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Photograph plagiarism.

How can photographers prevent others from using their work?
11 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #39375  
I recently found out that someone has created a photo album on Facebook using my photos under the heading "my daily life". The person has taken more than 50 pictures from my blog and passes them as their own.

How can I stop this? I know it is possible to "brand" pictures by putting your name at the bottom, but don't know how to do it. Are there any other alternatives?

Thanks in advance,

Jon Reply to this

11 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #39387  
Jonathan, do you have photoshop or any other similar program which you use to manipulate your photos? If so, I'd be glad to talk you through adding a copyright overlay to your pics. If not, then at least you can feel comfortable that all the pics on this sight are very small and would only print in small sizes or with poor resolution. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #39388  
Sadly they're pretty big on Facebook, so the ones that person has taken have turned out well.

I do have Photoshop, but haven't found any way to to add a copyright overlay. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #39401  
B Posts: 5,187
Unfortunately - anything that is shown on a computer screen can be copied completely and perfectly - movies, photographs, text etc.

As Mike mentions - the only real defence is watermarking - but this spoils the image - and tasteful watermarks in the bottom right are just cropped out. It's part of the reason that travelblog only posts at 600 pixels - that's a 2 inch (5cm) image in photographic quality print.

Here as the website concerned (facebook) is a fairly responsible one - find out who posted the images - and look for a report link - the other option is to email info at facebook.com - I've always had a response from someone.

Are the images bigger than 600 pixels in facebook?

Another thing - who on earth steals someone else's images and tries to pass them off as their own daily life experiences????! that is so incredibly sad.

Off-topic: Also note: on Facebook anything uploaded becomes the property of Facebook - Facebook Group against Facebook (yep a little absurd) - especially when that content is not actually owned by the person who uploaded it! - imagine the mess if your images were then featured in a Facebook ad. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #39402  
So, Jon, to add that watermark, add a new layer in photoshop by Going to Layer > New.

On this new layer you can use the text tool (which looks like a 'T') to add text. Once you've added what you want, you can then change the opacity of the layer to meet your need. I would suggest making the layer only about 25-40% visible so that it can be seen through but still be seen.

If that doesn't help, I can try to make some screen shots.

Mike T. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 21st 2008 No: 6 Msg: #39457  
B Posts: 104
I suggest you throw a dirty nappy at them on facebook and then bit*h slap them!! I can show you how if you need help, I do it all the time!!! Reply to this

11 years ago, June 22nd 2008 No: 7 Msg: #39543  
There are lots of ways to add watermarks to your images. Although this dosent keep people from stealing them, it's better than nothing. (people who know photoshop can erase a watermark image). Likewise, generally there is no need to upload a photo greater than 640 pixels for web use. This just prevents people from printing the images that are yours.

Here is a good resource for watermarking your images for free.

Also, if you are really concerned with your images being stolen you can register them with the US Copyright office. It cost $30 to send them as many images you can fit on a DVD. You don't need to register them to have the legal copyright to your images, however, in court you can settle for a lot more money, up to $150,000 for a stolen image.

Reply to this

11 years ago, June 23rd 2008 No: 8 Msg: #39577  
In February I found a great site called www.copyscape.com it helps locate anyone who has copied mainly text word for word from your blogs. But with this I found that not only someone had lifted whole chunks of my written text but the photos that went along with it and passed them off as their own. Hence my big warning on my profile page.

I wrote to the bloggers as there were 3 in total, who had all used different parts of my travel blogs under various titles of their own, and where I had referenced myself or my boyfriend they had changed the names. I was quiet upset as we all put so much effort into these blogs.

They never wrote back but within days it was removed from the sites. Cowards.
Since then I have had 2 people ask if they can use my work to highlight some cause.

At the bottom of each blog is a copyright notification, but this was clearly ignored, so where do we stand on this, how else can we protect our work?
Reply to this

11 years ago, June 23rd 2008 No: 9 Msg: #39590  
Thank you for all your replies - I don't think I have the right edition of Photoshop to add a watermark, but will have a look later today.

Ali - you're right, and not just sad but incredibly creepy - the person's profile picture is a photo of my girlfriend.

