By in Pictures

Watermarks on Photos

I haven't been putting watermarks on my photos here, and I've noticed that others haven't either. We do all usually put our names in the corner, but that's not the same thing. The photo I included on this article has a watermark on it. The photo is of a book cover I created and have up for sale.

The watermark doesn't look bad, but it does take away from the photo some. That's why I haven't been using them here. I'm wondering if I should though after receiving a question from bestwriter about why people should purchase photos when they can just copy them. I just thought everyone knew you weren't supposed to copy photographs without permission. I guess not.

Now, I don't know if I want to take the time and go back and make new copies of the photos with watermarks on them and re-upload them or not. That would take forever with as many photos as I have on this site. I also need to decide whether to put watermarks on all future photos.

I will figure it out soon. In the mean time, I sure hope people aren't just copying photos from me or anyone else. Not that we'd ever know it.

All text and photos/graphics are the property of Angel Sharum.

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melody23 wrote on November 7, 2014, 4:49 PM

Watermarks wont necessarily stop people copying your photos. A lot of people think whatever is on the internet is free for them to use, I have lost count of the amount of DMCA complaints i have filed over the years. There is no photo attached to this article by the way.

Kasman wrote on November 7, 2014, 4:49 PM

I have never seen the point of putting a watermark right at the edge of a photo. It is too easy to crop out and putting one in the centre spoils the photo. I seem to recall having a similar conversation with someone on this site some time ago. I can't remember who it was but just out of interest did you know that it is possible to put an invisible watermark on a photo?
I have never tried it but you might want to check this site out:

Kasman wrote on November 7, 2014, 4:51 PM

Forgot to say that I left a comment on your Morguefile article of June 17

bestwriter wrote on November 7, 2014, 6:01 PM

I maintain that no one will buy photos that are freely available on the Net. Copying photographs without permission is only when they are being used on sites such as this or anywhere online where this act is visible specially when sites expect to see one's original contribution.. Anyone copy your photo, for example, and use it as background or even print it. Putting watermarks is the only answer if you have plans to sell them.

I have seen some images on the Net that cannot be copied. I wonder how that is done.

MegL wrote on November 7, 2014, 6:13 PM

bestwriter A transparent image is laid on top of the photograph, so you can see the photo clearly but not copy it. There are also ways of using java to disable the right click. If I am going to use a photograph on a site of mine and I don't have a suitable one of my own, I either use a freely available one, such as from Pixabay or I buy one. I recently found a source of photos where the web site owner provided some photos for free but also had some really lovely ones for sale. She allowed me to use them on my website, (after purchase) provided I reduced the pixel count so that people could not print them out because her photos were normally used for making mugs and prints etc. You can see her photos fine on my site but if you tried printing them, they would look awful.

bestwriter wrote on November 7, 2014, 6:19 PM

May be those who want to sell photos could use this method rather than putting watermarks. . Thanks for letting us know.

Kasman wrote on November 7, 2014, 6:20 PM

If by 'freely available' you mean free of copyright then that is OK or if you are downloading them for your own viewing pleasure and not publishing them anywhere that is also OK. There is no such thing as an image which can't be copied - there is always a way. It is possible to use a screen capture to grab an image.

MegL wrote on November 7, 2014, 6:49 PM

I have a program that allows me to copy just a section of the screen, so yes, it can still be done emoticon :sad:

AngelSharum wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:19 PM

Yeah, I tried to edit it twice and it wouldn't let me. I will try again.

AngelSharum wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:20 PM

I saw the comment about morguefile. Good to ask the site. I have always changed anything I used from there anyway.

AngelSharum wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:22 PM

I guess I expect too much of people. I don't think about them stealing my photos. Maybe I should quit sharing any here that I want to try and sell.

bestwriter wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:31 PM

That is a wise decision. You have a treasure trove of images. You can spare some here and these you need not offer for sale. Or may be offer them but not expect anyone to buy them as they would be freely available. Who knows there could be many who may not have had access to your 'free' images and therefore buy them. I wish you success.

AngelSharum wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:39 PM

I don't know what I'll do. I like sharing good photos here, not just any ole photos. It's not like I'm selling a bunch anyway though.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 7, 2014, 10:54 PM

I started placing copyright notices on many of my photos after I had a couple from my blog posted elsewhere without my permission. It probably would not have made a difference if the two stolen ones had been marked since the scuzzy spammers who swiped them linked back to my blog--and it was a site I would much rather have had them steal the photos outright rather than associating my blog with it. Then after Bubblews changed photo platforms, I could never be certain where or if anything I put on the photos would be visible. It is very time consuming, and I don't know that the intended benefits always outweigh the protection. I mostly use lower resolution photos online, but I would definitely splash a big watermark across any high resolution photo I put on the web.

