Actually putting a Copyright ON a photo...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by erickj, May 9, 2008.

  1. erickj macrumors regular

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    #1
    I've seen a couple of posts on copyrighting laws, but I'd like to know how to actually put the copyright symbol, year, and my name tag ON a photo.

    I wouldn't say I'm tech savvy, but I know my way around, and can't seem to figure this out. I'm on OSX 10.4.11 and have iPhoto '08 on an iMac 2.4 GHz C2D. I mostly want to do this as I sell some of my photos online and I just want to deter people from downloading the actual photo. I figure if I've got my name and date across the photo, it will deter online downloading.

    I can't figure out if I need a program to do this, or if something I already have on my computer will do it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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  3. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    #3
    In Photoshop, you can put your own watermark on your images that you display on the web. I normally do this after I am done post-processing my images. If you can' afford Photoshop, you could probably get Photoshop Elements which you can still add a watermark/copyright to.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #4
    Aperture and Lightroom also make it easy to add a copyright overlay on your photos.

    You just make a gif/png with the text you want, and make sure the image has a transparent background.
     
  5. erickj thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Gotcha...

    Thanks. Photoshop is totally out of my means and capabilities. I've been thinking about Aperture. Perhaps I'll download the trial and play with it a bit.

    I was hoping to do it in iPhoto, but I guess not.
     
  6. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

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    #6
    As has been stated, Watermarking is the way to go.
    Photoshop elements is very inexpensive & I believe it has the capabilities.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    What? Photoshop Elements 6.0 sells for like $90 and Aperture sells for $199.
    How can you afford Aperure but not Photoshop?

    If you are on a serious budget and want the most bang per buck you should think about using the combination of iPhoto and Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 They work well together and integrate seamlessly.

    Yes there may be some things Aperture can do that iPhoto can't but "Elements" is a much more powerful editor then Aperure by far

    All of the programs that have this feature use this same method. You stack an image containing your text that has a transparent background over your photo. Then you adjust the blending method and transparency. Any image editor would allow this. If you don't the money loot at Gimp, it's free www.gimp.org
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    You don' need to put anything on the image to have copyright apply in the US, you *do* need to register the image with the copyright office if you want putative damages available against infringers.

    Note that watermarking images affects sales very heavily if its done in a way that can't simply be cropped or healing brushed out.

    IMO, you're better off putting small low-res samples up online than trying to watermark.
     
  9. erickj thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Not elements. I don't want all that crap that elements has. The greeting cards, the cutesy stuff. Blah. And full photoshop is 649.00 on amazon. Aperture, with my student discount is only 179.00. That's affordable, for me anyway. I'm willing to spend some, but not over 200.00.

    Elements just seems too kiddy, and from what I've read, review wise, it's a mixed bag at best. No one is really all that happy with it. I may check out gimp.

    Thanks for the lo-res idea. I didn't really think about that.
     
  10. Driver macrumors member

    Driver

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    #10
    Pixelmator

    Try Pixelmator (http://www.pixelmator.com). Open Source based, cheap and allows you to work in layers. Wish Photoshop was laid out as good as this is. It's become very bloated. Pixelmator is.. $59 BUCKS! It'll definitely do layers, text over the image and has transparency adjustments among other things. Surprise nobody else mentioned it.
     
  11. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #11
    I think you're mixing up Elements with something else. Elements has nearly all the features of Photoshop. It is most definitely NOT a toy program.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Recent versions of Elements are basically Photoshop's code without layers, CMYK and a couple of other features AFAIK.
     
  13. erickj thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    I didn't mean to imply that elements was not useful, but there is a ton of stuff in it that I don't need or want. And frankly, it's probably more than I need or want. I've been reading dozens of reviews on elements actually and the problems people have with it are just too many to justify a purchase. I think though, that now that Aperture is in Rev. 2.1 I'm ready to amp up and purchase that. Plus the seamless integration with what I already have and use is a bonus.

    I did look into iWatermark, and for 20 bucks, looks like a good deal too.
     
  14. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #14
    Actually Elements does have layers...

    I'm not sure Aperture can actually do what you originally asked for -- put a watermark on a photo. Elements definitely can. But you don't have to fret about it. Both programs have free downloads. You can try both of them and see which one fits your needs better before you buy.
     
  15. Zer0 macrumors regular

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  16. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #16
    Okay, 1) I am not a pro; and 2) I am not disagreeing with what you are saying (I say that just because it may not be obvious if I word things poorly).

    For the last several months I've been putting a small copyright notation in the lower right of any images I post online. The reason is I've run into one or two instances where someone took and used some of my material on their own site, without asking and without attribution.

    By having that copyright on my images, it is trivially easy to demonstrate - even if that gets cropped out by the offender - that the image is really mine (since if they crop it out, I can show I have a wider version of what's obviously a copyright-overlayed image).
     
  17. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #17
    Correct. This is actually a large misconception in terminology. You cannot simply put the copyright symbol on your images and call them copy-written. It has to be registered with the copyright office to be considered that.

    What we photogs do is watermark our images, and that is just creating proof that we have the original image on file... original being one with the most information. Since you can't un-crop an image that isn't an original, putting the WM on the bottom (preferably) or in the center (amateur) is one way to insure that you will have the original.

