Can a watermark really prevent photo theft?
Technology has brought a myriad of advances in the photography industry. The digital era lets photographers see their photos as soon as they are captured. Some adjustments can be made with the camera, while others can be made in a digital darkroom, such as Adobe Photoshop.
The worldwide web has opened up lucrative opportunities for photographers to present and sell their work on websites that can be viewed from smartphones, computers, and tablets. Moreover, the internet also opens opportunities for intellectual property thieves. Every day, photos and images are stolen from websites.
Those stolen images are used to make a profit for someone other than the owner. Watermarking photographs uploaded online is the most reliable way to prevent photo theft.
Why Are Images Getting Stolen?
Some people assume that every image uploaded online is open game, but the rest know better. Photo thieves are always searching for means to make some extra money and use other people’s images to claim as their own or to create products in print shops on request.
How can you protect your work?
Use a Watermark
Don’t get frustrated with the stolen pictures. Resist the urge to stop posting your photo online. You’re going to lose your sales opportunities and the chance to build your brand name. Watermarking the image is a straightforward and effective approach that is becoming popular with photographers.
You can create a personalized watermark template that is saved and could be used for all your images. Nevertheless, if you have never used a graphics system other than your computer and camera software, online watermark programs, like Watermarquee, can still protect your images.
You could choose your theme, colour, and font from a wide variety of templates, or you can follow the instructions to build your own. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s cheap. You can protect your prized images in just a few minutes.
1 Use Scale and Resolution
One of the first and easiest steps that any photographer can take when it comes to protecting images from thieves is to reduce the size and resolution of their images when posting online.
A good start is to post your photos in an aspect ratio and resolution other than Full HD if you are looking for an easy way to dissuade potential photo thieves. Photographers can also use semi-transparent or opaque watermarks to protect their work. The last thing most thieves would want to do is take time and energy to erase watermarks instead of just finding a different, unmarked file.
If you are watermarking your pictures, it is important to ensure that your watermarks are sufficiently prominent that they are not easy to remove.
2 Make It Painstakingly Evident that Your Work is Copyrighted
Another common approach is to make it loud and clear throughout your site that states that every photo posted is copyrighted. If you need an exceptional license to use your images, make sure that they are displayed so that every online user can see that they are not allowed to take your photos without purchasing a license.
It may be helpful to add a clear warning that says you will be chasing down the illegal use of your photo — and that it may result in serious fines for the guilty party. The starting point for penalties in some countries is the cost of the initial license per file — and, in some cases, additional fees may be added.
For instance, if someone were to use one of the photos on a business website, you might argue that the business owner was taking advantage of the advertisement and trying to add a proportion of those earnings to the fine, plus legal and court costs.
3 Disable Right-click
The most common way people steal your images is to access them online, right-click them, and save them to their own devices, and use them as they wish. But one way to hinder the process is to delete the images of your pages by right-clicking.
How to disable right-clicking?
On the downside, this move does not exclude the possibility that your photographs may be stolen, but it does act as protection against data thieves. Casual offenders are likely to move to a location with easier video access.
Do not take chances with your photos, because no one else but you should profit from your work. Build a prominent watermark that will protect your photos from intellectual property theft.
4 Removal Request
It’s often as easy to solve the problem as asking somebody else or organization to delete your images. Guarding your content is a time-consuming activity, but it is a way out of other ways to get your job done.
As any photographer probably knows, posting photos without compromising the quality at one point or another could be just as difficult. That is why one of the most notable things you could do to secure your job is to ensure that you have an action plan when you become a victim of online image theft.
Unfortunately, when it comes to preventing photo theft, there is still no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. The sad reality of the internet world is that images and other content can be used or stolen without their respective owners’ consent.
Nothing is ever going to protect your material from being hacked by committed photo thieves; you can only discourage it.
By incorporating all of the strategies mentioned above, however, it would be much harder for thieves to download and edit images. It will also stop and prevent thieves from stealing your pictures in fear of potential penalties. Here are some more watermarking tips.