How do you protect your photos when you put them online?

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sylvanworksCLOSED
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 7:53AM
I'm doing some research for an article I'm writing and I'm curious to hear your thoughts about what measures you take to protect the photos you put online. Is it even an issue you worry about? Do you use sites like Flickr, Vox, Facebook and Photobucket to share photos? Do you have your own website? If you have a website, do you use any fancy technology designed to protect from theft?

Any and all thoughts and opinions welcome, and thanks in advance.
sylvanworksCLOSED
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has been inducted into the iStockphoto Hall of Fame.
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 7:54AM
[as an aside, this has nothing to do with my role at iStock]
sjlocke
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 7:58AM
I don't put any images online. I had some family ones in myphotoalbum.com, but since I didn't pay a fee, they closed my account eventually. Now, I just send a cd to my parents every couple of months.
.

Actually, I do have a couple in my website portfolio, with a watermark.
juke5489CLOSED
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 8:01AM

the only place where i post my photos is deviantart. so far i have not really taken any measures to prevent art theft as i simply did not worry that much. i do not have thousands of people watching my stuff so i am pretty confident that the chances having my art stolen are pretty low. nevertheless i only upload photos with a max. resolution of 900*600 and even if someone stole those pictures, what could they earn from such a tiny photo.


i am however going to use watermarks in the near future.
lagereek
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 8:31AM

Fact is, once theyre online, watermaket or not, you cant really protect them.


all the best
kickstand
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 8:38AM

Always a tough choice. I enjoy sharing images too much to not do it.

  • I try to restrict my Flickr images to those that cannot be sold on iStock ... for the most part
  • I watermark most of my photos. I realize somebody can remove the watermark, but at least they can't claim that they didn't realize the image was owned by me.
  • I never post larger than 800 pixels, and frequently 540 pixels.
  • I make sure to use the most restrictive license on Flickr (ie, none)
  • I've started to use Flash galleries in some cases, instead of HTML galleries, it should hide the image from searches (?) and prevent right-clicking


Still, I understand that no image online is secure, and I might get burned. Life involves risk.


 
kelvinjay
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 9:08AM

I don't upload anything that I'm not happy to have stolen. So I keep maximum size uploaded to my galleries at 525px max and use the excellent SimpleViewerPro plug in with Lightroom to create things like this:


http://www.impressvideo.com/gallery/gallery.html


Now I know that some clever dick can still manage to get those images if they really want to, but by having them in Flash and having the right click "Save As.." disabled, it discourages the vast majority who might be tempted to quickly nab one of the shots. I don't watermark, as the only effective ones ruin the images and people can easily clone & crop them out anyway if they're that determined.


 
sylvanworksCLOSED
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has been inducted into the iStockphoto Hall of Fame.
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 9:11AM

Posted By kelvinjay:

I don't upload anything that I'm not happy to have stolen. So I keep maximum size uploaded to my galleries at 525px max and use the excellent SimpleViewerPro plug in with Lightroom to create things like this:


http://www.impressvideo.com/gallery/gallery.html



Great shots!
SoopySue
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 9:52AM

I've had a website for years. My images are small and heavily scrunched, from the days when I had wet-string dial-up. I'm watermarking the larger/better quality images in my flash gallery, as they're in my iStock port.


Is there anything that can stop someone doing a screen grab if they want? If not, nothing other than a watermark will be effective.
SoopySue
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 9:59AM
Posted By kelvinjay:

I don't upload anything that I'm not happy to have stolen. So I keep maximum size uploaded to my galleries at 525px max and use the excellent SimpleViewerPro plug in with Lightroom to create things like this:


http://www.impressvideo.com/gallery/gallery.html


Now I know that some clever dick can still manage to get those images if they really want to,



I'm not even clever, but it took me a second to tke a screen dump of your opening page.


Flash makes it difficult for the Search Engines to find a site, especially via deep linking, which may be an issue. (As I told an astonished restaurateur, when I couldn't find his website via Google. "But it's a Flash website, really up-to-date; I paid £xxx for it!" His expensive web designer didn't even have HTML on the Home Page - though he'd told the restaurateur that he had.)
MikkoSuhonen
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 10:08AM
Watermark photos even it's easy to clone it out , add digital meta data, use limited image sizes and limit file's usability for printing, educate everyone on basic's about image license. Site like istock and it's worldwide group of educated members can together form additional safety. It's easier to protect images that are well-known.
kelvinjay
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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 10:51AM
Posted By SoopySue:


I'm not even clever, but it took me a second to tke a screen dump of your opening page.



