Do you really need to watermark? Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sincere, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    Just curious on how nessesary it really is. Also, what alternative is there? What do you guys do to protect your own work?
     
  2. Cooler_King

    Cooler_King TPF Noob!

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    I watermark purely because Picasa 3.0 has it as an optional tick box. It just adds a small personal touch to my photos I think.

    Occasionally it gets in the way of the details in which case I have to re-export the image with no watermark.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't do it.

    As far as protecting your work, the best thing you can do is not post it online if you're that worried about other people downloading your stuff.

    No watermark will stop someone from downloading your picture, and if it's too big it will just make the picture look like crap.


    Either deal with the fact that people are going to download your pictures, or don't put anything online.

    A nice compromise would be to only put crappy resolution pictures online. That way, when people steal them, their prints will suck.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It's not necessary at all to prevent copying. It can be good for advertising though.

    As Josh pointed out, if your images are online a watermark/copyright statement won't stop anyone from copying it. It's not to difficult to remove someones watermark/copyright statement anyway.

    You become the copyright owner as soon as you release the shutter. In the distant past you had to put a copyright statement on the image to activate your copyright. Not today.

    However, if you want to persue a copyright infringement legal action the first thing an attorney is going to ask is, "Is the copyright for the image(s) registered?"

    Copyright is Federal Law and to secure all your legal rights, you have to register your copyright ownership with the US Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress. www.copyright.org

    So, the only sure way to keep your images from being stolen from the Internet is, don't put them there in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  5. Cooler_King

    Cooler_King TPF Noob!

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    o||||||o it's not really about protecting my work I just like to see it there but I believe you are making a dangerous statement there.

    "Either deal with the fact that people are going to download your pictures, or don't put anything online"

    That's nonsense. It's like saying don't own a TV if you don't want someone to steal it.

    Noone has a right to your intellectual property and I certainly won't be dissuaded from posting online because idiots may right click|copy one of my images.

    I don't particularly care if someone steals it however we should not foster this lassez faire attitude to copyright theft.
     
  6. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I view the watermarking in the same way as I view those godawful borders - folks (generally) think it adds a level of sophistication to the work ("View on black!!!"). If someone is going to steal your photo, and are stymied by a watermark - they will just find a photo without one on it.

    If you must watermark, do so in a clever way. I forget where, but someone had a watermarking technique where they embedded their details minutely and damn near hidden in the photo; much like the MPAA does on screenprints sent to movie reviewers.
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't.

    No, I think it would be more like saying "Don't buy a TV and store it on your sidewalk if you don't want it to get stolen."

    You would rather foster denial?

    There is no question that it happens. The only question is what are you going to do about it?

    You have 3 options

    Option 1: Don't care.

    Option 2: Post nothing.

    Option 3: The compromise option. Post pictures, but make sure they're too crappy for a good print.

    Myself, I am in the 'don't care' camp. I know that anyone can download any of my pictures and I don't really care. I make no attempt to stop it either (since all that would do is occupy more of my time and still not prevent anything).


    I'm not saying that it's right - I'm just saying that it's the way it is.

    Denying that is just naïve...
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hit the nail on the head.

    Your three options as above:
    1. The don't care attitude, Post large pictures knowing that eventually someone will steal them. Sure no one has a right to, but then people do it anyway, and for the most part there is very little that can be done about it. Quick search for "copyright" in the Discussions subforum would lead to plenty of examples.

    2. Yeah not an option to post nothing, you may as well close your TPF account :)

    3. This is the one that causes the most grief in these types of discussions. There are plenty out there that think "make sure they're too crappy for a good print" means putting a watermark straight through the middle. Well if you're going to post that garbage I suggest you take option 2 above and don't post at all.

    The thing to remember is that a 800px wide print may look good on the screen, but would be absolutely horrible to print. This means that when someone steals it they can simply use it on their own website to further their sorry little existence. However the resolution is too small to print in any way that would give it a sellable quality.


    So the onus is on the photographer, do you share your pictures in a way that people can see them, do you cripple them to the point where people don't want to see them, or do you simply not share them to begin with. Those are your only 3 options.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    One time (the only time) I don't mind seeing a watermark is when it is a small, unobtrusive, watermark identifying either the photo or the photographer.

    I'm talking about a small watermark along an edge, or in a corner with the name of the photographer, or the name of the photo.

    This type of watermark does absolutely nothing for theft prevention, but hey - that's not what it's there for.
     
  10. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    I don't watermark. I don't worry about people stealing my images...it is going to happen....it has happened to me, no big deal.
     
  11. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow, can't anyone think critically anymore? He's being intentionally ridiculous.

    I'm not even going to bother arguing why "intellectual property" is an insulting oxymoron, I'm too tired to win that argument again.
     
  12. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    Hypocrisy much? :lol:

    He made a valid adjustment to the intentional ridiculousness of the TV scenario.

    Having someone come into your computer (your living room) and steal a (non published on the web) photo (the TV) is much different than someone coming onto your website (the sidewalk) and stealing a (published on the web) photo (the TV).

    As for the topic, I don't watermark my stuff for protection, I do it for the advertisement. I guess that means I'm just vane. I don't even watermark all my stuff. The stuff I sell doesn't usually get put on the web.
     

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