Hi FreeWareFan - Allow me to explain.
A site's reputation can be severely tarnished by including links to web pages/downloads which are rated poorly by the leading site advisory services or which are viral. If a site, which is otherwise clean and has a good reputation, displays links to 'bad' sites/downloads then they will also end up with a poor rating.....guilty by association.
Now, we understand that there are responsible members who are going to check thoroughly before posting links here, BUT then there are others who will not bother. If we allow everyone to just post links as they please, the major chore of checking each and every site/link would then fall on Admin.....and trust me, there is already enough to do in that department. Plus if even just one bad link sneaks through, the repercussions could be serious. It's much easier to lose a good reputation than it is to regain one.
So the simplest solution is to place a general ban on posting links.
Another consideration is this: FreewareBB is dedicated to providing consumers with a safe and secure avenue for their freeware downloads, posting links to freeware downloads on other sites or to direct downloads sort of defeats that purpose.
So, it is primarily about protecting FreewareBB's reputation, and maintaining a safe environment by pre-checking all download links and keeping them 'in house'.
Hope that helps clarify,