The Internet world does not respect copy protection, to say the least. Images can be dragged off the page by anyone and posted elsewhere, typically uncredited. BAPC members are concerned about this issue as recent emails have shown, but most seem to think it’s still worthwhile to post their images to the net anyway.
Here is why:
1. The Internet is the greatest communication tool going and a great way to get an image out into the world.
2. A web image is typically a reduced version of the original. Printing from this image will result in an inferior print compared to the original and not even close to the artist’s intention. Watermarking an image can further discourage printing. Stock Photography houses like Getty Images do just fine posting vast numbers of images to the web, but they post small versions only. If you want the larger version, you pay a fee.
3. Copying an image to another site or including it in another work of art, as annoying as that is, exposes the work to a greater audience. Worst case, the image is claimed by another artist as their own or is used without credit.
It’s still important to copyright and protect images particularly for print publication use. Professional photographers depend on being paid for each use unless they have sold that right to someone else. But the Internet seems to be a different kind of place. At some point image software may contain an expiration code that disassembles an image after a certain date. Until that happens anything you put on the web can wind up anywhere else.