Protecting your Online Images

Protecting your Online Images

A disturbing incident occurred recently: a member found her kitchen photo in a advertisement for a a custom kitchen cabinet company... a company that did not do her cabinets!

So how can we prevent other from stealing our kitchen photos?
It's virtually impossible these days to prevent savvy computer users from downloading our photos and presenting them as their own. A copyright statement at the bottom of a photo may deter some, or at least remind them that the photo is copyrighted. But any thief can simply crop the copyright from the image. (That's what happened to our member; her name had been cropped from her FKB photo.)

The best way to protect your kitchen photos is by "watermarking" them, as is done in the FKB. This involves embedding text (a copyright notice or the photo's owner) or an image (a logo) into your photo. A watermark in the corner of a photo can be easily removed, but a watermark that stretches across the image can be quite difficult to remove (except by only expert graphic designers).

True watermarking software can be expensive, but here is a free photo-editing program that allows you to easily add copyright text to your images before uploading them onto your photo-sharing site. It's light-weight and super easy to use!
==> Step-By-Step: Add copyright text to your images using IrfanView.

Now Irfanview won't stretch your copyright text from one corner to another; it only adds the text horizontally. Hopefully someday we'll find easy-to-use, free software that will create inconspicuous watermarks that cover an entire image. :-)

You can put a copyright across the photo (corner-to-corner diagonally) using Photobucket. I suspect, though, that any savvy user will be able to remove the watermark no matter where it is. However, the more work it is, the less likely your photo will be pirated.

It's like locking your car, it won't prevent someone who really wants it from getting into it, but it will make it more difficult and the "pass by" thief will look elsewhere for easier pickings!

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