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#1 Damo

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:28 AM

Hi folks,

 

I have a facebook page where I regularly post up pictures of my underwater photo shots, because I like to share them with friends.  I have restrictions set in my facebook site re: sharing etc etc.....but am still wondering how 'safe' am I?

 

I use lightroom's web function to make a watermark 'web image' and this is what I use when I post.

I enclose a sample of what I do put up on my facebook, with the watermark etc., but if you think I could improve on anything  I'd appreciate on any sage advice.

 

Many thanx in advance

 

Damo

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#2 Steve Williams

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:29 AM

Hi partner,

I very rarely post my best images on Facebook. You might think about getting an account on Flickr or Zenfolio, etc. then linking to your shot on Facebook for the good stuff.  Either way, think about using a watermark that is more difficult for someone to deal with if they wanted to unscrupulously use the image.  I'm liking a large centered watermark with the opacity set to about 10 so (depends on the color) it usually doesn't detract too much from the image and it's easy to setup in LR.  It's too easy to crop out a corner watermark or with the new LR spot healing brush just dissolve it away. 

 

Maybe try something like this;  

 

Damo_BW1v2.jpg

 

Love the image by the way!

 

Cheers,

Steve

 


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#3 Damo

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:07 AM

I hear you Steve....sound advice as always.

 

Thank you

 

:-)


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#4 drsteve

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:31 PM

I only post low resolution images (800x600) and watermark the upper left corner.  It detracts from the images, but at least it means that if stolen, they can only get the low res versions.

 

I recently had one of my more popular non dive related photos scraped from Flickr and used as advertising for a for-profit Facebook page.   They didn't even bother photo-shopping out the copyright notice.  On Flickr it has around 10k hits.  Facebook doesn't share hit counts, only "likes" and "shares".  The for-profit site had over 22k "likes" and 2.5k "shares" of the page with my image.  If you assume that only 1 in 10 hits on Facebook results in a "like", then this image has 200k+ hits, possibly more.  I sent Facebook a take-down notice which they complied with, but the for-profit site had no penalty other than they got to use my image for free for as long as it took me to notice the violation.  I recommend using a tool like TinEye to look for copyright infringement.  I was a little surprised at how many of my images have been scraped and used without my permission.  You might be surprised too.


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#5 Stoo

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 05:05 PM

The reality is that no matter how low the resolution you post, it's probably going to be suitable for someone's on-line useage. A watermark that runs across the image is about all you can do, short of simply not posting. Personally, I love sharing my images, and have no issues with non-commercial sharing as long as my watermark is left intact.

 

Having said that, I have had a number of images "borrowed" and used in dive shop promo flyers etc... sales, trips etc. although in all cases, the watermark is intact. In one shop's case,  the accompanying text suggests that somehow that particular shop was involved in capturing that image... and they were not in any way. I mentioned it to the owner (who I know well and is something of a friend) and he sort of laughed it off with some comment about all the exposure I was getting. Awesome. 'Cause flattery is everything.... I take an altruistic approach in that if my borrowed images encourage someone to take up diving or something, than that's ok.


Edited by Stoo, 07 November 2014 - 05:06 PM.


#6 adamhanlon

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 02:36 PM

I think it depends on how you view your business/creative model. You could keep all your images in a folder on your computer and never post them anywhere-they would be 100% safe from theft, but you are unlikely to sell many  :mocking:

 

A great image will make significant amounts of money, on top of the unpaid for use that we are all so afraid of! I think we need to re-configure our thoughts on sharing images, and look at the "lost" revenues that you do not get as a marketing cost. Putting ugly watermarks across the center of our images diminishes their effect and will result in less sales..... I think using watermarks that do not detract significantly from the image and ensuring that whenever possible, your metadata contains your copyright is still the best option.

 

I have sold a fair number of images on the back of people seeing them on Facebook and the like-these sites represent an amazing "shop window". I think we should embrace this and use it to our advantage. They aren't going away and if you don't do it, your competitors will.....

 

Adam 


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#7 decosnapper

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 10:24 AM

I'm going to share my thoughts on this. 

 

 

 

A great image will make significant amounts of money, on top of the unpaid for use that we are all so afraid of!

 

A great image costs a significant amount of money. Consider the time one invests in the craft alone, let alone capital expenditure on kit, gas, travel etc. And all underwater activity comes with risk that needs mitigating somehow. Every great image needs to cover the costs of the entire business, including the duds when the vis wasnt great or the weather wont cooperate. 

 

And I find it morally repugnant to find a company making money from my work but singularly failing to even consider paying the creator anything.

 

 

 

I think we need to re-configure our thoughts on sharing images, and look at the "lost" revenues that you do not get as a marketing cost.

 

Last year 80% of my income came from recovering damages from infringers. For a long time I let things go but when income from legitimate sales was falling way below the cost of production something had to change. The sharing of my work for free was a direct and measurable loss. Yes there was still demand for my work, but no one wanted to pay for it. You could say the 'advertising' budget was killing me.

 

 

 

Putting ugly watermarks across the centre of our images diminishes their effect and will result in less sales

 

I can only speak of one case that ended up in the High Court where someone went and published an image without even considering the watermark. There were two other instances, both involving media organisations whose profits were in the hundreds of millions of pounds, where the publisher just ignored the visible statement asserting my rights. Ugly watermarks are no deterrent to those who crave content.

 

 

 

your metadata contains your copyright is still the best option

 

In all cases of infringement I have dealt with the meta data is either stripped or ignored. I cannot say how many near miss infringements have been avoided but I can say that precisely no one has contacted me for a legitimate sale as a result.

