This story is a little aged (last month) but I felt the need to write about not only what went down here but also the power/danger of the internet to your work as a photographer.
The full story can be gotten over at Petapixel but the gist is that a band named Red Jumpsuit Apparatus took an image taken by photographer Rohan Anderson at their show, cropped out his watermark, slapped a filter on it and posted it on their Facebook page.
Eventually the photographer came across his image and recognized it. His initial emails to the band were ignored but when he politely asked them to either take it down or pay for/credit him for it, they replied "lol go for it".
The issue has since been resolved but the band remains firm on their stance that digital content online should be free and essentially what they did was not wrong.
Here's what I wanted to add to this story. What the band did initially may not have been wrong but how they reacted to Rohan's requests afterwards certainly was. As a photographer who posts his images on Facebook (often without watermarks...I don't prefer using them) I realize that I'm putting my images on a social sharing application so I can't be surprised if it does get taken and posted elsewhere.
If you're going to upload your photos with or without watermark to any social media platform what you are saying is that it is okay for others to share your work. If you see someone has taken one of your images and not properly accredited you then you absolutely should reach out to them and ask for them to fix the situation. Either they pay for and/or credit you (that's up to you to choose) OR they remove it.
But if you are truly worried about your work being stolen and want it to be protected...don't post them online. That really is the only way to safeguard against your work being used by others without your knowledge. Even if you add watermarks, post only on your site and disable the ability to Right Click and Save (which you can easily do), folk will still manage to find a way to get at them. It's the two-way cut of the internet knife: Posting your images can get you great exposure and it can also leave you open to theft.
The band's view that digital content released online should be free and available to all to take is certainly not one that is adopted by many artists out there. We post our work online for others to enjoy and share with each other while still reaping some credit for it. Not with a sign that says "Please Take One".
To check out some of Rohan's work head over to his site and read up his full take on his battle with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.