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[HOW TO] Image Protection

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Topic [HOW TO] Image Protection

Post by DolbyR on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:58 pm


I've seen lately a lot of pictures from different sites being shared online... I'm talking about copyrighted pictures here.
Nothing is stopping a certain individual from just saving and uploading one of our pictures somewhere else as their own.

We should be well aware of this problem and take actions to prevent it. We MUST protect our images.

U.S. citizens seem to be better protected here, as the Digital Millenium law, 17 USC §1202(b) clearly forbids the removal of the copyright notice from a picture. The violation of this law carries a penalty of up to $25,000.

Extract from DML:

Digital Millenium law wrote:
No person shall, without the authority of the copyright owner or the law, intentionally remove or alter any copyright management information knowing, or, with respect to civil remedies under section 1203, having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of any right under this title.

We have a couple of alternatives for protecting our images. Some of them easier/quicker to do, others providing a higher level of protection.
It is up to personal preference which method to use, a person could even combine several methods to achieve a higher level of protection.

Neither one of the methods is too difficult to do and they don’t take too long either. There’s no excuse for not doing it!

Method 1 – Watermarking

Watermarking is probably one of the most popular, and the most effective ways of image protection. It consists of adding you name, logo, website, whatever in a more or less visible font on some part of the picture – Imagine a dollar bill and what you see when you look through it against a light.

You can watermark your images using even the simplest of image editing software such as Gimp or MS Paint, or you can go all out and use Photoshop or a dedicated watermarking software.

Watermarking with MS Paint:

1. Open your image file with MS Paint

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen1_zps28ec7e57

2. Click button with "A" symbol to select the text tool and select transparent background by clicking the respective button

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen3_zps98e21e39

3. Click and drag to create a text box in your desired place inside the image

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen4_zps3c5d7f25

4. If the text toolbar does not appear automatically, right click over the image and select "Text Toolbar". You can now select the font and formatting of your choice.

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen5_zps5d7e45b4

5. Select your desired colour from the colour-bar at the bottom of the page.

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen6_zpse3ca3003

6. Click on the text box to activate it, and type in your watermark.

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen7_zps9013729f

7. Go to: File>Save As... and change your filename. If you don't change the filename (or if you select "Save") you will overwrite your original image.

[HOW TO] Image Protection Screen8_zpsf83c1a28

And your picture has been watermarked

[HOW TO] Image Protection G-Porteri-watermarked_zpse8942f32

Method 2 – Cropping

Cropping is one of the easiest ways of image protection.
What you do is crop out an unreproducable part of the image and upload the cropped version.

The image may not have a visible sign that it has been protected, but if you end up having an ownership dispute over the picture. You can prove the picture is yours as long as you have the original image saved.

It is a great method in combination with watermarking.

Method 3 – Metadata

Editing metadata used to be a popular method for protecting image files. These days it´s no longer very effective as metadata can easily be removed by anyone.

Metadata (EXIF data) is in fact the information your digital camera inserts in the image. It usually included the make and model of the camera, along with the settings (Aperture, Exposure, etc) used for the picture.
With the help of several dedicated EXIF editors, available on the web, you can edit this information to include your copyright information as well.

This guide will be continuously updated with detailed (graphic) information on using these methods, as well as to include other ways of protecting your images.


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