Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On copyrighting photographs

I've been seeing more and more blogger-photographers putting little copyright symbols on pictures they post and it makes me wonder why I don't do it. 

Well, lazyiness, of course. 

And partly because I realize that I've already posted over 1,000 pictures on Blogspot and know that they never go away but get stored in some Google picture place somewhere.  In fact, the other day, I was going use a picture I took on my cellphone as wallpaper on the cellphone and I saw an option that said Blogspot on my phone.  What?  How did that get there?  So I pushed it and suddenly had the option of over a 1000 pictures show up on my cellphone.  

And I also read someone's blog several months ago where they were driving through some European city and suddenly saw themselves and their family on a billboard!  It had been lifted by the advertising company from the Internet. 

So I designed my own copyright watermark...although I don't think it is actually a watermark.  I probably need to read my Photoshop Book to find out what a watermark actually is. 

But I probably won't. 

Lazyness, of course. 

And also because I don't really much care if someone takes one of my pictures and makes money off it.  I suspect I am in the minority.  But there have been times in my life where I have worked at making a living off writing and photography.  The money was meager.  And mostly it took all the fun out of it. 

I appreciate other photographers that do it.  I actually enjoy the creativity some people put into designing a nice copyright thingy for their posts.  But, I think I'll pass for now. 


  1. On my blog, specifically the parts of my "Souvenirs From Sicily" series, there are many pictures that I've nicked here and there from other people's websites, and I always say so at the bottom of those blog entries.
    If anyone finds a picture in my blog they claim as their property and ask me to remove it, I will certainly do so instantly.
    But... I am not making any money from it, and I simply can not imagine that anyone would want my amateurish pictures for their website or blog or advert.
    Therefore, I will not create a watermark (which is, per definition, an image or pattern in paper that is visible as various shades of lightness/darkness when seen through back light; on digital photos, it is of course a little different.

  2. It's true that all the photos I put up are at risk of being copied, but somehow, with the millions of photos out there to choose from, who's going to want mine? A watermark that's discrete doesn't really stop copying, and one that's not discrete wrecks the photo. So the heck with it.
    Plus the laziness thing. Yeah!

  3. Pretty much feel the same. I'm like "have at it".

  4. Well done!!! Personally lazy I certainly see your point. Wishing you well! Cathy

  5. I have wondered - if you put the watermark on your photo is that really 'copyrighting' it? isn't there a legal document that gives you a copyright (or at least the publisher) on a book or document? If you publish on a public forum like the internet aren't you relinquishing your 'copyright'?
    Some people are actually trying to sell their photos on the internet (some of our MTFS participants in fact)so maybe - just maybe it makes a difference - but what I post are pictures not PHOTOS, I think I am a picture taker not a photogragher, and I would be surprised and pleased if someone wanted to use one say to create a birthday card for their mother. I am not lazy, I really don't see the point.

  6. Ginger, I don't think there is a legal document for copyrighting your photos; you just have to state it. But I don't like the way most watermarks look on photos, so as Nan says, why do it?

    On the other hand it is interesting & a bit alarming to see how many hits come to my small blog from Google Images, so I have stated copyright in my sidebar. As if it would do any good at all.