hotlinking, part 2
To clarify, here's a good definition of hotlinking:
Bandwidth theft or "hotlinking" is direct linking to a website's files (images, video, etc.). An example would be using an IMG tag to display a JPEG image you found on someone else's web page so it will appear on your own site, journal, weblog, forum posting, etc.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data transferred from a website to a user's computer. When you view a webpage, you are using that site's data transfer to display the files. Since web hosts charge based on the amount of data transferred, bandwidth is an issue. If a site is over it's monthly bandwidth, it's billed for the extra data or taken offline.
A simple analogy for bandwidth theft: Imagine a random stranger plugging into your electrical outlets, using your electricity without your consent, and you paying for it.