Concerns About Web Publishing?
Having sold quite a few prints (mostly to friends and friends of friends) since I started selling prints about a year ago, I decided to launch a website and make my photography available to a wider audience (tentatively planned for early 2005). However, I am quite concerned that some internet pirat might come along, grab my images and market them elsewhere (<- this may sound naive but these are real concerns that I have). Do others have similar thoughts on copyright violation issues? How do you go about this? I am thinking of publishing images at only very low resolution and even include some kind of watermark that practically renders the image unusable and so one would have to purchase the original print. My concerns are also the reason that I have not yet shared my images on this or other websites although I would love to do that. I look at photographs on the web quite frequently and feel a little guilty about not contributing anything except asking questions. Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts on this.
I have quite a few images on my website. Watermarking them is a good idea, or include your copyright as others have done. I personally don't find much issue with someone pirating my images; the ones on the web are all fairly small and low resolution.
As an idea, check out how Nicole watermarked her images; the marks are visible, but not obtrusive. www.nicolemcgrade.com.au
Markus, your fears are well founded. There is too much piracy now and the internet makes it easy. Use only low resolution images which are small. Use a prominent watermark and copyright notation. Have your prints registered for copyright protection, or legally there is no way to collect on a wrong. Do a clip off of a corner which makes the image less than complete and perfect. Too bad you can't attach or inbed a virus to each one for those who are less than scrupulous.
I wouldn't worry about it if I were you (and I don't worry about theft from my own site too much). You should never worry about things you can't control.
Only show images which are no more than 600 pixels on the long side and all anybody could use them for is a wallpaper on their PC. If someone tries to print them, they will get a 2 inch print at 300dpi.
A 500 pixel image is a good compromise between quality and security. If you don't offer a good size image to see on the screen, you're less likely to sell over the internet. (In fact, Australia's biggest selling landscape photographer, Ken Duncan, let's you download really BIG files from his site so you can assess just how good they are!)
High online image quality is also the reason I strongly disagree with placing an intrusive watermark on the image. You want people to see that you're proud of your images and not harbouring paranoid tendancies.
Security measures only stop honest, computer-illiterate people stealing your images: show me any viewable image with a watermark and within 30 minutes I'll fire it back to you in a printable state without a watermark. (I'm neither honest nor computer illiterate .... ) Basically, if someone can see it on their screen, they can steal it. It's up to you to decide if you want anybody to see your work or not. But remember, if they can't see it, they won't buy it.
Since you can't control what happens to your images, stop worrying about them and get on with the job of selling them. I've got large images on my site and they do no harm at all to my print sales: they measurably enhance them.
I have been showing my prints online for a couple years now. The important thing to remember is that you own the negative. Copyright infringement happens all the time, and with recourse, it is encumbent upon the damaged party to supply specific evidence of damages. This, of course, is extremely difficult in most cases. At most in incidental cases, you can only get the person to stop using your image.
I sincerely doubt that anyone could win a competition with a pirated image of 6 inches. One may just as well copy an image from a book. As far as using the image to gain entrance into shows and galleries, well again they would need to provide the original, or an enlarged version.
I look at it this way. If it comes down to dispute about who owns the image, then at least on this site, it is you, hands down (negative in hand). If somebody wants to print what will amount to a poor resolution on paper from his screen and pawn it off as his (or hers), then I fear that the culprit will not fare too well, especially when asked to provide a bigger image. Then of course, there is always website copy protection. You can program your site to be exempt from right-click and edit functions.
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Which can be easily defeated.
Originally Posted by Scott Edwards
Attempting to defeat right-click is a real annoyance to many people, and is ineffective at preventing someone from saving a copy of the image, as has been discussed here before.
I agree with Graeme's approach - make it easy for people to appreciate your work by displaying the image at a decent size, but one that is too small for any commercial use. After all, it's unauthorized commercial use that copyright is intended to protect against. Although I put a non-intrusive copyright notice on the Web versions of my images, I don't consider someone saving a copy for reference to be a copyright violation. As noted, however, (in the U.S. at least) registration is essential to being able to collect damages in the event of unauthorized commercial use.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
I really don't worry about it, I place a non-intrusive copyright on the image and then make is small enough resolution that the most they can get out of it if printed is about a 4 x 6 print, I mean think about it....
1. Do you sell 4 x 6 prints?
2. If you do, how much income do you get from them?
The majority of internet photo copying is for backgrounds and perhaps small prints printed on an ink jet printer to show friends or family this awesome print they found on the web.
Actual internet photo theft for profit is really very small and I have been displaying on the internet for almost 10 years now, I did for a while use the digimark system, which can turn out quite expensive, but it allowed me to track when and where my images were being used, I do a lot of websites for fellow photographers and it really has not been a concern for anybody, due to the low resolution of the internet.
I would say, put a copyright on the images and get your website up and running so all can see how good you are.
I also have taken the additional step of providing some of my images already sized as desktop images for download (with my web address and copyright of course).
Originally Posted by rbarker
Especially if you use a Mozilla browser.
Originally Posted by roteague
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit