as far as it being the copyright holders responsibility to protect their pics... Hotlinking can be stopped, but it requires the computer that is hosting the pictures to do extra work for every single request to view the pictures on that site. Some hosting companies complain about the extra load (mine did). It's just like having to hire guards, install security cameras, bars, heavier locks, etc. Yes, it can be done. It's sad it has to be done. And the cost for the extra security is passed along to the legitimate, paying customers. Of course, if it gets excessive, some sites just shut down.