Home » Algemeen / other » Prevent copying and scraplifting: Watermark your images.

Prevent copying and scraplifting: Watermark your images.

Shameless copying of your work

This evening I was googling on “What do you do with scrapbooking tags” as I wanted more ideas as to how they can be used other then with presents . I never use (used) tags so need convincing to use them.
One of the search results caught my attention. “Seller copying my listings for scrapbooking tags – is this accepted.” Ofcourse, it’s flattering if someone copies your products, but most creative people either want to be given credit for making it and only allow personal usage or non-profit use of their work, or they rightfully want to be compensated for their work – being paid for their  images or products.
I’m all for sharing, but copying someones work to the detail and then selling it as your own is unacceptable, it would hurt me a lot. Especially creative pieces, they’re made with emotions, so this kind of behaviour hurts a lot.

What can you do to stop others from doing this?

Let’s get one thing clear: Expecting others to be reasonable, act fair, change their behaviour is asking for disappointment. On the internet, you cannot control others. It’s an impersonal medium, and although most people I’ve “seen” here in the cardmaking and scrapbooking blogging world come across as friendly people with good intentions who love to share their love for carfing, there are always those who misuse the trust and friendlyness of others.

So what can you do?

  1. There are several law/legal things you can do, that is the copyright thing. Now as I don’t know anything about copyright I cannot say more about it. I am not even sure if the copyright mark I add to my pictures is valid. But hey, it makes it clear that I made the picture / product.
  2. Put a watermark on your images. This is usefull if you sell items like digital images. It is not preferable when you want to show your work on a blog or enter competitions with it or when you sell non-digital products, you want to give the best view possible of it, because buyers can’t feel the product they rely on visual representatation, so you don’t want a watermark spoiling your pictures.
  3. Add an overlay text to your images. This is what I do. Ofcourse it can be edited out but that takes a bit of work, not very much but it might just scare a few more off from copying. Added to that, if your image is shared (which I don’t mind btw), your name is on it, so people can track you more easily. How often haven’t you seen or found an image on a website or blog which you really like, but which doesn’t mention the source? I do quite often, and I always do my best to find the original author. On pinterest there are many links to blogs who showcase images and not mention the source, I always want to pin from the source itself.
  4. There are ways (which I don’t know yet) to lock the site from images being “saved as…” I find this extremely annoying – yes I do save beautifull images to my harddisk and display it as my screensaver. If the name of the author isn’t on the image then I name the image file to something with the website/author in it, only that is sometimes annoying to do.
  5. Added a few hours later: Rename your files to something that is unique and includes your website name (your website is unique most of the time). If people rightclick your image and select `save image` or `save image as` your filename will be shown. Probably many people won´t rename their files, so you can more easily keep track of your files (By searching, see also below) and people who want to know the source have more chances to find you. Irfanview also has an option to bulk rename files.
  6. …There are probably more options.

Adding an overlay text

As you can see, this is what I do. I use a free program for it called irfanview (http://www.irfanview.com). You can do quite a bit with that program, like a slight bit of editing, resizing and converting images. Another free more extensive photo-editing program I use is Paint.net (http://www.getpaint.net) , but this is for more detailed work on single images. Not recommended for just adding an overlay text.

I will make a new post today with a small foto-tutorial about how I use Irfanview to add an overlay text and resize and convert images.

Sidetrack: Finding your images on the web

Maybe you are curious as to where you images are used. Google has a image-search function which is still in beta, but I like it a lot. Go to https://encrypted.google.com/imghp .
You can use it several ways:

  1. Click on the camera icon and select “paste image url” (To get this, right click on an image on a webpage and select “copy image location”. Paste this into the search box.
  2. Or click on the camera icon and select “upload an image” and browse to the picture that’s located on your harddrive and drag an image from your harddrive into the search box.
  3. Do not click on the camera icon. Open your pictures folder. (My own pictures and photo’s folder is almost always allready opened, so I always use this method). Drag your image to the search box. If you can’t see your browser window because your explorer window is in front of it (that is the folder you’re selecting the image from), drag the image to the taskbar to your browser program, do not release the image. When you hover your mouse over an active program in your taskbar when it is “holding” a file, it will bring the program you’re hovering over up. So hover your mouse, which is holding the image, a moment over your browser window untill it comes to the front and then release the image in the search box.

I think google also looks at the filename, so try to make your filename unique as well.

Now back to the copying of images. I’m sure there are more ways to protect your work.
What do you do to prevent scraplifting?

2 thoughts on “Prevent copying and scraplifting: Watermark your images.

    • Thanks for the tip!
      For my images, I don’t mind as I can’t make money with them. Maybe when I do I would do that 🙂 (I would love to earn my doing stuff like this, but who doesn’t?)

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