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Switcheroo: Reasons Not to Direct Link Images

Reason #1: The Obvious Reason is not an image hosting service for message boards. is not an image hosting service for online auctions.

I mention this because yesterday (29jul2002), for the first time in quite a while, I was going through referral logs for the site and discovered that a number of people are calling images residing on this site for their own use on message boards, blogs, and such. This is known as direct linking, which means that every time those pages are accessed it uses bandwidth on the server that hosts One guy was responsible for about 4,000 hits in the month of July alone. This is similar to spam, in which people, without permission, use bandwidth that is paid for by others.

Many facets of internet etiquette are established and widely known. The faux pas of direct linking is well established, but not widely known.

We begin Switcheroo with a view toward correcting that.

If I have to bear the extra traffic then the images should be doing MY bidding. Yes, MINE MINE MINE. Other people are using bandwidth I am paying for, and they are getting the benefit?

We begin Switcheroo with a view toward correcting that.

(Yes, I know about the .htaccess method of stopping hotlinking. Trouble is, any site visitor whose browser is set not to show a referrer will get no images. That is not an acceptable solution. Know of a better one? Love to hear it.)

According to the Akashic Record, or rather, Usenet, "Linking directly to other people's images without their permission is also dangerous, since the image you link to may suddenly disappear or change."

It sure can:

Victim the first

Thanks for inspiration: Rob at

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