Anyone that has encountered me on various boards knows my disdain for limiting an open web. I will rant and rave until the mods threaten me about freedom of access, of information, and on traffic-shaping policies. Any limits on an open web are generally detrimental, in my mind.
One of those limitations is often imposed by websites, themselves: hotlinking. Websites will go so far as to disable right-clicking in attempts to prevent it. After that, they serve up a generic image, shaming you for hotlinking and stealing their bandwidth.
While I can undertand doing this to protect content, I feel the bandwidth issue is no longer a concern. As long as you credit the source host, I feel pretty cool about it... only, that's a real pain in the butt, so I've done that for you!
Rather than preventing hotlinking, I say, "Go for it!"
On the left, you see the image as it will be displayed on the site. To the right, you see what happens when you hotlink... we just get the credit. That's okay, right? The watermark shouldn't ever be any larger than this.
The only hotlinking that currently doesn't work is for forum attachments. Due to the way the board handles images, I am unable to implement the system. The other reason it has been disabled all this time is that rather than the server just handing over the image when it's an attachment, the board software has to run, query the database, and then hand over the file. So it really would slow us down if that was always allowed. At least you don't have to register to download attachments, though!
So hotlink away! I hope you can appreciate why we're doing this. I and everyone involved with this site would like to see it continue to grow. So any way we can spread the word without being irritating is on the table.
As usual, let me know if you encounter any bugs or issues... I'm expecting a few.