Morning tea a while ago with a web designer who specialises in the 'bells and whistles' stuff for photographers using Flash. He is busy.
All very interesting, arty, creative and visually appealing (and costly!). So I mentioned the big problem is how web surfers like to "click-off" images, for whatever reason (good and bad), and to my amazement, considering his skill, he said, "that can't happen with Flash". Ahh—. I looked at him. He looked back. I posed the question: "Have you heard of Print Screen?" And that 'nasty piece of software', "Snipping Tool". There was a long pause and he shrugged. I told him, as a webmeister of a very basic calibre, I found it very easy to print screen AND snip anything I wanted, including photos, photos in transition, text, Flash animations...the works. Another long pause... "So, are you going to have a website built?", seemingly ignoring what can so easily be done to steal images from a Flash site. I also mentioned CopySentry which allowed in depth electronic watermarking, but goodness knows how effective that is. Is anything at all effective?
For me, No. No website. I have "been there, done that" (around 2000-2001) and suffered theft and plagiarism like legions of others. Flickr is perhaps the worst place of all to post photos, absolutely no protection whatsoever: click off, strip out EXIF, maybe Photochop here and there and behold, your photo is now his/hers. The wider situation with copyrighted work is that every second, every minute, every hour, thousands upon thousands of images are being stolen and "rebirthed", and stuff that thing called copyright. It is lawless. We can see what is going on, to a degree, using TinEye, and go after them (often at crippling cost). In the end, the web has got us all by the short and curlies and if we are serious about affording protection to our work, don't post it on the web! A simple mantra that works well for me.