matrix_jan - 12:07 am on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)
The thing is that google started to use https even for logged-off users. And the problem with https is that it sends no referral data :-/ So the images are being stolen and the server thinks they are just direct requests.
You're right, this is theft, pure theft. This is wrong, and something must be done to stop it.