I see a difference between someone who simply downloads images and someone who "makes them their own." Every time I find an image (a photo or copy of a document) that applies to my ancestors I attach it to my tree so it stays in its original location. That helps other researchers because my tree leads to others. At the same time, I download the image files because one never knows how long it will stay on Ancestry. It stays on my hard drive AND a flash drive. I'm not claiming its all my work. I'm not publishing the information for sale. I'm just making sure that it doesn't go away.
Now here is an example that might bother some people, but doesn't bother me. I uploaded an old photo of my moms grandmother, mom, and aunts (when my mom died I became the keeper of the old photo collection.) There were 5 people in all. A distant relative took the image file and made 5 separate images of it, so each person would have a photo associated with their page. They popped up as shaky leaves and I used them. I COULD have done that myself, but for some reason it didn't occur to me.
Now there is one thing that might make a difference in the above example. We had communicated in the past. He had a number of grave photos of my ancestors in Michigan (I'm in Florida) that I could not have taken, so I dropped him a note and thanked him. We have been borrowing and editing each others photos ever since.
Its just my opinion, but one of the reasons to have a tree on Ancestry.com is so we CAN share information. I am very appreciative of the fact that other have spent hours and pay a lot of money, because I have as well. If the hours and money I have spent enable someone else to further their family history so that they can put THEIR hours and money elsewhere, I'm all for it. Who knows, it could end up benefiting ME, and if it doesn't. it will benefit someone else. I like to think we are all in this together.
On the subject of watermarking. Picasa, a free basic photo editing app from Google does have the option when you export photos to add a watermark. Option 2 would be to use any basic photo editor that allows you to add text to an image will do it, but you will likely have to do it on each and every image manually. I believe even the built in photo editor in windows will do that. But realize that with todays more advanced editing software, it can be wiped out with the swipe of the cursor, or it could just be cropped out. So if your watermarked images suddenly pop up without the watermark, THOSE are the people with whom we should have a problem.