Should I Watermark my images?

Should I watermark my Images?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • No

    Votes: 6 50.0%

  • Total voters
    12

timarp000

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Is it a good idea to watermark the pictures that i take?

What are the advantages of watermarking?
 

cgipson1

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If you have a legitimate business, watermarks can be a form of advertising. For online proofing, they are useful to prevent theft, but only if they are very hard to remove, and cover the subject. Many pro's do this, with a low opacity watermark that doesn't distract from the image much, but would still make printing or theft unworthwhile.

Many hobbyists will do a small watermark, just to lay claim to the images... especially if posting in locations that aren't specific to them.

Most of the watermarks you see are from amateurs under the impression that a watermark implies that they are producing professional work.. and most of the watermarks are horrid, too large, and distract from the images badly. This is also true of the new class of "quasi-pro's" that are so prevalent today... Facebook / Craigslist Pro's if you will. Some of the ugliest watermarks I have ever seen belong to so-called Pro's!

Why do you think you might need one? Watermarks will not prevent theft, unless they cover the subject, and are impossible to remove.... and unless you have a need to advertise, they are of little use.

I just put my name on my images if posting to somewhere where I want people to know I took it (facebook, flickr, etc), and I prevent use by only posting small heavily web-compressed images that only an idiot would try to print. If someone want an image for their desktop.. not much you can do about it.

A watermark is not a copyright, btw! And unless you actually register your images... they are not automatically copyrighted! Even having an image copyrighted will not prevent theft if you post online. But it will give you legal rights to the image, and allow you fight that theft in court if you can find it and prove it.
 
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480sparky

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WatermarkFun.jpg~original
 

ShooterJ

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None of mine are watermarked.. I don't really care, myself.. I'm not in business and if someone wants to download or print an image.. knock yourself out.

I do resize my images as jpegs, but honestly it's just because uploading is faster. LOL

Like Charlie said, it just depends on whether or not you have a need. If I decide to go into business, I'd handle images differently. :)
 

KmH

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Check out what is known as Copyright Management Information, or CMI.
CMI is typically embedded in an image's Exif and IPTC metadata fields.

Internet image theft is rampant, and many photographers are uninformed about copyright or publication law.

Copyright laws vary by country, so you will need to find out about copyright law in India.

However, there is an International copyright agreement known as the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works -
Berne Convention - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Exchangeable image file format - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
International Press Telecommunications Council - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Regarding US law - CMI | Photo Attorney
 

480sparky

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...........Internet image theft is rampant, and the vast majority of the population is uninformed about copyright or publication law.........

FIFY.
 

Buckster

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I don't know anything about copyright and the law in India, but here in the U.S. it can be advantageous to put a mark on images for a couple reasons, most of which have already been covered, so I'll skip those.

One that often gets overlooked is that IF an image has been registered with the US Copyright Office, and IF that image has been used without the consent of the copyright owner, and IF whomever used it removed the mark, it shows serious intent to violate copyright in the court's eyes. If they used it without removing the notice, it shows they were definitely informed and aware that they were using a copyrighted image, preventing them from claiming ignorance or that they thought it was in the public domain or something like that. So, either way, it's helpful to have marked it if it ever goes to court.

As copyright attorney Ed Greenburg says in this book, Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (Lark Photography Book): Edward C. Greenberg, Jack Reznicki: 9781600594205: Amazon.com: Books , (paraphrasing) "YES! It's EASY to remove a copyright notice and most watermarks! It WON'T stop someone from using your image without your permission!! And my wife WANTS someone to remove your copyright notice, because she wants a NEW CAR!!! Having someone remove your notice helps HUGE to prove intent of copyright violation in court!! So YES, mark your images!!"

He and his co-author go on to say that you just never really know which of your images might be considered valuable or worthy enough for someone to use without your permission, so don't think your stuff isn't good enough or professional enough. Mark your images, file them with the copyright office, and then relax because you're covered just in case it ever becomes an issue. It's cheap insurance that you may never need, but if it ever comes up, it could be the difference between getting nothing and getting a pretty big payday out of the blue.

Though I register every image (that doesn't get deleted) with the US Copyright Office, I didn't use to mark them in any way, other than included copyright info in the EXIF. After reading that book and a couple others about US Copyright law and my rights as a photographer, now I do. It's very small, unobtrusive, easy to remove if someone wanted to, but I've decided that it's a good idea to do my small part to try to make it easier for my attorney and the court just in case I ever need them to go to bat for me.

YMMV
 
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timarp000

timarp000

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Well, Even if i watermark my images, anyone can just crop out the watermarked bit and act as if THEY took the image. Since I have never done something like that and a whole lot of people have not, Im sure that not everyone is going to try that. I would understand if anyone would take my images from my facebook page and use it as their desktop backround. But what i wouldnt like is them claiming that they themselves took the picture. Since I upload all my good Images on my Facebook Page, Should I upload at a lower Resolution? But If i do that, the image wont be as effective to the viewers.