    Not too many people do. It's a learning experience. It's honestly the best way to put your best image forward, not come off as a snobbish shooter, and still protect your image.

    Another way is to add a comment to the image via the camera you use. My comments are my name, and they are imbedded in every image I shoot, and can't be changed easily. Aperture and Lightroom (as far as i know) can't view image comments, only in Photoshop. But you can add them to every image automatically.

    That, and the low res upload is how I protect my images, but for the most part, the 100% best way to do so is to not put them online. Once they are online, it's far game as long as no one claims them as their own, or gains any monetary value from the use of your image.

    The sad truth is they don't have to. As long as they aren't making any money directly from the image, or they aren't claiming the image as their own creative work, they can post your image wherever they want too. (more technical stuff there though, like subject image portrayal etc.)

    Even if they take your image and use it in a collage they are free to do so. OR, if they clone/airbrush/crop out your copyright, and edit the image to the point where the original intent is lost they are fine.

    Putting up low res images is a bit more elegant because the artist can't blow up the image without destroying the quality/clarity of the photo. Or tying it to the website via flash or HTML, and stripping the metadata from it.
     
  18. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Great info. Very interesting and informative (thanks!)
    I only object to the quoted; I have issues with guys stealing my sports photos for facebook, myspace, etc. When they're watermarked on the middle (usually across the subject) at least I get a little advertising.

    Of course, my situation is relatively unique. I'm classmates and friends with the same guys who steal my photos, so it's tough to complain.
     
  19. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #19
    Yeah..! We had that problem at my college paper too. We didn't have the glass to shoot sports, so we got the images (attribution/caption applied) from an organization called "All Pro Photo" who gave us the images free.

    Our students didn't read much so they would call our paper asking where we got the images from and we directed them to the site.

    Which brings up another point that many tend to forget. Captioning your photo is another way of tagging it as the original. If you can describe the happenings in the photo or have the metadata completely filled out you will prove that you have the original.
     
  20. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #20
    It certainly can as part of any image export/publish...
     
  21. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #21
    All you have to do is to scale the image down to 750 x 400 (something) pixels, and then post it on a forum such as this one. Such an image is of no interest to a person who wants good IQ, since it's scaled down. If you print such an image in a size larger than... lets say 7" x 4", it looks sort of grainy.

    What you don't want to do is to make your original full-size images in TIFF, RAW, JPEG, PSD, etc., accessible for people to download from your hard drive.

    This is what you can do:

    -Watermark.
    After awhile, you have to pay whichever company makes it possible for you, but it's a small fee.

    -PhotoShop Elements (PSE6 is the newest version). Around $90.00.
    Scale-down the image first as told above, and then use the Text tool to write whatever you want on the photo. Select a font from the Fonts menu, and go for it. To enter the copyright symbol, press and hold the "Option" key, and press the "G" key. But keep in mind that just because you entered such a symbol, it does not mean that the photo is copyrighted.

    -To scale-down photos, no application out there is as easy to use then Graphic Converter. It costs $35.00, and you can do a lot with it, including download photos from you camera or memory card. When you scale a photo with it, just select the horizontal button, enter something like 745 pixels, and Graphic Converter automatically sets the matching or proportional vertical size. That's all there is to it.
     
  22. jwt macrumors 6502

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    #22
    If you're a student, Photoshop Extended is $299. Over $200, but in the grand scheme of things, trying to save $100 is regrettable IMHO.
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #23
    My bad, layer masks.
     
  24. riscy macrumors 6502a

    riscy

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    #24
    ImageWell does watermarking as well and is really simple. Plus if you can locate an earlier version it is free :)
     
  25. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #25
    No, sorry, but this is misinformation. In the United States, the image is copyrighted the moment you hit the shutter. Registration allows you to seek putative statutory damages instead of simply actual damages, makes ownership cases mostly a slam-dunk (there are exceptions) and may give you additional treaty rights under WIPO (I'm not sure about that.) In your case, work for hire changes WHO owns that copyright, but not when and how it's established.

    Sorry, but (a) it isn't proof (I can put a watermark on any image I steal off your compuer- that doesn't "prove" it's mine any more than it "proves" it's yours. Also, you can certainly uncrop an image- depending on what's in the cropped part i can be simulated, manipulated or generated depending on skill, computing power available and the number of other images available. It's more difficult to do, but it's certainly not impossible.

    I'm pretty sure Aperture allows full EXIF viewing.

    I'd suggest re-reading the portion of the US Code that deals with copyright (Title 17.) I think you're repeating a popular misconception that's based on the fact that if you don't register your images, then you can only gain actual damages rather that statutory damages, and that's generally not worth filing in District Court for.

    [I'm not a lawyer, this is all personal opinion- however I've been involved in a lot of intellectual property theft and protection issues over the last several years.]

    Here are a couple of 17USC spoilers:

    Re: Time of copyright (copywriting is a whole different animal ;) )

    Re: Collages:
    The Governement has actually done a good job of organization everything at www.copyright.gov. If you're in the US, it's worth going to for an overview.
     

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