They are not downloading work. They are looking at it
Beverly Hills and a couple of others are main mobile routers.
and several others not mentioned here are search bots.
If you know about bots you can ignore this bit.
Why do we need bots…. and why should you allow them some access to your site
A search engine is a site that allows people to put in a search term and find a site for what they are looking for.
A bot, or web crawler, is the little programme (think of a little robot made up of 0s and 1s) who runs around around the web with a thousand mates, checking out all the sites by following links. One link leads to another 5 links and those 5 links lead to another 10 links etc etc. The bots all scurry around and report back to the big programme, the search engine, what they find on the pages the links lead to.
The search engine waits, all knowing and, when someone then comes along and asks for FISH, the search engine smiles to itself and, patting a bot on the head that brought back the FISH descriptions, tells the person all the sites that are talking about fish.
Tomorrow I will make an 8x10 print from a downloaded screenshot. It will be just fine for the average amateur buyer. One of my pals is a safari photographer. She posted her "watermarked" images on her website. I downloaded one of her "watermarked" images, took away the watermarks, fixed the image, and presto...a good looking pic of hers. I told her about this and she freaked. lol....
you can make an 8x10, along with many other things. but make a 16x20 and up and it will look soft. there are plenty of thieves out there, but the ones that would normally buy, just do it. but you will lose detail from the original. like i have many images that are either 6700px up to 14,000px. and you can't duplicate the detail with a screen grab.
Unfortunately no site can protect work from thieves who are adamant on having an image that is on their page.
As soon as you go to a site, the image is on your computer. No right click or watermark stops that. All images go straight into a temp folder and can be grabbed from there by people who want it. That is how browsers are designed to make the browsing and speed more efficient.
I only have to make a screenshot and I have any image I want, from any site.
We do however, counter this with these options
1. We have no right click on some pages
2. We offer a watermark
3. Enlarging any thumbnails degrades the quality of the image terribly so it is useless for a print. Remember if they want the image for a phone wallpaper etc there is NOTHING we can do to stop that, even phones have screenshot takers
4. Your full resolution image is hidden away so people only see the low resolution copy
5. On the full resolution preview on the main image pages, it only shows a small section and a border is actually removed. That way, even if people took the time to open all the full resolution image and copied each segment to stitch together, they would not get the complete image.
The low resolution thumbnails and preview images are as safe as we can make them, your full images are not on the site
You need to look on the site which is stealing the work and find a contact link. Then you need to file a DMCA notice (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)
Unfortunately these need to be sent in by the artist themselves to the site stealing them or to the server host of that site.
"Tomorrow I will make an 8x10 print from a downloaded screenshot."
You don't need to even do a screenshot. You can just place the thumbnails into your PhotoShop, remove the watermark, run it through a painterly or gigapixels program and print them out 24 x 36, no problem.
I have demonstrated that here a dozen times.
The bottom line is there is nothing you can do to protect your images except not load them to the Internet anywhere.
Or scan that 8 x 10 print, then you can make it huge. There's nothing new here, especially the fact that the kind of people who do this were never going to buy your art anyway. The ones who try to resell it can be shut down (when the attempt is made on a real site like Amazon), or generally operate seedy sites without much business (and usually just exist to run ad scams anyway). We all have to deal the lack of internet civility, it's pervasive. As the saying goes, if you can't stand the mirrors stay out of the funhouse... or sumthin' like that.
Susan Maxwell Schmidt
So-so Group Moderator,
Sometimes Board Moderator and
Artist Extraordinaire What do you mean I'm not looking in a funhouse mirror? Look how short I... oh.