| 9:29 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Yes, copyright violation and bandwidth theft.
I would swap it out by file name for a big hairy butt image or block the hot linking with .htaccess.
| 9:54 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I believe that the answer is no. That's unless you're in the Netherlands where it has apparently been ruled (just recently) that hotlinking is indeed an infringement.
| 10:23 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Copyright will depend on local law.
Substitute a picture of a person without any clothes on and complain to the site's hosting service about the "adult" content.
| 10:59 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I use the rewrite rules in the .htaccess file to replace the desired image with a different image when hot linked. I do this on a case by case basis as I find incidents of this. I might let it slide on a forum if there is also a reference to my site.
| 12:57 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Normally, hotlinking should be considered copyright theft. No matter how you consider it, the file is physically copied onto a client computer without permission. It should not matter that the copy is temporary (or even that it might only exist in memory) but this might be significant in some jurisdictions.
| 9:20 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Dickbaker, I'm presuming that you're in the USA. If not, my apologies.
Two pages from Wikipedia shed some light on the subject of copyright relative to linking and hotlinking:
The latter states that:
|The most significant legal fact about inline linking, relative to copyright law considerations, is that the inline linker does not place a copy of the image file on its own Internet server. Rather, the inline linker places a pointer on its Internet server that points to the server on which the proprietor of the image has placed the image file. This pointer causes a user's browser to jump to the proprietor's server and fetch the image file to the user's computer. US courts have considered this a decisive fact in copyright analysis. |
Thus, in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explained why inline linking did not violate US copyright law: [read the article for more...]
Of course, there are many sources out there that are more authoritative than Wikipedia, so don't take their word for it...