Remember back in the day, when you’d find some cool picture on the ‘net, and you’d copy it’s URL and paste it in some website you ran, and then the person at the hosting site would get all mad and tell you to take it down and “no hot-linking!”  Remember that?

I learned early on that if I wanted an image, I needed to steal it fair and square, plop it onto my own server space, and then post its img src in my web page.  That’s how it was done, and anyone who didn’t want to get yelled at did that.

Then along came Facebook.  Suddenly, hot-linking became the norm.  We hot-link to articles, youtube videos, funny pictures, you name it.  I do it all the time on my Facebook page.  I don’t do it on my blogs or on my web site, but when it comes to Facebook, I never think twice about posting a hot-link to a picture or video.

And it occurred to me the other day, that I’ve not been yelled at or seen anyone mention hot-linking in several years.  Is it that bandwidth and data transfer is so cheap, and our server space is so cheap, that hot-linking doesn’t really matter anymore?  Or is hot-linking done so much these days that there’s no real way to stop it?

Any thoughts?

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