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Photography Question 
Fawn S.
 

Should I Use a Copyright Sign?


Does anyone think it is a good idea to put a copyright sign and then my name or my lines name on each of my photos?


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7/1/2004 2:48:17 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  That's up to you, but if it isn't going to detract from the picture I don't think it would matter much. Keep in mind that you own the copyright once you push the shutter...

hth


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7/1/2004 8:42:49 PM

 
Michael Brown   I always do! If someone does happen to lift one of your images with your copyright on it and uses that image for the purpose of profit, then they touch/alter it out or even crop out your copyright, that can show "intent" in a court room ... if it ever comes to that. Intent can be shown as "they knew exactly what they were doing!"

It never hurts!! Mike


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7/1/2004 8:52:20 PM

 
Amy    With all of the millions of places your pictures could be used, how could you catch them?


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7/5/2004 8:19:49 AM

 
Michael Brown   Here is one solution that many use.
http://www.digimarc.com/solutions/default.asp

I do not use Digimarc at this time (cost), but will hopefully be adding this to the images on my site, which should be ready during the later part of this year.
I have tested this method before, and it works fairly well in tracking images that have been lifted off of your site and are being used elsewhere.

You can put a copyright on your images like I have, or put a larger but faint copyright symbol right in the middle of your image, which some might not prefer to lift off of your site.

I have had other photographers to tell me that my images were being used elsewhere on a site or in print. Some I have happened to run across myself. It's very hard to find them all, but it looks like the Digimarc solution is the best right now for tracking down anything that has been downloaded off of your site.

All of my images have also been registered with the US Copyright Office.

One good thing did come out of some of my images being lifted off of my old Web site 6 years ago by a company in Canada and being used to sell their products online. I had 4 years left to pay for my wife's car ... and well ... they paid for it instead!! Hehe!! Mike


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7/5/2004 9:40:47 AM

 
Fawn S.   So this sounds pretty cool, but does this cost? And if I use my own copyright image, will it do the same thing?


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7/5/2004 11:35:00 AM

 
Michael Brown   Some of the names have changed since I last took a look at what they had to offer.

MyPictureMarc ( from Digimarc ) seems to be the service now that you would want to take a look at.

http://www.digimarc.com/products/MYPICTUREMARC/default.asp

You have 4 different versions and prices, and the professional version is the one that will allow you to track your images all across the internet.


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7/5/2004 12:08:44 PM

 
Amy    How did you go about getting your pictures registered with the US Copyright Office.

Amy


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7/5/2004 12:17:43 PM

 
Michael Brown   http://www.copyright.gov/

Simply follow the links to the forms. You can send them a CD containing all the images you want to register. Register your images on that CD as a body of work, and not each image by itself unless you have a bunch of money!

By law, you do own copyright as soon as you trip the shutter - a formal registration makes it easier for your case in a courtroom if it should ever come to that, and in many cases, allows for a greater sum to be awarded to you!


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7/5/2004 12:34:48 PM

 
Amy    Thanks a bunch Micheal, your the greatest!

Amy


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7/5/2004 12:50:56 PM

 
Fawn S.   Does sending in a CD of your pictures to get registered cost? (Besides the stamps or whatever)


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7/5/2004 1:27:52 PM

 
Michael Brown   Yep! Costs $30.00

Go here for costs and other good info.

http://www.copyright.gov/register/visual.html


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7/5/2004 1:50:20 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  If the photos are set up properly for a web site they should be low-res with a dpi of 72. From what I understand such images are too poor a quality for print.

No matter how much coding one does on a web page, the image can be lifted. If I were to place copyright symbol with my web site URL for example placed in a corner of the image I may be a bit more protected and can more easily prove "intent".

Besides being displayed on someone elses site though, what can really be done with this image?


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7/7/2004 7:53:54 AM

 
Amy    Someone could be profiting from YOUR work. I sure wouldn't want people profiting from an image that I created,
unless or untill I decide to sell it.

Amy


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7/7/2004 12:53:45 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  Of course I wouldn't want someone profiting from an image lifted from my site, I'm just not aware of how they could possibly do so.


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7/7/2004 2:52:29 PM

 
Amy    Maybe the same way you would sell a photo of your own. Could they get hold of it and put it out there to sell in one of the many millions of places to sell images. Maybe thats the chance to take.

AMY


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7/7/2004 3:16:10 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  If I were selling an image of my own, I would sell the high-res version that is printable. Most printers print at 300+ dpi. A 72 dpi image posted on the web will not print a sellable picture.

So again, I fail to see how someone may profit from my image.


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7/7/2004 3:57:19 PM

 
Michael Brown   A image taken from your site can be used with ease on another site. They can easily use that image to help sell products, etc. This happened to me, and I made good on my promise to take it to court!

I can also take a 72 dpi image and make a painted version of that image as a 40mb file. Very easy to do, and even that is starting to get out of hand. You would never know that it was taken from a small jpg image!
There are so many paint programs out there that can resample a small painted image into a much larger file, and then they will sell it as their own.
If anyone would like to see one, I can easily do it for you probably in a matter of minutes with a small jpg image of yours.
I was thinking about writing a article on this also!

Mike


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7/7/2004 4:17:29 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  Mike,

Thanks for the detailed answer. I would be interested in reading your article should you decide to write it.

