copyright issues


TPF Noob!
Apr 30, 2003
Reaction score
For all of the professional website do you deal with copyright issues? I mean most of the folks here are diplaying thier images with enough resolution to make nice prints on just about any new printer. And not many people are doing much to protect them.

I'm not trying to chastise anyone, just curious if there's something I don't know. Are you not really worried about it? I've put the javascript "copyrighted picture" on my website images ( but that even is bypassable fairly easy. Visable watermarks make it hard to sell, invisable watermarks are only good if you find your work after it's been lifted. About the best thing I've seen is a set of pics loaded into a flash movie. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they figure out how to get around that.

Please share ideas on how to protect your work.
Now there's a million dollar question. Almost anything we can think of someone else can find a way around it. Even government computers get hacked. Some people do put up some very nice high res photos and no doubt they get taken.

I read an interesting article last night by a fella who puts his url on all images as some of them get inadvertantly stolen he figures at least he gets some free advertising. True, some people have the time and talent to photoshop it out but most won't bother and even more couldn't if they wanted to. According to the author, any reputable publication or agency would never stoop so low and wouldn't want the bad press after such an incident was discovered. Second of all those who would swipe an image would never become a paying customer even if there were a way to protect the online image.

About all I was able to come up with for my images was to crop them tighter than I would normally and put them in frames designed in photoshop beveling the edges of the image before flattening the layers. Reason being that if they try to crop off the frame and bevel; the image would be somewhat less attractive due to the drastic cropping of an already tightly cropped image. I also made a logo in photoshop and saved it as a brush tip and use it for all online images. Again, it could be touched out by a talented person but on most images it would take quite a bit of work due to it's size and placement.

I feel that as photographer trying to show our best stuff online we have to show some decent images, doing what is necessary to showcase our ability. There are risks to be sure but to me it's more important to show that I CAN produce a halfway decent image to those whom I hope will hire me. I only upload images saved at 72 dpi as a jpeg and save the tif files to a cd so that the work is done should anyone wish to purchase a print.

It would indeed be the proverbial "better mouse trap" for the person who could come up with a sure fire way to right protect images and would make them a ton of money. Sure wish that I could do it.

In closing remember that the www (world wide web) is just that, world wide and that some countries aren't bound by treaties or agreements to honor copyrights. Even if you had everything registered, a rock solid case for infringment and the money and time to file an international lawsuit, there are entire countries out there who don't care, never will and you can't make them. At least that's the way I see it. Steve
I know this is a bit old, but I'm new, so ...

Anyways - "displaying their images with enough resolution to print them"

At what quality? I know I display my online images at 640x?? and that's enough resolution to print crap. If someone wants to print my pictures from online when I save them to 150kb or less, they'd be hard pressed to get a decent shot from that. Trust me, I've tried.

Most good quality shots are done at 150ppi, not the 72 required for viewing. If I put up a 72ppi @ 640 px wide version of my image and someone prints it, they're going to be in for a shock. My printable images at are displayed at 72ppi but the images they use to print them at the printer are 7-15 MB 250 ppi images! That's a heck of a difference...about 4 times the quality.

So I just don't worry about it. I have been poor. If someone wants to print my images, I'll SEND them the 15 MB file. I've done it before, I'll do it again. If you're in photography for the money, you should be doing portrait studio/wedding/senior prom/senior picture type shots. That's the money. Fine art, online sales = won't keep you in business. Barely starts to pay for the time you spend.



Most reactions