In simple terms, hot-linking is:

Hot-linking is a term used on the Internet. Hot-linking is when someone uses a link to an image that is saved on another website instead of saving a copy of the image on the website that the picture will be shown on. For example, instead of saving picture.gif and loading it on to their own website, the person uses a link to the picture as Hot-linking uses the bandwidth of the person who owns the website where the picture is stored. This costs that person money. This is why many website owners are using .htaccess files and uploading it to their websites.

In some cases website owners use the .htaccess file to replace any hot-linked images with an offensive image to deter any other website owners from hot-linking.

I would like you to pay special attention to the closing statement in the sentence above!

Why? Because below is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t hotlink images from your competitors site to avoid website owners replacing any hot-linked images with an alternative one…

Reason not to hot-link images from your competitors website

Dear Mr Hot-linking Offender - You've been busted!

Nice one!

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