I upload in 'High Quality' with a resolution of 2048x1365

Another disadvantage to watermarking- Lets say I want to use one of my pictures as a Desktop backround, If i have a watermark, it will be an issue for me aswell...

Also My Facebook page Name is "PVR-Photography." PVR is my initials. I found two other pages on Facebook - PVR's Photography and PVR Photography. Well as you see the names are Almost Identical. If i use the '©' symbol how will it impact on the other people's photos? And due to Copyright violation and all will I/They be in trouble? So should I change my Page's Name? If I do, do you guys have any suggestions?

Check Out my Facebook Page aswell :) - PVR-Photography.
 

Gavjenks

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It is very difficult to watermark images in an irreversible way. You'd have to use some kind of procedurally generated watermark that is different each time, and make it high enough opacity that it really destroys the data underneath sufficiently to be non-recoverable. Then you'd have to cover up enough of the subject that it couldn't be cloned out.

In other words, it'd have to be a really obnoxious watermark. Meaning that the only really practical reasons to watermark have little to do with out and out technical protection, and more to do with:

1) Legal protection. As Buckster mentioned, if somebody removes it, that implies intent to steal.
2) Advertising (note that for this to be successful, you need a short and sweet unique business name or photographer name or website visible to find easily)

Either of the above two reasons can be effective with a very small and not very distracting watermark in the corner.

Another disadvantage to watermarking- Lets say I want to use one of my pictures as a Desktop backround, If i have a watermark, it will be an issue for me aswell...
Keep two copies, one with and one without...

And due to Copyright violation and all will I/They be in trouble?
The copyright belongs to whomever took the photo. Not to whomever has a similar name. Common names can be tricky, though, in being able to easily prove it's yours. There are many ways around this. Registering your image with the government is easy and solves this problem. Also, using a unique logo in conjunction with your initials, or providing a short link or whatever to disambiguate yourself would be helpful. Just try to keep it non distracting still.




If you want to actually PROTECT your images straight up from theft, a much more effective way of doing this is by only posting low resolution versions online. 800 pixels on a long edge, for instance, is large enough to appreciate the quality of an image on a computer monitor, but is not large enough to make any reasonably sized print from, or to make an effective desktop out of, or anything useful other than showing off the image, pretty much.
 
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480sparky

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One of these images is watermarked:

WatermarkA.jpg~original



WatermarkB.jpg~original



WatermarkC.jpg~original



Can anyone tell me which one, and with 100% surety?
 

KmH

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Lets say I want to use one of my pictures as a Desktop backround, If i have a watermark, it will be an issue for me aswell...
Use an image editing application that can make layers. Put the watermark on it's own layer and save the final image in a file format that retains the layers, like Photoshop's .PSD file type or as a layered TIFF.

When you want to use the file without the watermark, turn off the watermark layer and convert the image to whatever file type you need, like JPEG for a Desktop background.

There is only 1 100% effective way to prevent online image theft. Don't put your images online.
Watermarking is not a deterrent to image theft. watermarking's value is advertising.

Buckster's notes about watermarking and it's use in establishing the intent of theft is based on US copyright law.
If someone here in the US were to infringe your copyright, the Berne Convention would kick in and US copyright law would apply.
If someone in France were to infringe your copyrights, by the Berne Convention French copyright law would apply.
If you want the full protection of US copyright law, you would need to register your image copyrights with the US Copyright Office to qualify for the legal benefits US registration provides.
Indeed, US Copyright office copyright registration is required prior to filing an infringement action in the US federal court system. (USC Title 17 §411).

The intent Buckster speaks of applies to infringement actions that seek statutory damages. When plantiff's legal counsel is able to establish willful intent, the statutes allow the court higher statutory award limits of up to $150,000 per infringed image.
the normal statutory limits are $750 to $30,000 per infringed image.
If the infringer's legal counsel can establish there was no intent, the court at it's discretion can award as little as $200.(USC Title 17 §504 (c) (2))
 
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Benco

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Well, Even if i watermark my images, anyone can just crop out the watermarked bit and act as if THEY took the image. Since I have never done something like that and a whole lot of people have not, Im sure that not everyone is going to try that. I would understand if anyone would take my images from my facebook page and use it as their desktop backround. But what i wouldnt like is them claiming that they themselves took the picture. Since I upload all my good Images on my Facebook Page, Should I upload at a lower Resolution? But If i do that, the image wont be as effective to the viewers.
I upload in 'High Quality' with a resolution of 2048x1365

But how many viewers have a monitor capable of viewing an image of that size without scrolling? some will but most, I suspect, won't.

Another disadvantage to watermarking- Lets say I want to use one of my pictures as a Desktop backround, If i have a watermark, it will be an issue for me aswell...

Keep a version for your own use that doesn't have a watermark.
 

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