Many of you may notice those big watermarks I put across the
images I publish online. They are there,
as you may have guessed, to protect my copyright in the images (to insure that
the images aren’t stolen without compensation for the time and effort I put
into them), but they are also there to protect my subjects: my clients, my
models, and yep, even my children (these are pictures of me and my family
throughout this post).
(A. doing her ‘scary monster’ impersonation)
I’ve had so many photographer friends who’ve had their work
taken and used without their permission (or their clients’ permission) for
commercial campaigns on websites, packaging, even print and TV ads! Sure, they aren’t happy about it (to say the
least), but their clients are also victims, and this stealing of images isn’t
limited just to professional photographers.
Ordinary people who take and publish a particularly evocative image may
find their children staring back at them from an ad on primetime television or
slapped across a box for a product they wouldn’t want to endorse.
(me with my two girls)
grants the frame company a license to basically use any uploaded images however
they want. This is a bit scary to me – I know I wouldn’t want my children
endorsing a product for bed-wetters or my own face gracing a box for some sort
of medical cream (think of all the embarrassing possibilities!).
(my lovely husband being made into a pirate by A.)
That frame isn’t the only product or service with this kind
of wording – many image sharing and social networking sites also require you to
sign away your rights to use them. There
are definitely steps you can take to protect your images (and your children),
like watermarking images as I do on the blog.
Even if you don’t end up watermarking your images, it is my hope that
this blog post and others like it might get the word out to the offending
companies that stealing our images isn’t right, and people are going to speak
out against companies that do!
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit: