After a lot of discussion on the Discord and giving users some insight on the laws of user generated content that make it difficult to pursue art theft or for Patreon to enforce protection, @R3dFiVe suggested users shouldn’t be able to hotlink images so easily from Patreon. I think this is a wonderful idea with some slight modification. This would require some backend work but I don’t think it would be too complicated to implement with some time. User images are stored, if I recall correctly, with a creator-specific folder/identifier in the path, so it should be possible to:
1. Add Hotlinking settings to Creator Page settings.
2. Allow Hotlinking options: "Enabled, Disabled for Everything, Disabled for Patron Posts"
3. Allow custom domain entries for Whitelists and Blacklists for Hotlinking settings.
It won’t prevent all theft, but this way Patreon Creators can at least have a better control of use and link-sharing for content they store on Patreon. If someone hotlinks a page that doesn’t allow hotlinking or blacklists them from hotlinking, the image can be swapped with a generic “oops this user doesn’t allow their stuff to be shared this way” image, much like some WordPress or imagine storage services do.