In the light of this example, I’m curious as to how you can really protect your work online.
For instance, if someone in Hong Kong (like the example in the link) puts together a book with artwork lifted from your site without your permission, how would you proceed?
Oft mentioned advice is to always have your work legally copyrighted (although according to copyright law, any work that you create is yours from the moment of it’s creation). But to ensure it, you have it copyrighted formally, and as back up, send your work through the post office back to you and don’t open it.
But what does that really protect? You are only ensuring that you have the proper legal documentation that a certain piece of artwork belongs to you. It won’t stop people from another country stealing your work if they wanted to, even if your artwork is watermarked. By this example, it demonstrates that watermarking does not discourage people from stealing your work at all.
If that happens, what can you do realistically? Your documents will only be useful if you decide to hire a lawyer and mount a lawsuit. Would the ordinary Deviant-Arter or Blogger have the financial means to do such a thing against an offending party living abroad?
You can mount an awareness campaign which includes protests, letter writing etc., against the offending party/publication, which is one way to go. They may be shamed into stopping the publication, but then again, they probably won’t. Some people are shameless and cold like that.
What do you all suggest, short of not posting your artwork online at all?