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Author Topic: Your advice on Copyrighting images  (Read 6163 times)
Codger
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« on: December 08, 2011, 07:37:57 PM »
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I've been selling my work for about a dozen years now, and as I watch each new advance in processing software and enlarging from small image files I have the feeling that the risk level has risen.  Files can be scooped up from various internet or email sources and worked into sellable pieces . . . by someone else.  I'd like to protect maybe 20 of my best sellers but don't have any knowledge about the process.  I'd like to hear your advice on How, Why and Where to get this started.  Thanks
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 08:14:26 PM »
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Apparently, there is no protection, other than avoiding posting anything larger than 800-1000 pixels.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 10:16:00 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 10:02:40 PM »
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There really isn't anything you can do if your work is online.  There will always be someone, somewhere that will try to cheat the system (and you!).  As far as copyrighting your work in general, that will depend somewhat on where you live. The other problem is finding the infringement, finding the culprit and then pursuing it.  Is it worth it?  As Slobodan suggested, keeping your online images to 1000pixels or less is about the only thing you can do - and possibly watermarking your online images with at least a small copyright notice - 'to keep the honest people honest'!
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mediumcool
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 03:05:48 AM »
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I've been selling my work for about a dozen years now, and as I watch each new advance in processing software and enlarging from small image files I have the feeling that the risk level has risen.  Files can be scooped up from various internet or email sources and worked into sellable pieces . . . by someone else.  I'd like to protect maybe 20 of my best sellers but don't have any knowledge about the process.  I'd like to hear your advice on How, Why and Where to get this started.  Thanks

You can add a watermark, but also preserve the EXIF metadata with copyright info. This can be stripped off by anyone, but it does lets honest folk know the image is not necessarily free. In my quick search I saw several articles about creating a copyright brush in Photoshop; nice bit of lateral thinking!
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 12:25:45 PM »
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A photographer I respect a lot once told me he doesn't want to worry about this, so he adds enough into the cost of each job to mentally and someone financially negate theft.  This makes a lot of sense to me because otherwise there isn't a lot you can do, and this is doing something.

Wouldn't it be interesting to add a 10% "future copyright theft charge" to our invoices..
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feppe
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 02:26:11 PM »
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Another way to look at it is that very few, if any, copyright infringements are actually lost sales. The people who copy images to their blog or computer wallpaper or print a 4x5 are unlikely to pay for it in the first place - let alone pay a worthwhile sum of money.
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Yelhsa
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 05:40:50 PM »
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Another way to look at it is that very few, if any, copyright infringements are actually lost sales.
Obviously if you are not producing images that 'others' want to use that much, then it's not a problem - so one solution is not to try so hard.

Otherwise you could be losing out big time, if you don't have the paperwork in place - because the more and/or longer they use those images, the less and/or longer it will be, before they need to call on you again.
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feppe
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 07:09:02 PM »
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Obviously if you are not producing images that 'others' want to use that much, then it's not a problem - so one solution is not to try so hard.

Otherwise you could be losing out big time, if you don't have the paperwork in place - because the more and/or longer they use those images, the less and/or longer it will be, before they need to call on you again.

You entirely missed my point.
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louoates
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 03:45:19 PM »
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This is a popular topic in the stock photo blogs. The fact is that image theft is way higher than most would guess. I've had images used without pay or permission by all kinds of end-users. Thieves are equal opportunity criminals. lifting any web based image that takes their fancy. Stock photo thieves are particularly nasty in that they upload them onto other quasi-legal stock sites (lots in third world areas) as their own work. Happens all the time. If you want to troll for illegally used images of yours you can use Google Chrome's image search. I don't do that anymore because it just raises my blood pressure to no avail. In short if you have any image on the web, copyrighted, watermarked, or any other impediment to theft, it will be stolen anyway. The prevailing belief is that if an image is on the internet it is in the public domain and can be used freely with no restrictions. I've just learned to live with that reality.
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feppe
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011, 06:20:57 AM »
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tineye.com is a better way to look for your images that have been used elsewhere online.

My point was: if you where to start producing images that were of higher commercial value to 'others' - then your point of view may change rather quickly - or maybe that should read: it would need to change rather quickly - because otherwise, you probably won't be able to afford to produce such images in the first place.

Still missing it. You're talking about the supply side, I'm talking about the demand side. Two different things.

I guarantee that it's not worth a pro's time to go after 99% of the cases of copyright infringement. The last 1% is uploaders mentioned by louates, and the rare case of real companies doing it which you occasionally read about.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 06:23:28 AM by feppe » Logged

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