Some background to consider if unfamiliar with the terms

Copyrighted material as well can be an issue but there is a gray area of fair use.

Consider first though that there is no reason beside laziness to hotlink images. They can be downloaded to your drive and then hosted at your leisure, or uploaded to venues such as this via attachments.

When you hotlink someone else's images by using their urls with tags to display them uses their bandwidth. Bandwith is what everyone pays for. More data and as fast as possible costs money, that rolls downhill to the end user (that's you).

It is true that any site that cares to can arrange their pages to exclude hotlinking and even make it difficult to download them. These sites are emphatically pointing out that bandwidth theft is something they would rather not allow.

It is an assumption that it is ok for someone hosting the images to allow hotlinking. Many simply don't understand why they are getting so many site hits and no sales but may easily see that their costs are going up due to that. Simply put, just because someone leaves the door open doesn't mean it is ok for the public to take advantage of that open window or door.

Posting just image links to someone's pictures also bypasses the page intended by the host itself.

Copyrighted material, specifically images

I am putting this up as pinned to the top but is open for discussion. I am no internet authority but I have been around the block a few times with the bandwidth theft and copyright issues often on my mind. As mentioned, there is a gray area of fair use for images but if a site mentions don't, please don't. If I ever put up a picture that is questionable as to use, please let me know. It is not just an issue for anyone in particular but for everyone, so feel free to offer truths and consequences.

Your thoughts?