Links steal no bandwidth

Asa Dotzler, one of the Mozilla team, links to a (Flash) game at in his blog. But the linkleads to a page saying “Error - Someone is stealing our bandwidth! Click here to view this properly”, with a link to the homepage. A link is not stealing bandwidth. Why do they think this? It would appear, although I have no idea whether it’s true or not, that aren’t comfortable with the idea of people linking to pages internal to their site. Now, if someone was displaying the Flash directly on their own site, I’d understand the point of view; sure, check referer details on the HTTP request that actually fetches the swf file. But linking to the page that hosts it is surely fine? Why is this in any way stealing bandwidth? Unless people following the link (and therefore upping’s bandwidth requirement) is bad, in which case: don’t have a web site. Doctor, it hurts when I do this.

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