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Question about copyright watermark

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Truebeam, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Truebeam

    Truebeam Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 19, 2014
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I am new to photography and this forum. I have shared some pictures with a copyright mark on them. I just received this PM today.

    "Lily, unless you intend to sell your photos, I strongly recommend that you not deface them with a copyright notice. Others don't seem to mind, but I find them so annoying and distracting that I never leave thanks for a photo that has one"

    Honestly the reason I stick a watermark on my shared photos is not because I think my work is so good. The reason is actually that I am paranoid about people using my photo (mainly my son's) in any inappropriate way. But I don't know if the copyright mark does anything. I might be just silly. Would appreciate your opinions.

    BTW what is copyright notice? How do I do it when I share pictures?

    Many thanks in advance!

    Lily
     
  2. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    People will always find something to complain about ...

    Elon Musk may want to not enforce his patents but expecting everyone else to also do so is remarkably silly. They are your photos so do what you want with them. If you don't protect your copyrights then they may as well not exist at all!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Bob
    Lily, there are always naysayers and folks who dislike things others do like. I wouldn't let that comment disturb you. When you share a photo you should be able to feel confident that it won't be misused (in any way). So if the copyright notice helps you feel safer about sharing a pic, then use it. After all, it's your photo; post it the way you want to post it and don't worry about what someone else might dislike about it.

    [edit] Oh... And the Spork be with you!
    :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    There are two separate things you need to keep in mind - watermark and copyright. A watermark is the visible mark that you put on your image, and that can be seen by viewers. There is a lot of debate about the use of watermarks, mostly relating to branding and prevention of theft (or inappropriate use). Watermarks will generally deter lazy or inexperienced "thiefs", but can easily be removed by those who know how to do so. A copyright is the text that is placed in the EXIF data that is part of your image. This is more important if you are concerned about commercial use of your image, and may possibly plan to take action if your image is used inappropriately. It does nothign to stop the theft of your image, but may be honored by a lab or a web host if you can show that you are the holder of the copyright. If you want to make your images available publically, I would suggest that you only post low resolution copies that are highly compressed. This will limit their use to others, as they cannot be printed in any substantial size with quality. Web use is quite hard to deter as the resolution requirement for decent image presentation are not nearly as high. If the image is that important, do not post it publically. For the record, I usually post moderately low resolution copies of my images with a mild watermark on the bottom of each image. It is a mild deterrent, and a bit of marketing, but it will not stop somebody who is determined.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Mike
    The photos are your to do with what you want. I personally do not care for watermarked photos, but that is just my opinion.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I watermark them with (C) and my name. They're actually copyrighted by default when you publish then whether you mark them in some way or not. I look at the watermark as more akin to an artist's signature.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Start doing it like this, just to annoy him:

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 6
  8. pasisti

    pasisti Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Dec 16, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    I personally have decided not to use watermarks on the photos I publish. This is a question I have pondered quite a deal on. I came to this conclusion because as stated previously, people who know their stuff can always find a way to remove them. Even just by cropping it out. If you shoot in RAW and have that file on your computer, you will have no problem whatsoever to prove your rights to an image if some company steals your photo from the internet and uses it for themselves and you seek retribution. But as someone said, you should feel safe about posting photos and if watermarks help you with that then you shouldn't feel bad about using them! One thing that was a factor for me was that whenever I looked on a watermarked photo, my attention went often too much to the watermark if present. On the other hand, if you are trying to get your name out there, it should be good that people see your name on photos. The way I decided to do this is that whenever I post a photo or someone posts a photo that I have taken, I want it to be credited to me in the description (especially on facebook). That way I get the credit but my watermark doesn't steal the attention.

    I posted my honest reasons because everyone has their way and circumstances vary so much that it is impossible to give advice that would be true in all cases. If you see the thinking behind my reasons I think you can apply them to your situation and see which way suits the best! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    I don't think a lack of "thanks" is the worst thing that can happen to us. Post your photos the way that makes you feel most comfortable.

    Now the question of "Do watermarks actually DO anything to protect your work?" is still open to debate.
     
  10. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Though not a watermark, mine do have a C 201x S. Rastsmith at the bottom in white. Less for stealing, and more for just people reposting without credit.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I wouldn't sweat it. Do what you feel makes sense for you. I don't have a problem with it. I sometimes chuckle when I see a really really bad photo with a copyright/watermark on it, but I wouldn't withhold a thanks or get worked up over someone using one.

