking and worse do a switcheroo i.e. switching filename to another image which can cause embarrassment.
General methods of preventing hotlinking are by renaming image files frequently, by using an .htaccess file and using the “Hotlink Protection” offered in control panels such as Cpanel. Hotlinking can also be used for documents and videos file types other than images.
For whom it is Beneficial?
One of the most widespread occurrences of Hotlinking is when people post at forum and they hotlink pictures from some other website to use as signature images or avatars on the message boards (forums), eBay auction listing. Also as discussed above if a person owns multiple websites and is using images, videos or documents from single point saved on server.
Who are the webhosts offering hotlinking in adult-friendly hosting?
Webhosts that offer hotlinking adult file hosting are mentioned below: