With the growing popularity of social media and photo communities it is not uncommon to see unauthorized use of our images on other websites. Recently two of my trophy white tail deer images showed up on a hunting outfitter website. Obviously, their web master removed my copyright signature, stripped metadata and used my images on the website. When I sent an email requesting to remove my images from the website, I got a response saying they purchased those images from a penny sock agency. As usual I replied back with a jpg image with my copyright signature to show my ownership. Here is what I got in response. “How do we know you are not trying to scam us by purchasing same image from stock agency and putting your signature?” After couple of email exchanges and lots of reasoning finally they removed my images from the website.
After this fiasco I decided to register some of my images with copyright protection office. I am in the process of making my first batch of 200 images for submission. Along with this here is another quick and simple solution from RC Concepcion’s book “Get your photography on the web”. Digimarc is an image watermark plug-in installed in Photoshop since 1996. This works by embedding an imperceptible digital watermark into your images. This watermark shows the image came from you, and can convey copyright information and usage rights as well as contact information. Since the watermark is all embedded in entire image even the cropped version of the images will retain this information.
Digimarc is a paid service and requires users to create an account and signup for basic, professional or enterprise level services. With professional services ($99/year) users watermark up to 2000 images and can search for images online using their watermark using Digimarc service. Basic service ($49/year) allows up to 1000 images watermark and comes with no search option. Once the signup process is complete user will be provided with a Digimarc ID and passcode. Users are required to enter these details in their Photoshop Digimarc by clicking [Filters->Digimarc->Embed watermark]. Once this setup process is complete, users can watermark their images by clicking [Filters->Digimarc->Embed watermark] and read watermark by clicking [Filters->Digimarc->read watermark].
Some useful info
Digimarc for Images Tutorial: How to Digitally Watermark Digital Images for the Best Results.
All you need in one Youtube video.