As part of our weekly EDU series, promoting our awesome EDU 2014 Student Photography Competition, Resource Magazine, SIGMA and ViewBug have put together a series of web stories to help keep emerging photographers informed about the photo industry. This week’s topic is all about protecting your photos online.
One of the most essential things for a young photographer to know is how to go about navigating the essential promotional tools available to you online while at the same time protecting your photos in the vast universe known as the internet .Even with protection, countless people may use your work without permission. And, while this process may seem impossible to prevent, we’ve put together a down and dirty EDU guide to protecting your photos on the web.
Student Guide to Protecting Your Photos
1. Know Your Rights
This is the easiest task to do. Simply research and learn as much information about copyrights as possible. Most importantly, it’s crucial to understand the difference between a copyrighted image and an image that is copyrighted in the public domain. Also, if you want to eventually sell your photos you should avoid posting them on creative commons sections.
But most importantly, if you have a blog or portfolio that displays your work, it is vital to have a copyright symbol or at least have information listed on the page. If you do not put the infamous “©”, how is the user supposed to know if you’ve copyrighted your work?
2. Disabling the Right-Click Does Not Work
If you have basic photoshop skills, this deterrent will be quite simple. The watermark is a great defense where you put your name, the copyright or your company name in one of corners of your photo. Again, while it will not deter all thieves it will certainly limit the amount of images that are stolen from your site.
4. Limit High Resolution Images
No one is asking you to make your pictures ugly, in fact, the look of your portfolio or blog can be the difference between getting or losing a job. However, it could be a good deterrent to limit the amount of high res photos or at least cut the resolution of larger images in half. Unless, the infringer is handy with photoshop, he or she will most likely be unable to resize the photo without pixelation. It’s also a good idea to have a section on your site stating “high resolution images by request” so you can control the output on your site.
5. Shrink Wrapping
This is a process I’m unfamiliar with, but after doing some research I’ve found that this could be closest thing to a full proof plan. Shrink wrapping is the process of layering your image with a transparent image so when someone right clicks the photo and presses download, the only thing he or she will get is a blank download.
While I did say this is the closest thing to full proof, this technique is not impenetrable. The reason why this could be the best option is because you would need some serious photoshop skills to remove the transparent image. But if the thief is willing to go through all of this “red tape” to secure your photos—especially with all the other photos on the web—than you may just be a bit powerless.
6. Be on Top of Copyright Infringement
The best thing for you to do is to remain proactive. Constantly scour the web and look in places where your photos can be used.There are also reverse image search engines like TinEye so you can be sure that your photos have not been posted elsewhere. Just be sure not to lose your mind or stress over this issue.
If it piracy does happen, you should calmly create a “Cease & Desist’” form and send it to the infringer. Unfortunately, there’s a chance this can happen, but hopefully with these techniques you will be able to at least ward off most of the amateur thieves out there.
Our EDU 2014 competition is well underway but there is still plenty of time to submit your work. Any student can enter. Just upload your images via Viewbug’s EDU 2014 page. You could win over $5,000 in prizes!!!