AngelSharum wrote on November 7, 2014, 11:29 PM

I'm going to have to think about this. I already have a bunch of photos on here so it's not like it matters much anymore.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 7, 2014, 11:38 PM

I think most of the time things will be fine. But if there's a photo you're trying to sell, I wouldn't upload it to another site unless it's watermarked and in lower resolution.

bestwriter wrote on November 8, 2014, 12:47 AM

Have fun but I thought I would just say it because here at Persona atleast they are free to use your images. I just downloaded one emoticon :grin:

bestwriter wrote on November 8, 2014, 1:37 AM

That is exactly what it is. And how can anyone keep a check who is downloading images that have no copyright?

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 12:08 PM

You are NOT free to use them though. That's why it says on my articles that they are my property. I guess I won't be putting any more photos up here.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 12:13 PM

Evidently it is not ok here. Bestwriter said she downloaded one of my photos. She doesn't seem concerned that they are my property at all.

Ellis wrote on November 8, 2014, 3:53 PM

You can search for your pictures online using this site

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 3:56 PM

It's not just using them online though. People aren't supposed to copy photos without permission for any reason.

WordChazer wrote on November 8, 2014, 4:29 PM

I'm sure if Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo etc get their ducks in a row, it will be possible to stamp out this vile 'it's on the net so it's free' lie that BestWriter insists on spouting. You don't walk into a shop and take something off the shelves then wander out without paying, at least not unless you want to have a run in with security. If you take a car without permission, it's called TWOCing (Taking Without Consent) and is A CRIME. So why on earth is it somehow permitted to steal someone else's work (written or visual) just because it's online? It's wrong on so many levels, and any one who does it is no better than the thief stealing goods from a shop or breaking into someone's home and taking items without permission from there. BestWriter, if I catch you using ANY of my photos I WILL SEND A DMCA.

Kasman wrote on November 8, 2014, 5:01 PM

I understand your concern but there is a difference between downloading an image for your own viewing pleasure and downloading one to reproduce elsewhere. The former isn't breach of copyright but the latter is. Perhaps you should clarify with bestwriter for which purpose she downloaded the image.

Kasman wrote on November 8, 2014, 5:03 PM

AngelSharum - see my comment above!

Kasman wrote on November 8, 2014, 5:18 PM

Using only low resolution images in an attempt to stop people stealing them won't work. You are mistaken if you think that a low-resolution image can't be improved. Techniques for doing this are improving all the time. Search the web for sites which will do this. You could start with this one:

BarbRad wrote on November 8, 2014, 6:38 PM

I have been using low resolution photos online except when I want to sell them. I don't much care if people use them with links back to my blog or other site, but I don't want them used commercially for free.

MegL wrote on November 8, 2014, 6:57 PM

I have mentioned a site that provides some free pictures, as well as ones for sale. If you download a picture, you need to sign up for her blog and she provides one "free" to use picture each day in her daily email. By doing that, she keeps bringing you back to her site, where you can BUY images, so for her, it is a sales method. She uses the images she is not worried about to sell the ones that she has worked on.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:26 PM

According to the information I've been reading tonight, it is not even right to download them for personal use without permission. It's stealing. Copying an image is not in the fair use guidelines because it is a complete work, not like using a sentence out of an article or something like that.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:27 PM

Some of my friends showed me links to copyright laws and such today and copying a photo like that is NOT in fair use. It is stealing and not supposed to be done. Some people think it is ok for personal use, but it's not because they are taking an entire work, not just a little snippet of it.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:29 PM

Yeah, but it would be nice if they asked first. Nine times out of ten, if someone asks me, I let them use my photos. It's just considerate to ask first.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:29 PM

Yeah, that seems like a pretty good deal for her and others.

SLGarcia wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:40 PM

Watermarks do take something away from the photos, but if you don't want them downloaded I would think that is the best solution. Is it possible to somehow set something on your computer to make it impossible to download pictures?

Kasman wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:53 PM

You are correct about copying without permission but I think that part of copyright law is meaningless. If someone downloads one of your photos for their own viewing pleasure and doesn't publish it anywhere else how are you going to know? And where's the harm to you? Is it not the same as repeatedly viewing a post of yours containing an image they like? Fair Use is a very grey area. Photos may or may not be covered - as thumbnails in a review, for example. A Court of Law would take every case on its own merits.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:14 AM

Reproducing an image elsewhere is certainly illegal and the site where that would be reproduced will not allow it without the image getting due credit and that too I suppose unless there is explicit permission. At best one can download images and may be print them and hang them on walls or even use them as background or screen saver.

