Thwarting Image Linking

A friend of mine has a problem with his images getting linked by bulletin board groupies looking for cool avatar images. Rather than provide their own bandwidth, they deep-link into his site and use his bandwidth. Punks!

He now has his web server restrict images from being served unless they’re referred to from a local page, but I never knew how to set it up. I just happened to come across the how-to here. The .htaccess changes look like:

    SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^" local_ref=1
    <filesMatch ".(gif|jpg)">
        Order Allow,Deny
        Allow from env=local_ref

Haven’t tried it myself yet, but made a note.