    I saw one of your photos and the mark was quite small and didn't "ruin" the image.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    Lily, it seems like your main concern is protecting your son. For that reason, I would recommend using as little personally identifiable information as possible. If you want to use a watermark, use something other than your own name. (Truebeam, maybe?) Either don't set your camera to include copyright information in the metadata, or use something other than your real name. Turn off the geotagging/GPS. Be careful about posting photographs that include information that could disclose the location too precisely; for example, don't post a picture that shows your house number, or your license plate, or the sign for your son's preschool, or anything like that. Don't title your images with your son's name.

    You're fortunate to have a very beautiful child! I don't want to discourage you from posting photographs of him -- just advising a little bit of care.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    I'm endlessly arguing with my close photog friends about watermarking shots, being of the opinion that they at worse ruin a photo and at best are an unnecessary distraction and do essentially nothing to deter a dishonest person who wants to appropriate your shot. Still, many of them are trying to make a living at photography and I'm not. ;)

    If you are concerned about such, the only safe thing to do is to not post photos in public places. If you are concerned about privacy/safety then flamingfish's advice is worth considering. In the event you find someone has appropriated your photo, adding a visible copyright notice isn't required for legal standing.

    I also agree with flamingfish that your child is beautiful!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    The point that is missing here is this: The harder you make it to steal, the less likely a photo will be stolen. Most people are damned lazy. They will move on from your shot and steal someone else's. Low hanging fruit and all that.

    (Yes, I have had photos stolen, sometimes in a casual way, other times maliciously.)

    If the thief had to crop out your watermark, they can no longer claim ignorance. That will matter if the case ever comes before a judge. For this reason I have decided to put a small copyright statement on my images. If this annoys people, they are free not to view my photos, thousands of which I make available for free, rather than keeping them under lock and key.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rparmar/14562077005" title="these many months now (door #2122) by Robin Parmar, on Flickr"> 14562077005_9fcb62936d_c. "800" height="800" alt="these many months now (door #2122)"></a>
     
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  15. Truebeam

    Truebeam Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 19, 2014
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I personally was not worried too much before until I found out that my son's preschool did not allow parents taking photos at school, in case if we accidentally get other kids in the background. I thought it was a common practice here in the US and reminded myself that I needed to be careful.

    I do feel more comfortable having a watermark on my photos but I agree that they should not create any distraction.

    @Flamingfish: Great idea. I will remove the GPS info.

    Thanks again to everyone!

    Lily
     
  16. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Policies vary widely, and it can sometimes be a challenge to parents or service providers who wish to maintain the privacy of children or clients, especially with the advent of smartphones and social media sites like Facebook.

    --Ken
     
  17. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Paranoia about children is truly out of control. If children do come to harm it is almost always a relative or friend who is the perpetrator. And never (or close enough to never) is photography a factor.

    Funny that one of the first thing the cops do when a crime is committed is ask for anyone who might have photographs... They even do this for locations where photography is "forbidden"!

    Oh well, this is way off topic now.
     
  18. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    I first heard the advice that I repeated above from an FBI agent who worked with the US Department of Justice section responsible for investigating crimes against children. You're right that the vast majority of offenses involve someone known personally to the victim, and that tracking a child through a photograph is rare -- but even though it's extremely unlikely that a child would come to harm as a result of a posted image, the stakes are high enough that it's worth taking some care.

    (The more substantial risk is from photos posted on social media sites like Facebook, often by the children themselves. I'd think that posting something here would be quite low risk.)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Truebeam

    Truebeam Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 19, 2014
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I totally agree. I understand the need to protect everyone's privacy (including children of course), however at the same time, it has become incredibly challenging for parents wanting to record the moments of their kids. Not long ago, one of my friend tried to snap a couple pictures at the swimming pool while her 3.5 yr old boy was taking his first swimming classes, but was told that taking pictures were not allowed. I do find it quite upsetting.


     
  20. Truebeam

    Truebeam Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 19, 2014
    San Francisco Bay Area
    (The more substantial risk is from photos posted on social media sites like Facebook, often by the children themselves. I'd think that posting something here would be quite low risk.)[/QUOTE]

    I feel so much better posting pictures now! Thank you all.