I am creating my own personal website coded with right click blocks and all sorts of copy protections. I also have watermarks on the images.

As I do all this work on my site, it seems a little like it is in vain. Anyone with any web knowledge can grab a photo off any site. If they have photoshop knowledge, they can possibly remove the watermarks.

All this in mind, it really seems like the web is the last place to put an image that one would worry about someone stealing. How would anyone ever keep up with all the images?


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7/7/2004 6:51:48 PM

 
Michael Brown   Lewis, it looks like the digital watermarking is about the best bet for keeping up with all of your images on the web.
I know what you are talking about with trying to add all sorts of blocks, etc. with your images in hopes of keeping someone from lifting them. Wow, what a pain that is! : )
But I do know some wildlife photographers who use the digital watermarking system, they are full time professionals, and they really keep tabs with their work on line.
It is something that I will give a try this fall on my site, although the price will "surely" make me cringe!

My wife told me about "innocent infringment", and that is where a individual would go into a courtroom and argue that they "honestly did not know any better", and would get out of there with a couple hundred dollars in fines.

But then she laughingly said, "if there are any who really wants to lift your images and use them for profit, then by all means, let them help us pay for this house!"
hehehe!!!

My bad wife!!!

Mike


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7/7/2004 7:37:44 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  Mike,

Thanks for the laugh and all your input!

I'll probably end up springing for the digimarc product too. Looks like a good product from what I've seen.


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7/7/2004 11:06:12 PM

 
Fawn S.   So, the answer is....? Do I or don't I put a copyright sign with my name on my photos?


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7/8/2004 11:18:43 AM

 
Michael Brown   I would Fawn!

If you look at mine, you can see that I have the copyright that is fairly small, and I almost always will choose a color from the image itself and use that color for the text.
Choose a color that will make the copyright barely visible and almost blend in, not to bright, then it will not be much of a distraction within the image.

Some will not put their names on them and send them in to BP for the contest that way, because the images are to be anonymous when viewed by the judges. For me though, I can't bring myself to do that. I will not submit anything on the internet without some type of copyright imbedded within the image.

Hope this helps Fawn!

Mike


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7/8/2004 12:14:49 PM

 
Fawn S.   Thank you so much. I will do so starting now! Thanks for all your input and help! God bless you. Fawn S.


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7/8/2004 7:17:29 PM

 
Timothy S. Bell   yes!!!! I would and did.if you have adobe photoshop-6 or cs theres the digi mark in the program.some scanners such as canons cano scan5000f and there newer models have this program.all my photos on my web site(www.studio259.com) are all water marked and as far as people lifting them for there personal use they'll get a poor quality print even if they lift the water mark so protect your photos you never know who'll use them


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7/9/2004 12:14:41 PM

 
Fawn S.   I don't have that program and my camara is not that great of a camara. But I did do something to them, and will post one of my photos today for you all to see and comment on if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Thanks again.


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7/9/2004 2:41:29 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  You can get free watermark programs at tucows.com Just go the site and search on "watermark" You may want to look at http://www.tucows.com/preview/351608.html


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7/9/2004 11:11:52 PM

 
Derek Holyhead   Hi Fawn,
There is a great, easy to use copyright program here: http://www.lunerouge.org/gnu/crl_e.htm
and it's FREE! Hope this helps.
Regards,
del


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7/10/2004 7:10:15 PM

 
Fawn S.   Thanks.


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7/11/2004 2:46:10 PM

 
Wanda-Lynn Searles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
Contact Wanda-Lynn
Wanda-Lynn's Gallery
  I wanted to ask everyone if a watermark would look okay on my website photos?Or if it would take away from the picture.You can check out my photos on my website I just think I need watermarks on them and it would look better then how I got them now.The link is www.lynnsdreamshop.com or it's in my gallery also.
If anyone knows how to add watermarks I could use the help thanks I'm still learning all this stuff.
As for Photoshops I use The Print Shop 11.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
(that I'm still having trouble understanding),Printshop Photo Pro,Microsoft Picture It! Express 7.0 and Paint Shop Pro 8 .If any of these will work let me know.
I'm trying to see what everyone thinks about watermarks so maybe know one steals my photos.
Any suggestions,will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Wanda-Lynn


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1/1/2006 1:02:02 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Mike is on the right track but to clarify what he's already mentioned: Innocent infringement occurs when an infringing party accidentally duplicates an image. It's a defense to an infringement action filed by the photographer and may be raised when the photographer, or subsequent publisher, fails to provide adequate notice of the copyright. For example, no CR notice anywhere on or around the image or the work was somewhere in the public domain without CR notice.

Registration with the copyright office is not only helpful but it's a prerequisite to commencing any action for infringement, which, btw, must be done in the United States District Court. State courts don't have what's called subject matter jurisdiction to review copyright claims.

Yes, if you can prove willful infringement, say someone pirated an image of yours that was marked, Title 17 U.S. Code, Section 501 and related sections provide up to $75,000 in compensatory damages for each instance. The damage remedy is elected by the plaintiff prior to the case going to trial.

There's a good book called The Legal Handbook for Photographers by Bert Krages, another lawyer and stock photographer. Published by AmherstMedia.com. I recommend it as required reading for all photographers.

Just thought I'd mention this stuff. Take it light.
Mark


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1/1/2006 11:23:48 AM

 
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