J Reply to this

11 years ago, June 23rd 2008 No: 10 Msg: #39644  
B Posts: 104
Hey Claire, Thanks for the website address, although I've just checked ours and its on there too. ARGH.....

Some people are just sad and need to get a life of their own. Let all travelbloggers unite.

Reply to this

11 years ago, June 23rd 2008 No: 11 Msg: #39657  
B Posts: 5,187
If you do find any site that is consistently copying your blogs - do let us know - either through contact or on the Support Forum - we have standard letters that we send through. (Though it's really annoying extra work for us too!) Reply to this

11 years ago, June 24th 2008 No: 12 Msg: #39706  
In that case (facebook profile link removed)
Reply to this

11 years ago, June 24th 2008 No: 13 Msg: #39711  
B Posts: 5,187
Hi Jonathan - well in this case I won't be able to help as facebook's privacy setting won't let me see the offending profile - a letter from us helps in the cases where the a website is copying entire blogs and accounts. We've managed to get a few taken offline and all the stolen content removed from others.

This is the form for facebooks copyright process

You can also report the account - view the profile scroll to the bottom and click report account. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 25th 2008 No: 14 Msg: #39831  
Interesting thread.

I was approached by an American company last Friday. They wanted to use one of my pictures in a film production they're working on, and said they were looking for "worldwide rights". No mention of paying for it though. I asked them to send me more details. I got a reply within 2 minutes, asking what kind of information I needed. I asked them if they would credit me and whether, since they were asking me to give up copyright, they were prepared to pay anything for it. Again the reply came within minutes. They said yes, we will credit you, and what kind of payment are you looking for.

I am a contributor to a stock website, so I asked them for advice and they told me to use their parameters to calculate a fair price. So I sent this company a fairly detailed reply, explaining exactly what type of information I would need before I could give them a price.

And guess what? After their prompt replies on Friday, I have not heard back from them. Obviously they were expecting to get the picture for free or for peanuts, but since discovering I may just know a little bit about my rights and how the industry works, they don't seem interested anymore.

Now I'm wondering whether to threaten them with legal action as they admitted in one email to be using the picture already (I'm guessing in their "draft" before it gets released to the public), and they are of course doing so without permission.

Has anybody else been approached in this way by any chance?
Maria Reply to this

11 years ago, June 25th 2008 No: 15 Msg: #39833  
Me again, sorry just had a thought.

Question for Ali really. Wouldn't it be possible to disable the right-click command so people cannot copy pictures so easily? I know it can be done but I'm not sure how much work it would involve. I'd volunteer to help but I don't know the next thing about writing websites!

I'm guessing people who know what they're doing would probably find a way to steal the pictures anyway, but it could still deter a large number of them?

What do you think?

Cheers guys
Maria Reply to this

11 years ago, June 25th 2008 No: 16 Msg: #39836  
Absolutely brilliant idea - if I can help (with my own limited computer skills) please let me know. It's obviously how my photos have been stolen, and I guess about 90% of all "villains" take them that way.

It's our work - only we should be able to use them. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 25th 2008 No: 17 Msg: #39844  
B Posts: 5,187
Sorry guys - Disabling right-click isn't a solution - some browsers don't let you disable it - others have a menu option that circumvents it very easily.

Anyone with the slightest technical ability can grab the image out of the cache, or directly from the web server.

Finally - there is always the printscreen button.

The disadvantages to people that don't intend to steal your images are also another reason not to disable it. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 25th 2008 No: 18 Msg: #39845  
In that case - can someone recommend the best way to download a suitable edition of Photoshop, and how from there it is possible to create watermark copyright stamps?


J Reply to this

11 years ago, June 25th 2008 No: 19 Msg: #39856  
B Posts: 5,187
Have a look at the link in Msg #7 - I checked out the guide posted and it's good. Reply to this

11 years ago, June 27th 2008 No: 20 Msg: #40143  
Photoshop is too much for simple watermarking. A Google search of "free photo editing software" gets you lots of light, free and easy to use image editing software. You can use these for simple editing, cropping, brightening and WATERMARKING (simply add your faded text across the image). Easy!!

As a web developer / programmer by profession, disabling right-clicks on the web page will NOT prevent determined thieves, and may in fact bug legitimate users. Watermarking is probably the best solution.
Reply to this

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