Is hotlinking to images illegal?

Sunday, May 9, 2010 by narbytrout | Discussion: WinCustomize Talk

This month in the MAY screenie post here at wincustomize, a fellow subscriber asked me "where can I find that wall(paper)?"

Now, as I am not a professional forum type person, I just posted a link directly to the FREE wallpaper on the origin site.

Then after I posted my reply, I checked the link and it worked fine.

In the same reply, I posted a link to the homepage of the origin site and gave the title/author 100% credit (of course) and some awesome cudos for such nice artwork.

The next day, I checked the direct link to the wall and found myself redirected to a google search of this "hotlinking" topic.  (My link had changed and not by my doing). But, the link to the homepage of origin is still intact.


Is this actually illegal?  How did my link get changed? 


I honestly did not mean to cause any harm or trouble... just trying to be sociable.  I have seen many hotlinks around the forums, but since I do not know the etiquette of every situation, I feel I need to ask.

Thank you for any helpful replies... I wont be able to check back here until tomorrow morning.  I need a couple hours sleep before I go to work tonight.

Reply #1 Sunday, May 9, 2010 1:52 PM

Just had a thought... which is really another question.

What is the difference between Google doing this and me doing this?

Reply #2 Sunday, May 9, 2010 2:08 PM

I would say no as you did not give the wallpaper to him/her or host the WP or claim it was yours....


but if by some chance the site/uplaoder you linked to was the one stilling it could be why the link did not work later..


or it could be just the link went kaboom

Reply #3 Sunday, May 9, 2010 2:09 PM

Linking to image(s) is perfectly fine, but 'hotlinking' as in displaying the image(s) in it's full content is not.
That would be (almost) the same as submitting it to our wallpaper gallery.

As for Google...
Google is not displaying them, as per say. You yourself are 'generating' the links by using the search function.

Reply #4 Sunday, May 9, 2010 2:14 PM

oh my bad did not know linking and hot-linking was different  so if I got this right now hot-linking is showing the image as full size ??

Reply #5 Sunday, May 9, 2010 3:19 PM

In our perspective, yes.

It may not be this way on other sites or with other files, but we are a site based on works of graphics, and displaying unobscured copyrighted material directly from other sources (without permission) is a violation of both the artists copyright AND the TOS of this site.

Reply #6 Monday, May 10, 2010 9:47 AM

Ok... I get it now.

I will be more cautious of my social activities.

Thank you very much. and D.C.

Please login to comment and/or vote for this skin.

Welcome Guest! Please take the time to register with us.
There are many great features available to you once you register, including:

  • Richer content, access to many features that are disabled for guests like commenting on the forums and downloading skins.
  • Access to a great community, with a massive database of many, many areas of interest.
  • Access to contests & subscription offers like exclusive emails.
  • It's simple, and FREE!