wilderness - 3:17 pm on Jun 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
Personally, I think these scrapers are part of a botnet that can use any IP and appear to be from anywhere. I also think many of the bots/people who come to my site are looking for pictures. Just about every picture I've ever uploaded ends up on some blog or forum. But if they are hotlinked, most people can't see them anyway.
I was fortunate to realize early on that using "names" for images is a bad practice (unless your a webmaster selling photo's).
I used an image in a page file that brought hordes of visitors (searching and linking) that went directly to that image and were without any interest in the other content of my websites.
My solution was to number all of my images (that practice has been in place for more than a decade) and place all my images within directories that are excluded in robots.txt.
Thus when on the few occasions that something (person or bot) starts crawling those omitted directories ALONE, their activity jumps out like a sore thumb.
It's a little extra work to keep my images numbered and within a spreadsheet that references their source, however it's worth the extra time.