Photographers have to deal with stolen images. Just this morning, I have contacted one ‘photographer’ who stole 2 images from elsewhere. The artists were not aware, which is usually the case. In this case, there was a quick and happy resolution, but it’s not always the case.
What to do?
And here’s my tick list
- Limit the physical size of the image. Mine are 950px wide due to 1x’s requirements, but I would think 800px wide is safe.
- Add copyright information into your camera, which is then written to each image. Careful in photoshop not to ‘Save for web’ as this may well strip this information
- Add a visible watermark to your images. This is a tricky one as some sites do not ‘like’ watermarks. Also watermarks can be cropped out; if not the images are less attractive.
- Add a non-visible watermark that can be tracked by various image tracking sites.
- If you find your images elsewhere, comment on the image that it is yours – visible humiliation to the site’s visitors – and also send a firm, but polite email to them. Very often, this is sufficient to resolve the matter.
- Send the thief an invoice for double your usual license fee – damage costs. If this is sourced from a Solicitor, it shows you mean business.
Do this on a regular basis.