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Author Topic: Watermarks for photographs  (Read 6214 times)
pixelpro
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« on: August 11, 2007, 06:04:57 AM »
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My photographic practice is getting more serious now and my website is very near completion. Do I need to protect my images with an embedded watermark and a copyright message. Can anyone suggest a company or programme? Do I need to register my work with a copyright company? My camera embeds metadata into the image and my camera is registered with the company at this stage.
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 06:15:27 AM »
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My photographic practice is getting more serious now and my website is very near completion. Do I need to protect my images with an embedded watermark and a copyright message. Can anyone suggest a company or programme? Do I need to register my work with a copyright company? My camera embeds metadata into the image and my camera is registered with the company at this stage.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It depends. For the vast majority of us, it doesn't matter. A visible copyright notice and/or your website address watermarked on the JPEGs is a good idea so that people can contact you if they find your photo elsewhere.

No watermark - visible or invisible - will protect you from theft. Well, unless you paste your visible watermark all over the photo, killing all aesthetics and alienating your customers. The worst snake-oil in the industry are the invisible watermark sellers who even can track the usage of your photos. You pay a lot for a service which is extremely unlikely to give you return on investment, and even less likely to deter stealing of your photos as the watermark is trivial to defeat, circumvent or even ignore.

I opted for [a href=\"http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/]Free Art License[/url] for my website. That way anyone can use the poor-quality JPEGs, thus encouraging their propagation, and hopefully encouraging people to visit my site to buy prints.
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pixelpro
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2007, 06:31:51 AM »
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It depends. For the vast majority of us, it doesn't matter. A visible copyright notice and/or your website address watermarked on the JPEGs is a good idea so that people can contact you if they find your photo elsewhere.

No watermark - visible or invisible - will protect you from theft. Well, unless you paste your visible watermark all over the photo, killing all aesthetics and alienating your customers. The worst snake-oil in the industry are the invisible watermark sellers who even can track the usage of your photos. You pay a lot for a service which is extremely unlikely to give you return on investment, and even less likely to deter stealing of your photos as the watermark is trivial to defeat, circumvent or even ignore.

I opted for Free Art License for my website. That way anyone can use the poor-quality JPEGs, thus encouraging their propagation, and hopefully encouraging people to visit my site to buy prints.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132641\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


That's a brilliant idea and I am going to be relaxed and implement it. Thanks for sharing Copy Left with me, I had no idea this group existed.

Do you know how I can put the Copy Left message on my image with my web address. Do I need special software?
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feppe
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007, 06:49:17 AM »
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That's a brilliant idea and I am going to be relaxed and implement it. Thanks for sharing Copy Left with me, I had no idea this group existed.

Do you know how I can put the Copy Left message on my image with my web address. Do I need special software?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have put the copyright and copyleft info at the bottom of each page of [a href=\"http://www.harrijahkola.com]my site[/url] (in beta). You can also stamp each of your photos with copyright/copyleft messages along with your URL, but I've opted for a simple copyright message - although I'm considering changing that to point to my home page which makes more sense.

I was in the same situation as you a few months ago when I set up my (beta) site, thinking how to "protect" my photos (read: limit access to them). It's easy to get jealous of your photos and think that right-click prevention, watermarks, etc. will make your life better. I came to the conclusion that as a "serious amateur photographer" there's no point in limiting access, and that unnecessarily limiting usage of my photos is just not smart. For professionals it might be different, but I challenge anyone to give good reasons for that.

Please note that using copyleft doesn't take away your copyright, it merely gives people the permission to distribute and modify your photos, as long as you are fully credited. I think this is a perfect middle road between strict copyright enforcement - which IMO is overkill - and putting your photos in the public domain - overkill again. With Free Art License you retain your rights and encourage more people to see and use your work - that's the reason why I oped for it.
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pixelpro
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2007, 08:54:24 AM »
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feppe, what size image files and what resolution do you use for the wbsite? I have taken a look at your website, its very good and very clear and easy to browse. Photographs are a very good size.
Hope you don't mind all the questions. pixel
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feppe
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007, 09:22:05 AM »
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feppe, what size image files and what resolution do you use for the wbsite? I have taken a look at your website, its very good and very clear and easy to browse. Photographs are a very good size.
Hope you don't mind all the questions. pixel
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132655\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not at all and thanks! I tried to keep it as simple and clean as possible. I also went for quite a bit bigger size for the photos than most people on LL seem to have on their website - I really hate squinting at thumb-sized photos, and think such sizing just alienates viewers which is a bigger issue to me than protecting photos from getting stolen.

I exported all my photos through CS3's batch processing function, using 700 pixels (either horizontal or vertical) as the maximum size. That way people with a 1024x768 screen - which is currently the lowest common resolution used - should be able to see the whole photo at maximum size on their browser window. I haven't tested it, but I think Firefox has more than 68 pixels in the vertical direction dedicated to the menu, tabs, bookmarks, etc., so I'm thinking of dropping the maximum vertical resolution to 600 and maxing the horizontal at 800, which might make more sense than 700 in both directions. But it's a lot of work and I'm lazy
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 09:22:23 AM by feppe » Logged

pixelpro
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2007, 03:20:48 PM »
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Not at all and thanks! I tried to keep it as simple and clean as possible. I also went for quite a bit bigger size for the photos than most people on LL seem to have on their website - I really hate squinting at thumb-sized photos, and think such sizing just alienates viewers which is a bigger issue to me than protecting photos from getting stolen.

I exported all my photos through CS3's batch processing function, using 700 pixels (either horizontal or vertical) as the maximum size. That way people with a 1024x768 screen - which is currently the lowest common resolution used - should be able to see the whole photo at maximum size on their browser window. I haven't tested it, but I think Firefox has more than 68 pixels in the vertical direction dedicated to the menu, tabs, bookmarks, etc., so I'm thinking of dropping the maximum vertical resolution to 600 and maxing the horizontal at 800, which might make more sense than 700 in both directions. But it's a lot of work and I'm lazy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132661\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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pixelpro
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2007, 03:25:36 PM »
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Feppe, you have been very generous. Thanks for all you have told me today. I spent till 2am last night looking at watermarks, websites, digital marks etc. I just felt unhappy and undecided so posted on LL this morning. The future now looks bright and I can move on. I really didn't want to appear mean, nasty and precious about my images - now thanks to you and copyleft I don't have to.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2007, 07:19:06 PM »
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Feppe, you have been very generous. Thanks for all you have told me today. I spent till 2am last night looking at watermarks, websites, digital marks etc. I just felt unhappy and undecided so posted on LL this morning. The future now looks bright and I can move on. I really didn't want to appear mean, nasty and precious about my images - now thanks to you and copyleft I don't have to.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132702\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
"CopyLeft" sounds like a great idea. But I think I'll want to change the bit about "governed by the laws of France."  
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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feppe
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2007, 07:49:15 PM »
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"CopyLeft" sounds like a great idea. But I think I'll want to change the bit about "governed by the laws of France."   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132728\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What? I don't see any mention of that. Besides, Free Art License is applicable anywhere, no matter what your jurisdiction is, as it's based on copyright.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 10:32:07 PM »
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What? I don't see any mention of that. Besides, Free Art License is applicable anywhere, no matter what your jurisdiction is, as it's based on copyright.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132730\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
On your linked page, about two thirds of the way down, just before "DIRECTIONS FOR USE" it says:
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8. THE LAW APPLICABLE TO THIS CONTRACT

This license is subject to French law.
But since the license itself could be considered a "work of art", and since derivations are encouraged, one could certainly change the district of jurisdiction.  

Anyway, thanks for pointing this out.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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feppe
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2007, 04:27:51 AM »
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On your linked page, about two thirds of the way down, just before "DIRECTIONS FOR USE" it says:

But since the license itself could be considered a "work of art", and since derivations are encouraged, one could certainly change the district of jurisdiction.   

Anyway, thanks for pointing this out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132746\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ah... IANAL, but I believe the stipulations of the contract are enforceable in most other jurisdictions. For example, the GPL has been enforced successfully in the US, and Free Art License is based on the GPL.
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pixelpro
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2007, 11:22:59 AM »
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Excuse my ignorance...what is GPL?
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feppe
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2007, 12:03:00 PM »
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Excuse my ignorance...what is GPL?
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[a href=\"http://www.google.com/search?q=gpl]GPL[/url]
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pixelpro
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 02:36:02 PM »
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I've never been good at abbrevs. Thanks.
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