Digital Copywrite & Watermarking/Fingerprinting

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by jeffds, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. jeffds

    jeffds TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so from what I've researched and acquired; If you plan to go into semi-professional or professional photography, it's best to copywrite or mark your pictures. This way, no one should be able to use your pictures without proper payment or your consent.

    You can pay a $45 fee through the US government and after sending in physical copies, they can record your works. However, they provide no searching services to find possible misuse.

    You can sign up with a few different companies (some commercial, some consumer) that give you software to "fingerprint" or "watermark" your photos. Most of the ones that I've seen stand around $300 annually NOTE: you can download free software if you just want to mark works (no searching). Some of these companies then use comparison image searching technologies to find possible misuse of your art.

    Conclusion; Most of these marking programs, near expensive, will hold up in court as long as it is a rare one that protects against resizing or cropping, or that the picture wasn't defaced. However a slightly better case in court, going through the government again does not offer search services, so you have to stumble upon your misused art yourself.

    Some image marking software is free. is there an image comparison search engine that's low-cost//free out there that I haven't found? Better solution?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I think you are thinking about this too deeply. What type of photography are you planning on selling? Who are you protecting your photos from? Where would your images be, that they could be stolen?


    *edit*
    Please don't cross post your questions.
     
  3. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    Same post in two threads - methinks this is a little suspicious
     
  4. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't publish.

    "Life is cruel? Compared to what?"
    -Edward Abbey

    --
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    You can easily get too paranoid about people stealing your photos, especially photographers with limited experience, whose photographs would certainly not even attract a potential thief.

    If you are a pro with a recognizable personal style, then that by itself becomes your "copyright" and is easy to recognize and protect.

    Everything is relative too. You have the skills that made the shot. The shot can be stolen but not the skill to produce it. Although it may be aggravating to have some of your shots stolen, unless there has been serious monetary loss, it is not worth pursuing things legally.

    There are steps to take for even minor infringing of your copyright, but you need to weigh your time and effort involved versus what you hope to gain monetarily. Certain steps are definitely worthwhile up to a point. After that point, it depends on the circumstances.

    skieur
     
  6. jeffds

    jeffds TPF Noob!

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    sorry for the cross post. my photography is mainly environmental/portaits. I love to experiment with many subjects so it's hard to place a finger on it. i would be protecting my photos from businesses to phony photographers. the pictures would be shown via online portfolio, so you could literally copy and paste (although smaller sample resolutions would help that). I'm a photography _student_ , but I've had some experience with weddings, and portraits and think I have a skill to trade. ::shrugs::
     
  7. jeffds

    jeffds TPF Noob!

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    (no sarcasm here) so how do you advertise other than word of mouth?
     
  8. jeffds

    jeffds TPF Noob!

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    you make some good points, thank you. some people would be willing to pursue, and I can see how some might be a waste of time. I just don't see how printing my name on the picture will come short of stopping cropping. Nevertheless, it seems like we have no method as photographers to even monitor such behavior. maybe I'm just frustrated with the situation.

    if it ever came to court, I would hope to god that the judge had an artistic eye.

    could you offer any advice on steps to prevent minor copyright infringement?
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    One pro does a regular search of the Internet. If he finds a copy of his photo on a site he e-mails the offending party an invoice for the photo at double the usual price with a limit of 2 weeks to pay. Often the photo disappears from the site very quickly. (You may leave it at that stage or press for payment). Next step is a letter to the ISP hosting the infringing web page, reminiding them that as the "publisher" of the infringing work, they may also be as responsible as the web page owner. The ISP may take the photo off the page or close the web page down.

    One photographer sells his invoices for copyright infringement to a collection agency and another processes them in small claims court.

    By greatly compressing and reducing the resolution of any images that you put on the web, you can reduce the attractiveness of your images to a thief as well. He may be able to copy them for example but increase or change their size without the image becoming pixellated.

    skieur
     
  10. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with Skieur, also If you do plan to copyright with the government, which will hold up the strongest in court, copyright a large number of photos as an anthology, or collection. The fee is the same to copyright 1 or 100 pictures. (although I'm not sure if there is a upper limit). Same thing goes for music or video and film. save up a bunch of your work and do it all at once.

    Another Thought, although I an no web designer, but I don't beleive its too difficult, If you have shots for specific clients that you don't want circulating on the web, you can create a "secure" section of you website that requires the client to enter a password in order to access their photos.
     
  11. Bevel Heaven

    Bevel Heaven TPF Noob!

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    This is true. You can easily set up password protected folders within your domain. Your ISP typically has it set up in your control panel to easily do this. Contact your ISP. I also write code in the html to disable right click/save etc which keeps the idiots from saving your photos but doesn;t 1000% protect. I also have a copyright notice on each page the photo are on.....
     
  12. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    Skieur, how does he go about searching the internet for his photos? Wouldn't somebody who had stolen the picture change basic info like file names or titles? Or does he just monitor certain sites?
     

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