Yes you can do a screen grab, save it to your PC, open Photoshop, open the file, crop it down and resave it or whatever, but so long as you can't just Right click "save as" then it will still deter the vast majority of people. The only image that's safe from theft is one you can't see, that's why I only make things available at a size that I'm willing to risk it at.


I upload snap shots to Facebook and don't protect them at all, other than having them at 525px max, but then again only my real friends are my facebook friends and so don't see any threat from that quarter. I used to use Deviantart but it's a mutual back slapping site for the most part, and I quit there when I started shooting stock.
sylvanworksCLOSED
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has been inducted into the iStockphoto Hall of Fame.
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 11:13AM
It does all seem to be a series of compromises.

Do any of you register your copyrights or take advantage of adding copyright and contact info to metadata?
sakaasa
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 12:34PM
/
/A quote from an IE paper from 1999:

"Digital watermarks have been proposed to protect legal owners from piracy--illegal copying and retransmission. However, many research problems remain open, and watermarking techniques are themselves vulnerable to piracy. This article collects fundamental watermarking concepts and offers a general watermarking framework for protecting the copyright of digital products. Registration of watermarked products is proposed for developing a trustworthy overall protection system."


Odd that we haven't come much further in the last 10 years or so. The newest technology that I am aware of is digital recognition. This is very promising. I think someone posted a link to information in one of the iStock forums a couple of weeks ago. I don't remember which one just now. I think some agencies (like Getty?) may already be using something like this.


I never use "save for web" and always make certain that the IPTC and Exif data are embedded. If an image is intended for web use I reduce the pixel size. Watermarking or not depends on its purpose. Sending in to the copyright office or embedding a digital signature (for tracing) cost too much for general use and are time consuming.


The results of your research will be interesting, Rob. I hope they will be published with public access.

(Edited on 2008-06-05 15:48:25 by sakaasa)
MikkoSuhonen
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2008 12:43PM
Registering copyright would be possible if the photo qualifies for it to be registered by law. But no I have not registered my photo's so far.
I do try to add meta data with copyright and contact information.
Unfortunately it's not efficient to add meta data for reasons of educating majority of people about rights, but at least it's good to include information for professionals. So if image is for pros to use, I prefer to add copyright and contact information for them.
EdgeofReasonCLOSED
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Posted Sun Jun 8, 2008 5:45AM
I do a registered copyright on all my good photos. To do this affordably, I create a CD, call it "Collected Works 2008", and register the CD rather than single images. At that point all photos within the CD are protected.

Also of interest is the "Orphan Works Act", which is effectively taking away our rights as artists to protect our work, and limiting damages against infringers, and changing the very nature of automatic-copyright. I don't want to get too political, but if you have not read up on the Orphan Works Act, you should - it's frightening. If you are in the US, please write your representatives to protest this poorly thought-out legislation.
lostinbids
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerThis member chickened out of their last cage challenge. What, are you scared of a little photoshop challenge?
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2008 6:01AM
Posted By sylvanworks:

Do any of you register your copyrights


Where do you register your copyright when it is a global market.  And more importantly if it is infringed what steps do you take to stop the offending party.

I was once told that 'if you are taking legal action out of principal then you are doing it for the wrong reason' that was from an IP (intellectual property) barister.  In IP cases it is the one with the deepest pockets that wins (well it is the lawyers who win really). 
AzureLaRouxCLOSED
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:44AM
My contact info is automatically added as part of my post processing through Lightroom. When I post images for online portfolios or blogs I reduce the image size to 2X3 and put my copyright on them. On my website images are slightly larger. I'll have to look up the exact size. I only have about 5 images total on my website with links to online portfolios where the portfolio has right click and other protections.
bonniej
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:58AM

Hi Rob--


I use smugmug for my business photos..  the site gives you the option to"
• watermark your images (custom watermarks as well)
• disable right clicking
• password protecting galleries
• hide galleries
• it also has a flash player so you can do video embeds (haven't use this feature yet) 


You can view mine at... http://www.bonniej.smugmug.com/ 
you will not be able to get into to all the galleries since they are password protected.. and some galleries are totally private & hidden. There are a few that I left public. 


I do include all contact info & my copyright in my meta data automatically into all my images... it is part of my workflow.
sylvanworksCLOSED
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has been inducted into the iStockphoto Hall of Fame.
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:58PM
Thanks folks!

Do any of you use services like PicScout or Digimarc?

Do any of you offer your work with a creative commons license?
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