Why you shouldn’t use watermarks on your pictures

Posted by Bounceweb in Computer Advice, The Internet, Web Hosting Tips

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Stealing is bad, stealing is bad, stealing is bad. I know it, you know it, but somehow, there seem to be a lot of people who either don’t know, or don’t care. It’s annoying when people steal pictures and images from your website. You spent time and energy to create them (unless you stole them yourself) and now someone else gets the credit for it. So should you put a huge watermark in your pictures? For the love of God, please don’t.

I understand why you would want to protect your pictures with a watermark, you want to keep what’s yours. But please keep in mind that you are actually destroying your pictures, you’re not making them prettier. Unless you keep versions without a watermark and preserve them forever, it’s just a waste of your good pictures. So should you just watch your pictures being stolen and not do anything? Of course not. First of all, put a disclaimer on your site, stating that your pictures are protected by copyright and that it’s not allowed to use them without asking you for permission. The cool thing about copyright is, when it’s your stuff, and you say it’s copyrighted, it automatically is. Of course you would be required to prove that the copyright is really yours if it would result in a court case, and that’s hard if you don’t register your copyright, but that’s another story.

The thing is, once you’ve stated that your pictures shouldn’t be used without your consent, you have something to threaten with. It doesn’t mean that people won’t steal them (that would be like leaving the keys in your Ferrari, with a note: please don’t steal my car, it’s mine), but it does mean that you can force them to take the pictures offline and even send them a fine (how you’re going to make them pay is the next question). How do you prove the pic is yours? Use a watermark!

A what? But you just said… I know what I said, but I’m not talking about a visible watermark. I mean a watermark that’s present in the file, but doesn’t ruin the photo. Go to this website (http://www.rocketdownload.com/program/icemark-33187.html) to download software that enables you to add an invisible watermark. Impossible to detect, so you can catch your thieves offguard.

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