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:19 AM

The harm is that it is wrong and illegal to download someone's photo without asking. It is also rude and disrespectful to do so when you know the person doesn't want you stealing their photo, which was the case here.

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:23 AM

I don't know. I might look into it. I will probably use watermarks and only post really small photos, if any here, from now on.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:44 AM

I do not need photos of others as my image folder is busting at the seams but I wanted you to know is that whatever is on the net and that which is not copyrighted surfers must be downloading them. My pictures have no copyright and I am sure many must be downloading them. Watermark software is available on the Net if I want to do copyright it but I do not mind if users copy my images. I have loads of opportunities to take pictures. I may even contemplate on uploading them on wikipedia commons for free use.

They are your photos and it is your decision to upload or not.

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 12:51 AM

The photos ARE copyrighted though. The minute they are made, they are copyrighted, plus I have my name on them somewhere or other. I also put that they are my property on the article.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 1:07 AM

I doubt just putting a name is good enough. Since you are selling your photos you must seen that they are copyrighted in the manner that Net recognises it. Here is a link where it gives you suggestions how to go about it. You have to put your name in such a way that when an image is downloaded the name too goes with it. What you have done is not doing it.

Good Luck!!

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 1:10 AM

My name goes with it because it is embedded in the actual photo. People can take it off, just like they could a watermark, with the right software, but it is one more deterrent.

WordChazer wrote on November 9, 2014, 5:30 AM

YOU might not mind if others use your images. in fact you are quite clearly stating that you DON'T mind. But many others DO mind if people just happen to come along and steal their images. If someone does not ask permission to use an image, it is STEALING and they are a THIEF.

The lack of manners of some sections of the planet's population astounds me. It is POLITE to ASK unless you know the image is absolutely and clearly available for free. As AngelSharum has said, if someone wants to use a photo and asks permission, she is likely to grant that permission. That's a great bit of publicity, a backlink to her work and everything agreed with the owner of the photo. I will go after people quoting my writing with a DMCA backed by Google and proof of copyright. If they contact me and say they would like to write a companion piece or to quote from one of my pieces of work, most of the time I'll say that's fine and ask for a copy of the link so that I can do my own bit of publicity.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 6:25 AM


Without knowing the background it is not proper for you to say this about me nor for that matter anyone else.

" If someone does not ask permission to use an image, it is STEALING and they are a THIEF.

The lack of manners of some sections of the planet's population astounds me. It is POLITE to ASK unless you know the image is absolutely and clearly available for free.

Somewhere this member mentioned that she was putting up her pictures for sale and in response to that I brought to her notice that she should protect her pictures as anyone can copy them and I showed her that it is possible. I have no interest in her pictures, nor have I used it . I had no intention to rob, cheat, nor be disrespectful. I do not know which section of the planet you are talking about and it is better that you keep these views to yourself.

I have loads of pictures in my image folder as one of my passions is photography.I have travelled half the world and have personally viewed the most exotic scenes. I have no intention to rob., nor am I a thief. . "Full Definition of THIEF. : one that steals especially stealthily or secretly" It was I who told her that I had downloaded her image and that it is possible to download and she will not even know.

Next time when you make comments please get to the bottom of the issue.

WordChazer wrote on November 9, 2014, 7:05 AM

Excuse me, bestwriter . Can I just point out that you were the one who downloaded a COPYRIGHTED photograph from AngelSharum without bothering to ask her permission first. Who is wrong here? Yes I know you did it to prove a point but you still took a copy of something that you did not have permission to take.

People who take things without permission are generally called thieves.

I know AngelSharum has photographs for sale. I have writing for sale. The difference is that I give up rights to my work when I sell it to a client. If I want to write on the same subject again, I have to rewrite my ideas so I don't plagiarise myself. AngelSharum can sell prints of the same photograph again and again. Or she would, at least, if people didn't persist in using them without paying her for the privilege of owning a copy of her work.

Manners generally are a dying art. Asking permission or paying for the ability to do or share something is a dying art. Everyone seems to want everything for free these days, without considering the time and effort that goes into the creative process.

