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Thread: Watermark protection

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Real Name

    Watermark protection

    I'm enjoying this website very much and am finding it very informative. I've read the 'copyright' information provided in this site as well as other sites, which are basically the same. Viewers are requested to utilize the 'honor' system leaving posted photos unprotected, vulnerable and easily copied. So I'm a bit confused as to why no postings here are protected. There are pros and cons regarding using watermarks as they are a virtual 'stamp' on an otherwise beautiful photo.

    Your thoughts please, and thank you.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Watermark protection


    If anyone wants to steal your photo, they will. And they'll soon remove any mark you have on it.

    We're posting fairly low res images. Most of us are not seeking to make an income from what we post on here. If someone is interested enough in one of my images to want to go to the trouble of stealing it and claiming ownership of it on some other corner of cyberspace, then that's their problem.

    A few folk on here have found one of their images somewhere else with someone else claiming, or inferring ownership.

    Copyright law applies whether or not you have any identifying mark on your image. If you find your image elsewhere and are able to identify who is responsible, you can always threaten to invoke copyright law to try and frighten them. But the question is is - Are you going to launch a costly legal action over it?

    Best response might be to post a message - 'I notice you have stolen one of my images. I'm glad you liked it so much. But if you want to do it again, get in touch with me first.'

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Zealand
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Watermark protection

    Hi DW,

    A good image will draw the eye through it with a well-defined "flow" - and often (as in VERY often) a watermark grabs the viewers attention and YANKS it straight to the watermark, thus (in my opinion anyway), ruins the image.

    We display our image here for people to enjoy -- so intentionally ruining the image for many of them seems counter-productive. If you take a look through my gallery ( you won't find a single watermark - and you'll find the images available at relolutions high enough for folks to make a decent 9 x 6 print; I work on the theory that (a) watermarks are trivial to remove (if they can be bothered) (b) someone who steals a copy wouldn't have paid for it anyway (so no money out of my pocket), and (c) if stealing a copy (which they can do with or without a watermark) gives someone a little joy to look at then they're welcome to it (and yes, it has happened).

    The bottom line for me is that I've yet to come across a single instance of someone stealing my work and misrepresenting it as their own -- so I'm not going to lose any sleep over it (and my gallery is full of commercial & for sale images). But regardless, I don't see a watermark as achieving anything positive, but several things negative.

    A case in point is a website belonging to a friend ... they put low-resolution images for sale, with big watermarks right across the middle of the image (to stop theft). I don't know how much theft it stopped (probably a lot), but I DO know they haven't sold one single image.

    Hope this helps

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