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Thread: Why put copyright on your pictures?

  1. #1

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    Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Genuine question as I don't know.

    Why do some people put their name/copyright on a photo. It would be very easy to clone out if someone wanted to.
    Mine has copyright in the exif info on my photo's.... or is this easy to get rid of too?

  2. #2
    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    I don't think the copyright data can be changed in an exif editor such as PhotoME, so it might not be easy. However, no doubt determined hackers would find a way.

    Philip

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    Genuine question as I don't know.

    Why do some people put their name/copyright on a photo. It would be very easy to clone out if someone wanted to.
    Mine has copyright in the exif info on my photo's.... or is this easy to get rid of too?
    Hi Dave,

    To be honest, I really can't figure it out either;

    - It's trivial to remove

    - Ruins 100% of images for a small number of folks (myself included) (just too darn distracting)

    - Doesn't provide any additional legal protection

    EXIF data is even easier to change in Photoshop than watermark removal

    Some folks just seem to feel that it makes their images less likely to be stolen, but my personal thoughts are - if someone wants to use a low resolution copy of one of my images then (a) I'm probably not going to know about it, and (b) as it's not going to take any $$$ out of my pocket then I'm not going to lose any sleep over it (and yes, it's happened more than once).

  4. #4

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Cheers for the reply Phil.

    Colin. On my flickr all exif detail is on there, so unless someone wanted to nick my photo and pre date it before I took it, it does seem a little pointless putting copyright on the picture..... Unless of course they want people to see who has taken it.
    I'll keep mine clean for the time being, can't see them being worth mega money lol.

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    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    EXIF data is even easier to change in Photoshop than watermark removal
    So it is - silly me!!! So copyright in exif really is quite pointless!

    Philip

  6. #6

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    A friend who is an attorney told me the watermark was a good idea for images posted to the web. It is doubtful that many folks want to steal the type subject matter I shoot anyway (though it has happened), but since that time I have added the watermark to most of my images. Many of my photos are registered with the copyright office. My thought is that since it is so easy to register them in the digital age, why not protect them in case there is a need in the future. If a registered image is stolen for commercial use, the penalties are stiff.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric M View Post
    If a registered image is stolen for commercial use, the penalties are stiff.
    Not sure of the position in terms of US State and/or Federal law. Would a prosecutor take on a criminal case in respect of one of your images that was stolen? Certainly the prosecuting authorities here wouldn't touch it, even though, technically, a crime may have been committed.

    If that is the same where you are, that leaves recourse to civil action. And, whilst the penalties that could be applied might indeed be stiff, so too, I suggest, would the cost of pursuing the action.

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    What I don't understand is all those distinctly third rate images with copyright markings across them.

    I recently set up a gallery on P base for my local regatta. Hoping to sell photos to help with fund raising, they wanted copyright details on the photos. But it was an extra editing step and all those 'just a couple of minutes' started adding up so I stopped doing it.

    The images are relatively small, around 600 pixels max, which stops anybody printing them at a largish size.

    However, the photos appealed mostly to the youngsters who actually appeared in them, or close friends, and they simply wanted to download them for use on computers or other forms of mobile technology (which is all way above my comprehension).

    So they didn't have to purchase a large file. And having an official logo on the images just proved that they were 'the genuine article' and therefore had more 'credibility' to the viewer than plain snaps.

    We did sell a few prints; but only to proud grandparents who saw the photos when they were printed in the local paper.

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    So it is - silly me!!! So copyright in exif really is quite pointless!
    Putting copyright may be, but I still think "useage rights" is important (not to mention contact information).

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric M View Post
    My thought is that since it is so easy to register them in the digital age, why not protect them in case there is a need in the future.
    My understanding is that the creator has full protection under the law if they can prove that they are in fact the creator of the image. To me the downside is a big one, in that it completely ruins the image. Personally, I don't see the point in ruining an image - that it's unlikely anyone would have stolen - that you have legal protection for anyway.

