Webresultz - 4:48 pm on Aug 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Google has been doing this for more than a year now, blogger hotlinks an image from an internal page, Google gives rank to the blogger over the low ranking internal page and sends any traffic the bloggers way. Original owner publisher just gets left with the bandwidth bill. In the past I sort of let this slide as the traffic I did get from image search was enough to cover the costs. Spammers were quick to pick up on it as usual and trawled server after server and banged up tens of thousands of blogs, as Google was rewarding them.
Recent changes in image search has taken away any monetization of image search anyway. Right now I'm in the process of removing millions of pictures from their data base, but since Google has already cached and is serving up there own versions.... yadda yadda
Google has made it very plain with images/ movies sites.. Steal and you will be rewarded.