[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/imageshack_hotlink_1782.png]]
[[caption-width-right:191:Be warned... that frog loves eating leechers.]]

On [[TheInternet the Internet]], there are a bunch of cool images. Most people are fine if they are spread and displayed, should the proper permissions and bandwidth be in play.

However, there are those (commonly called "leechers") who display images on their site directly taken from another "Hotlinked" or "Inline Linked", using the other site's bandwidth without permission for their own purposes. Of course, when the home site find this out, it's quite easy to change the image to something else. HilarityEnsues. Usually it's just changed to a warning against using images/bandwidth without permission, but sometimes, snarky pranks or ShockSite images ensue.

This is why we have the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/uploadform.php Image Uploader]].
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!!Examples:
* ''SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'': The "National Organization for Marriage", an anti-gay-marriage group, hot-linked a [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2144 comic from his site.]] The author responded by [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome changing the image]] to one [[http://twitpic.com/3w7b1j supporting gay marriage]].
* One guy hosted a "Grim Reaper Holding an Hourglass" image, [[http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/989 popularly hotlinked]] from Website/MySpace, but 400 hotlinks/hour was a bit too much, so he [[http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1011 changed it]] to [[ShockSite Goatse.cx image]]. HilarityEnsues.[[note]]Links are broken; proper ones are "[[http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1012 The Ass-Termath]]", "[[http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1127 Goatse II: The Widening]]", "[[http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1052 The February Goat Update]]" and "[[http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1376 Goatse Metrics]]" (graphs of goatse'ing).[[/note]]
* A 2004 LiveJournal AprilFoolsDay prank called "Operation: Jour de Poisson" featured a user spreading an icon in apparent support of the phrase "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance... switching the image to one supporting the exact opposite stance on April 1.
* The (hilarious) way Cockeyed.com dealt with a leecher is [[http://www.cockeyed.com/pranks/imposter/imposter.html here.]]
* The John [=McCain=] MySpace site featured an update template which didn't give the requested credit to its designer, and leeched images from his site. He responded by replacing it with [[http://mike.newsvine.com/_news/2007/03/27/633799-hacking-john-mccain a fake message from John supporting gay marriage]].
* Wiki/{{Conservapedia}} hotlinked an image of the Grand Canyon citing "FairUse". The owner [[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/File:Copyrighted-Picture.jpg responded]] by adding text to the picture denouncing Conservapedia's beliefs and their hijacking of the pic.
* The ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' WMG section of this very wiki once hotlinked an image to the new galaxy introduced in ''Apocrypha''. Upon finding it hotlinked everywhere, the author changed it to an image begging for the Naglfar-class Dreadnought to be buffed.
* The evil forces of [[ImageBoards Enturbulation]] used this tactic against against the Guardian newspaper on one occasion. Specifically, when it leeched a picture taken at a protest against the [[ChurchOfHappyology Scilons]] from Britchan. They responded with [[ShockSite Goatse]]. The exact course of events is documented in the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIjNzXSQoGY
* iMockery would replace the hotlinked image with an obnoxiously long gif that stretched the browser to massive proportions. The text would chide you for hotlinking.
* [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/this-is-why-you-dont-steal-from-cracked Seen here]] is Website/{{Cracked}}'s example, where a Spanish-language website had taken their entire article, including hotlinked images.
* When Website/{{Something Awful}}'s paywall went up during the finale of VisualNovel/DanganRonpa LP, they discovered people on Website/{{Tumblr}} were leeching images, and redirected it to an image of a girl lifting a table in rage with the tagline "STOP LEECHING YOU FUCKS"
* Jameth, a user of ''Encyclopedia Dramatica'' keeps an eye on his bandwidth and if enough people hotlink to an image, he'll replace it with a photo of four black men being lynched with this suitably offensive message: "NO NIGGERS" printed on it. It's bad enough that it won't even be linked to here.
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