  11. #11

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    I'll just sign the back of my online pictures like they used to do with canvas prints

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    I've just begun adding a copyright to my images, primarily to advise any potential pic-thieves
    that the image does have a copyright on it. In this case, it is much easier to prove that they
    had knowledge that the image was indeed copyrighted, and they knew it before they took it.
    This establishes their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    In most cases about the easiest (and cheapest) course of action when someone steals an image
    to re-sell for their own benefit is to have an attorney send them a letter advising that the image
    is indeed copyrighted, and they should cease and desist from any and all use of the image. Then,
    if they still continue they can be sued in civil court, and with the documentation you've collected
    they are sure to lose. The "bad guys" don't have a hope of winning, and some attorneys would
    even take this on for a percentage of the award.

    The copyright I use is very small, and located where it will not interfere with anyone viewing
    the image, but any thief is going to see it, and hopefully it will make them think twice before they
    steal it.

    I can certainly appreciate the comments against using a copyright, and also have a huge dislike
    for excessively large copyright marks, especially when they intrude on viewing the image. Just
    the fact that it is present, and a thief would have to clone it out (knowing they are breaking the
    law) is sufficient to prove their guilt, if needed.

    Mike

  13. #13

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    I've just begun adding a copyright to my images, primarily to advise any potential pic-thieves
    that the image does have a copyright on it. In this case, it is much easier to prove that they
    had knowledge that the image was indeed copyrighted, and they knew it before they took it.
    This establishes their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
    Unfortunately, legally, it doesn't make any difference -- you have that legal protection anyway. To my mind, it's a bit like buying a brand new $2,000,000 Bugatti Veyron and having "Warning - theft of this vehicle is a criminal offence" sign-written on the side; it doesn't give you any additional legal protection - all it does is devalue the vehicle

  14. #14

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    there are ways to insert a copyright into an image like a "micro" image that contains a "minified" origin marker; when there's a question as to the image's origin the "marker" can be enlarged to verify intellectual ownership.

  15. #15
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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    I think it is a vanity play...

  16. #16

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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Hello All, As someone who puts a copyright notice in my work posted on the web, I thought it might be helpful to answer the OP's question.

    The reasons why I put the copyright notice in my work are:-
    1)I'm very proud of my work – poor and inadequate though it may be. Putting the copyright mark in it is my way of saying “This is me – this is my work”.
    2)In the UK copyright theft is not a criminal offence – it is a civil matter. IN PRACTICE, if I wish to seek redress I need to demonstrate to a judge a chain of events as to how the wrong doer could have got hold of my work, and knowingly made use of it without my permission. Demonstrating that I posted the work on the web with a copyright notice in it MAY help. Being able to demonstrate all this during pre-trial discovery may drive a settlement.
    Some notes:
    The principals of copyright are not recognised in a uniform way throughout the world – in some places copyright is – in practice – not recognised at all.
    Where copyright for images is recognised the status in law varies from country to country.
    In many counties what one might have to do IN PRACTICE – goes way further than marking your image. For example – as related by Eric M – in the USA you need to register your images with the copyright office. Not doing so does not change the status in law, however – finding an attorney to take the case on may be difficult without registration.
    Comparisons with other types of theft are at best unhelpful since – for example – vehicle theft is a criminal matter in many places where copyright theft is a civil matter.
    I'm sorry that my copyright notice may spoil things for some viewers. Since mine are always in the bottom left or right corner – may I suggest that you just cover it up with a dexterously positioned finger?

  17. #17
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    Re: Why put copyright on your pictures?

    Quote Originally Posted by elfbob View Post
    there are ways to insert a copyright into an image like a "micro" image that contains a "minified" origin marker; when there's a question as to the image's origin the "marker" can be enlarged to verify intellectual ownership.
    I have heard of these, but being sceptical, I'd be very surprised if they survived some simple 'countermeasures' like copying and resaving the jpg, especially if it were cropped by 3 pixels all around before saving. The re-jpg'ing would likely destroy the imprint if relying on small physical size alone.

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