One unfortunate aspect of hotlinking is that it results in additional bandwidth consumption. If a file is hotlinked from a popular page that happens to be a hot topic, then traffic spikes can result. This additional load usually brings no benefit to the victim site. Furthermore, it degrades the user experience, increases stress on the server and increases bandwidth costs. At some point, it becomes sensible to control these effects by implementing hotlink controls.
Sites hosting paid content are often targets of hotlinking attempts. Many sites are well aware of these attempts and have implemented hotlinking controls because failing to do so can result in massive revenue leakage in addition to the bandwidth costs. These sites are likely well aware of the limitations of many conventional control schemes. Sites wanting the ultimate in hotlink protection should consider the robust browser independent technologies employed by ColdLink.
Sites depending on the presentation of their content in context should be aware of the effects of hotlinking. An example would be informational sites which are tied to affiliate revenue programmes. Revenues are directly tied to the ability to present links to their sales partners on the page containing the content. If the content is hotlinked out of context, then there is no opportunity to present the sales links. Every hotlink is a lost sales opportunity. It's just good business to ensure that hotlinking is stopped.