Over at the Inside Windows Marketplace blog someone (I believe a MS employee) has linked to my website. Normally this would be a good thing. The MSDN blogs get quite a bit of traffic and some of that traffic would bleed over to my page. Unfortunately they didn't include a hyperlink to my site but included a graphic that resides on my site, this is called hotlinking. Now I'm not upset that they are "stealing" my image because (as you can see) it is simply a screenshot. But their site gets a lot of traffic. Every time they have a visitor their server is telling the the visitors browser to pull the image form my sever. I only noticed because I saw a spike in my traffic and checked my stats to see where the traffic was coming from. As of this writing serving images to their visitors accounts for 12% of my bandwidth. That is 12% of my costs are paying for them to have visitors. Doesn't seem right does it? I've sent a fairly friendly note asking the blogger to remove the image. If they fail to comply I'm going to have to take drastic measures.
Because they are linking to an image on my sever I can do what I want with the image. I can delete it so their visitors will see a broken link. I can instruct my sever to block requests from their page (again their visitors will see a broken link). Or more dramatically I can replace the image with porn. Wouldn't it be nice surprise for the MSDN blog readers to see a nice goatse image (note: this link is to a encyclopedia article discussing a very graphic image, the image is not in the article, safe for work) when visiting the Inside Windows Marketplace blog?