 

 

 

They aren't going away and if you don't do it, your competitors will.....

 

I'm more than happy to see competitors give their work away. From personal experience I would say the 'free' business model in a capitalist economy is unsustainable. The more I look at the business models of others I have a suspicion that deriving a direct income from the licensing images is becoming less and less important as other means of being paid are available. 

 

In short, recovering my losses from infringers was enough to replace the lost legitimate sales. But the entire process is a miserable thing to do and has ensured I no longer want to keep adding more free content to that treadmill.

 

To anyone who gives their work away I say this; Its your property and you are entitled to do with it as you wish, but is it really OK to see companies derive profit from your creative endeavours?


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#8 adamhanlon

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:20 AM

Simon,

 

Thought you might get involved in this  :)

 

​Since when does posting on social media amount to "giving work away?" I don't think I did.

 

I should point out that if your costs of obtaining a great image are exceeding that image's earning potential in the market...... That is also capitalism.

 

I am also not suggesting that anyone should allow people to use images for free. However art and picture editors will increasingly look at social media as a source for obtaining images as supposed to the "old way" of sourcing images which was contacting people that they knew. Perhaps reductions in image sales volumes is due to people not engaging with this process? 

 

What I am suggesting is that we should use Facebook and other media creatively as advertising outlets for our images. 

 

Your court case raised around £1400. I have been lucky enough to have made considerably more than that on single image sales where the purchasers originally found the images on Facebook! And I didn't need to go to court! Sure there is some unlicensed use, but the licensed use more than recompenses me for this.

 

Adam


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#9 decosnapper

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:57 AM

 

 

​Since when does posting on social media amount to "giving work away?" I don't think I did.

The terms of social media use give broad use rights to the publisher and others. This can mean simple sharing amongst others or for full-blown commercial advertising. That's part of the deal. You get to showcase your work and in exchange give away very broad rights indeed. 

 

 

 

I should point out that if your costs of obtaining a great image are exceeding that image's earning potential in the market...... That is also capitalism.

Well yes, capitalism has indeed. Funny thing is I have never seen other photographers as direct competition really...and actively welcome competition as it raises all of our collective abilities...But my main point is those who espouse capitalism and derive significant profits or benefits have decided to put the cost of overheads for things like website content at zero. Or to put it another way those who publish my work have unilaterally set the fee at precisely nothing without asking me, even when there is a huge spoiler of a watermark running through the image that visibly asserts my rights and my phone number is embedded in the meta data...its just ignored. I really am at a loss to understand this...equally I am at a loss to understand why anyone would pay for stuff they can just help themselves to when there are no apparent or obvious consequences - that is until I show up and ask them to do the decent thing and pay only to be told "we don't pay for images..." and then the process of asserting ones rights commences...

 

This is not capitalism, its theft. This is not a definition of a functioning market between willing buyer and seller. This is what I mean by not being able to compete with free.

 

 

 

I am also not suggesting that anyone should allow people to use images for free. However art and picture editors will increasingly look at social media as a source for obtaining images as supposed to the "old way" of sourcing images which was contacting people that they knew. Perhaps reductions in image sales volumes is due to people not engaging with this process? 

 

Always made more sales by knowing who would most likely use the image before I created it, rather than using a scattergun approach. But even when I used social media to push my work, the volume of infringements did not slow down, nor did anyone make contact asking to use before publication. It became apparent that I was adding more material to a conveyer belt that eventually ended in infringing publication.

 

 

 

What I am suggesting is that we should use Facebook and other media creatively as advertising outlets for our images. 

It can be a great tool. Its just not worked for me. I'm taking a very long view on the image market and right now I am actively choosing not to participate in the electronic world. That does not mean I have stopped creating, nor does it mean I have stopped selling my work, its just not online. 

 

 

 

Your court case raised around £1400. I have been lucky enough to have made considerably more than that on single image sales where the purchasers originally found the images on Facebook! And I didn't need to go to court! Sure there is some unlicensed use, but the licensed use more than recompenses me for this.

Couple of points;

 

Luck is like hope - its great when an unforeseen sale happens but I don't see hope/luck as good strategy for business. When creating an image I usually have an end publication or use in mind. It is, if you like, stacking the odds of a successful outcome rather than relying on the chance of someone finding the image.

 

 

As for the court case, don't look at the headline figure. The judge "only" awarded £350 for two months online use - or £175 per month. The rest was further damages for ignoring a watermark and first british serial rights. The balance was costs. I was happy with the original valuation for what was quite a low traffic site and for the additional damages. I would have rather sold the rights, but that didn't happen and once published the infringer took away any chance of selling an exclusive license.

 

And whilst selling an image for a lot more than the court case achieved might seem like a good deal, without knowing the use rights that were sold its pretty much impossible to make any form of sensible comparison. Like I said, don't always take the headline figure at face value.

 

And sometimes its worth going to court to assert your rights, to stand up for fellow creators and help set guidelines as to why ignoring a watermark is a bad thing. I really wish other creators would stand up for themselves and in doing so help others, but I do recognise its a personal decision.

 

Finally I will add this; I have been known to refuse very lucrative use rights because the intended purpose of publication was not in keeping with my own values, or was misrepresentative of the subject in question. This right - the right to say "no, not at any price" is often overlooked by the masses - until something goes wrong that is. But by then its too late...right now I have an uncredited image doing the rounds, acting as a non-attributed advert you might say. Of the 3000 or so infringing uses there are political agendas, religious bias and other disagreeable uses I would not allow at any price. And all of this from an image someone else decided to share on my behalf...


Edited by decosnapper, 14 November 2014 - 02:30 AM.

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