Image Theft

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by photographyfanatic, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    I plan of opening a smugmug account to show and sell prints. They offer a feature where you can disable people from being able to right click on the image and save it. If I use that feature is that enough peace of mind that people can't take my images. Also, if blocking the right click image save is enabled, wouldn't that then allow me to diplay my work at a large size and not have to worry about image theft? I could water mark my stuff too, but would I really need to if they can't right click abd save them image?
     
  2. gravity0

    gravity0 TPF Noob!

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    I would water mark diagonally too as Ctrl Print screen is still available to thieves.
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    The best thing to do is watermark your images and be done with it.
    Even if you disable right click there are ways of getting the photo. If you can see it on your screen there is a way to copy it.

    Try to set up for 99% of honest customers, the last 1% will do what they want regardless of how you try to protect your image.

    Try not to worry too much about it before it happens, just make sure you keep your originals so if ever needed you can prove it is your shot.
     
  4. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    no matter what, people can always take a screenshot...

    But not many know that so you should still watermark and right-click protect them. It's the best you can do and its better than nothing.
     
  5. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    Ok so always right click disabled, watermark(what kind is best? X through the shot or what?) And what about largest viewing size? Is 4x6 the biggest I should go? Also doesnt watermarking detract from image viewing? Or no? Do you think that image theft is common or rare?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  6. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I think you need to realize that unless your shot would be regarded as outstanding even by pros, no thief is really going to gain much from stealing it. Annoying yes. Some pros do a google search for their photos and if they find one on a web site, they send an invoice to the owner for the photo indicating that if it is not paid in a limited time limit that legal action will follow. It is often successful in causing the image to be deleted instantly from the web site or payment being made.

    skieur
     
  7. Marc Kurth

    Marc Kurth TPF Noob!

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    You need to ask yourself the following questions:

    - Who is likely to steal them?
    - Why would they steal them?
    - What would they do with them?
    - Are they really "lost customers"?
    - Are the images so unique that they have extreme market value?

    Once you understand the ramifications of these questions, your answers will come easily.

    You mention viewing size of 4x6 on a website. Not sure what you mean....that would generally refer to a print size.

    As to your last question: Very, very common if the shot is interesting to the person stealing it. I had one of my shots of a USCG rescue boat in a big wave show up on over 220 sites before I stopped counting.

    - Twelve of the sites cut off my low key water mark from the bottom and claimed to have shot the image.
    - Two people quickly went into business selling prints

    I always register work that I know will have broad appeal, so I wasn't worried about big time misuse. I handled the the two worst abusers by doing some research and knocking on their door. Both turned out to be kids...

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  8. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    Well when you do an image search, if they stole it how would you find it? By general name of image or what? If I shot a highschool basketball game, disabled right click wouldn't people still be able just to print the image preview? Wouldn't they be lost customers? Is that why water marking is key? Do you feelit takes away from image viewing?
     
  9. Marc Kurth

    Marc Kurth TPF Noob!

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    OK, it sounds like you are least starting to think about some of the questions.....

    Yes, you could search by file name but that would only work if they didn't change the name and if they published it somewhere for the bots to find it.

    Yes, it is very, very easy to steal your images and print them and you would never know it. I would assume that this level of customer is willing to settle for less than perfect results when the price is free.

    Yes, that is why people prominently watermark their images.

    Do you have permission to sell images taken at the school athletic events? Some schools are under contracts with photographers with exclusive rights for image sales. Might want to check this out if you haven't already.

    Marc
     
  10. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    That right click thing is easy to work around. The best way is to go to page source and find the direct link to the image. The next option is print screen.

    The best way ive seen is to put the image into a flash. You can probably still get the image out of the file, but I dont know how.

    The best advice ive seen is to keep the file small, and watermark it.
     
  11. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Surprisingly enough, often the image is stolen, along with your original title, so you can use that to do a search. A smaller or odd image format (square for example with tight framing to edge, on the screen, along with lower resolution limits the usefulness as a stolen image. As to the watermark, it does not matter where it is, the fact that it is removed proves intentional copyright infringement and an increase in damages if you sue.

    skieur
     
  12. Marc Kurth

    Marc Kurth TPF Noob!

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    The OP is concerned with a highschool kid grabbing a picture of himself for his own use. My attorney wouldn't touch that if I begged him to, and it wouldn't be worth my time to chase it beyond a nasty-gram.

    Under U.S. law, the moment you snap the picture you own the copyright, BUT the only way to collect money beyond "fair use" is to sue for punitive damages, and that requires that you register the work within certain time constraints. It is almost unheard of to collect punitive damages from a person who wasn't using an image for obvious financial gain.

    Putting a big old watermark on a highschool sports picture will simply make it easier for the person to buy it than steal it ;)

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009

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