Do you think offering digital arts files of visual works for proxri is unrealistic or idealistic? Well, consider some of the cold, hard logic of this situation, as well as the ways we enjoy and grow with the arts and with creative works. I’m writing this for myself as well as other artists and photographers.
If you sell the works, or offer them via subscription, people can share them with their friends like one second after they get them. Then their friends can also share them. This sharing is very difficult to trace and/or prevent. Maybe the sharing is not a bug, but a feature. The more people they get shared with, the more exposure your work gets, and the more chances someone will proxri you. In networks, trust is more fun and works better than protections.
I suppose you could mark your images with hidden digital watermarks, which survives cropping, copying and editing, and allows you to find your images on networks. But most people don’t know about hidden digital watermarks, so they wouldn’t think to check if the images were stolen. And by being non-visible in the image, people won’t be bothered by looking at stolen images. Plus, the Internet is so vast, and there are so many images on it, that thieves probably don’t have much to worry about when they steal images. But for how long can stealing images be fun? Enjoyment and fun are better, healthier and more engaging than making money in unscrupulous ways in the long run.
Will there be a learning curve for this process? Yes. Some people may crop off or delete your proxri information. Tell them this is a new way of doing things, and cooperation regarding proxri is in many ways as important as how we cooperate by stopping at stop signs when driving.
Plus, I don’t think markets fit the ways we enjoy and grow with the arts and with creative works. Art, photography, illustration, design, other visual works, and creative works in general, are different from many other things people need. Creative works can be more like new and different kinds of food or drink. You might not like them right away, but they may grow on you. They can be an acquired taste. And some you might not like even after living with them, but you can’t know that until you have lived with them. Why make people pay for things they are not sure about? If you do, they often may just buy things they are already comfortable with. But creativity is often about exploration. Let people explore. When they do proxri you, they may well enjoy doing so. How awesome would that be?