I'm glad for you that you have 'loads of pictures' to use. I'm not a particularly good photographer, but I have the ability to commission photographers and illustrators to produce work for me to use to illustrate my articles if needed. They will sell me the rights or give me the rights to use the work when I pay them for their time. I will also always credit them, because I have worked in academic publishing, and I know that if you fail to cite references for every quote and image used in research papers, it is a matter of reputation that can lead to withdrawal of any degree awarded on the back of such research.

It's even easier to copy and paste text than it is to copy and paste or download a photograph. Low resolution shots do work when you're careful with the settings. Most of my early photographs were taken with a BlackBerry phone camera which was a useless piece of junk, and you can't even upload them anywhere these days because they are below the minimum dpi or size specified by most writing sites and photographic archives such as morguefile and pixabay. Talking of which, if you want a top resolution photo from these places, you have to pay. A lower resolution shot is generally free.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 7:31 AM

That's the point. She has not copyrighted the way the Net acknowledges it and that is what I was pointing out.I meant well. I was not a thief. But you called me one. A thief does it stealthily and does not tell. As I have already said I do not want her image. I have scores of them Sorry to hear you need help from other photographers to complete your articles. Too bad.

And as for politeness see the way I have addressed you and the way you have addressed me. You called me a thief. Manners are still going strong in my life and around me. We are a bunch of cultured people who pay a lot of importance to manners. Even if we come from "that part of the planet"
It is disgusting to hear you say that I was trying to get a picture without paying for it when all what I wanted was to show to her that it is possible to download her pictures. I have even sent her a link where they show how to embed signatures on the image itself. I am well padded financially and even have a Trust that reaches out to the needy. You know nothing about me and yet you assumed that I was getting something without paying for it. Do you react this way in your real life too? I feel sad for those around you.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 7:56 AM

And as for free and super images there are countless of them on wikipedia commons . You can make use of them in your articles. Here is a link on waterfalls.

Have a pick.

WordChazer wrote on November 9, 2014, 9:21 AM

Now you're just being condescending.

I suggest this 'conversation' does not continue. If you accuse me of needing to adjust my attitude, you certainly need to address yours. Whether or not you wish to, you give the impression of looking down on us because we choose to try and sell our work (and protect its copyright) rather than philanthropically making it available for anyone on the net to borrow, amend, use or otherwise adjust without even having the manners to credit the producer of the original image or words.

Some people actually would like to have others recognise by a financial transaction that the work they have created is worthy of payment, in the same way that you pay to attend a concert given by a skilled musician or view a gallery of images by a noted artist.

No wonder AngelSharum is reconsidering placing original photographs on this site. I would too, if I was her.

bestwriter wrote on November 9, 2014, 9:38 AM

That was not it and again you have pushed it in a different direction. You called me a thief when I was truly trying to help. How refreshing that you choose to misunderstand once again . Yes.I too want to close this issue and take the liberty to draw my own conclusions.

WordChazer wrote on November 9, 2014, 11:07 AM

I called you a thief because despite the author requesting that you did not download any of her photographs, you did so. That means you took something that is copyrighted without the permission of the author. Without permission.

That is wrong. That is disrespectful. That is ill-mannered. You may have been trying to help. It did not come across that way to me. Now you are being condescending by pointing out that you have no financial worries and indeed have a Trust fund to help poor people. Well, good for you. My Trust fund is the proceeds of anything I earn from selling my work online. So if I want to sell the rights to my work, I will do so. At least having sold the rights, it is the rights' owner's problem if my former work is spun, copied, stolen or otherwise tampered with.

Thank you for reading.

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 11:46 AM

I'm sorry this has caused so much trouble. Bestwriter you DID copy the photo without my permission, whether you were trying to prove a point or not. A point that didn't need proving in the first place. I knew photos could be stolen, I just didn't expect it to happen and someone tell me they had done it after we were already talking about me not wanting my photos copied.

As far as a proper way to copyright photos on the Net goes, I really don't care about your link. My photos ARE copyrighted the minute I make them, plus they have my name on them, which is another form of copyright. I don't have to do anything else, legally, than that. If people weren't looking for ways to steal things, they would keep making new ways to protect stuff. I just wish there were more honest people in the world and we wouldn't have these problems.

Kasman wrote on November 9, 2014, 2:37 PM

Agreed - and I understand your anger, and don't forget that if this was an image for sale you would have lost income. The point I was trying to make is that bestwriter 's mistake was to tell you she did what she did. I venture to guess that (as I have already said) you wouldn't normally know about it 'cos if someone had downloaded it for their own viewing pleasure they wouldn't tell you they stole your photo!

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 6:49 PM

That part is true. Most people who steal photos don't tell anyone.