Though - luckily and as I knock on wood - I haven't had a huge problem with it to date, I have had my share of direct-linkers and bandwidth stealing.
Of course, this is completely unacceptable, and appropriate action was taken immediately upon finding the dastardly deed out. I swapped out the images for funny or nasty ones with text saying they'd been stolen and then reported the culprits to the appropriate people.
Most lost their sorry excuses for websites or eye-straining profiiles - I was blessed to have quick cooperation and action by all entities that I reported to.
If you are unsure or unclear at all about bandwidth stealing, what it is and how it affects webmasters, I urge you to read this simple yet informative article, Bandwidth Stealing, by webmaster Richard Berends.
I have chronicled the thieves, their exploits, and my reciprocation on a mini-site entitled Bandwidth Bandits. Enjoy.
It is long and hard and painful to create life: it is short and easy to steal the life others have made.
- George Bernard Shaw.