A word about the galleries I have been posting. I was so happy when I uploaded images to my post in a gallery that they could not be stolen via right clicking the image. You can also not drag them to the desktop. They stay right in the viewer window and the only way to copy them was by taking a screen shot. Sometimes like in the image of the Monarch, I upload at such a low resolution, the image gets degraded a bit, so a screenshot is not going to be so hot either. Plus an image that would be stolen is worthless.
Then I get the message on my blog Garden Walk Garden Talk to refresh to FB. I very rarely ever visit or use FB because, well, I am not all that interested in the social media aspect of keeping up with those using it.
But what do I find when I get to my posted images on my Home page? There is an entire gallery of images on FB. I don’t even like one image on FB, yet here is a whole slew of them. And guess what, they get large on the screen and can be dragged to the desktop. I suppose this is not too bad because I don’t have many FB friends and they would not be the ones stealing my images anyway, but it just bugged me that they can be stolen from there.
To see more macro images, see my recent post on GWGT, Photo Blogs – Not What I Thought.
I see that you do not have your name printed onto the photos like I see on other blogs.
Why is that?
Hi Meta, I wrote about that some time ago on GWGT and it is because as an expert user of Photoshop, I could take off the watermark on any photo quite easily. It is not hard to do for even a casual user. It can be easily cropped out making the image smaller and reformatted, which can slip by places you might check to see if an image was stolen (TinEye). They can reverse the image too which makes it look like a new image, not one stolen. So may ways to change an image and to call it one’s own. Keeping them from grabbing it in the first place, often makes those stealing look elsewhere.
I wonder if including a VBScript might help. If a person clicks on a photo while on the posted blog article, then a message could be displayed that states something like, “Warning!! This is copyrighted material. Be aware that copying this photo is a crime under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law of 1984.”
As an author, I run into the same problem when someone takes one of my books to a copy machine. It is illegal to do so and, if caught, I could pursue damages.
That is a good idea. I have seen some blogs doing it, but I would have to change over to WP.org from WP.com. The .com does not allow java script and I am guessing the script cannot be used as html. I do not have an issue on this blog yet to my knowledge, but on GWGT I have lost up to 500 images in one day. People just start clicking through posts and downloading images. I have found some have lost all connection to my GWGT blog and are selling commercially. They take an image of a butterfly, just something benign to catch a consumer’s eye, then it takes them to a site selling something either they don’t want or even a porn site. One of my butterflies was used on three different commercial sites. The warning would not dissuade these crooks anyway.
As I presume you know, switching from WP.com to WP.org has far too many negatives. I like the idea of a gently visible watermark. As many have said, your photos are tremendous; reducing quality as Ludwig suggests seems so inappropriate from what I know of you.
You have stated many times about how you enjoy your craft. There may be a lesson here for both of us: it’s all God’s gifting anyways, so freely receive and freely give. My sense is that people outside USA do not get so uptight about ownership issues. We as a nation are well recognized for our focus on materialism.
Sadly, there is no way to protect an image on the Internet that also is viewable in some way. Decent people don’t steal, that leaves crooks and they are not persuaded by watermarks, notices, or the slight impediments offered by some sites and some techniques. Just right-click on any page and select “view source” and you can find the URL of the images on the page. Scaling images down is a bit of help and saving them with lowered JPG quality helps also. Actually the biggest benefit is to the user since those images download much faster. Diligently searching the Internet and finding your images on other sites is about the only way. The next step is to ask the site owner to remove the image and compensate you for the past use. I have had some luck with that. Going to court is almost impossible.
So what is an artist to do? Be aggressive in publicizing yourself, have a presence in many places so you and your work is widely known and findable in Internet searches*. Sell high-resolution versions of your work through reputable sites, make it easy for someone who needs an image to find yours easily. Most, alright, some, sites would rather get a legal copy than a stolen one.
Good luck, Donna, you do beautiful work! Keep it up!
*See what I have tried to do, just search for “Ludwig Keck”.
I think you are right Ludwig. There is absolutely no way to prevent the stealing of images. I found searching the internet too time consuming and depressing since so many were stolen. Your idea of publicizing aggressively in many places is a good one. I have had images stolen from 500px and Zenfolio, so having them on reputable sites is not always a guarantee. A photo of a sunflower of mine was lifted from 500px. Of all the beautiful images posted worldwide there, a local graphics company took one of mine to use in a printed promotional piece and I caught them. Here is the post on how it happened. http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2012/06/29/it-had-to-happen-sometime-beeware-fellow-petunias/
Thank you for your comment. I will be checking out your site.
Thank you Donna, I read your post and the many comments. You were much too gentle on the thieves. I would have taken both printer and client to court and really caused a stink in the local media. Your approach is certainly gentler on yourself, I applaud your attitude. I should also say that I really admire your work!
So beautiful Donna. I had to stop using the galleries for a while as there was a security issue in WP and I was getting thousands of spam hits…it has stopped so I will probably use them again but I love making my own collages sometimes.
WP recently had issues with galleries and maybe one of the problems was indeed spamming. All is repaired now and they also “fixed” downloading to the desktop. I thought this problem was fortunate though. Maybe they can put it back in to help curb photo stealing.
I can right click on the photo of the monarch and save? And also drag those gallery pics to the desktop. I’m using safari and have an Apple mac. Think watermarking your pics would be a good idea.
You are right Emily. I too am using Safari and a Mac. When I wrote this post over a week ago, WP was doing an update on the theme I am using and they created user issues with the Galleries where one could not edit in Visual view. I could not remove a gallery once uploaded, or edit any individual image. It could be done in the Text editor window though, so I did not much care. Then two days ago, the issues were all repaired and back to the way was working previously. I was so new to using Galleries, that most of the time of use was while they were experiencing update problems. In the mean time, I did not realize they also “fixed” the downloading of the images from a gallery. That is too bad since this did have an advantage. Thanks for checking.
On Facebook, check your privacy settings. If you have them set to public, anyone can see your photos.
But they have to know you, right?
No, if you have your settings on public, anyone can see your posts. Try searching for a very common name. You’ll find lots of people you don’t know. You can read all their information because they have their posts set to public. If you don’t want strangers to read your posts, you have to change your privacy settings to friends. See more here: https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/
Thanks Connie. I have GWGT and Nature and Wildlife Pics networked through my FB account. I went to settings, but it gave a warning that it effects the posted page too. I think I may have to leave it as public for the two blogs because I have a number of followers (not listed as friends) this way.
These photos are spectacular Donna, I can see why you would want to protect them.
Thank you Jet.
It’s great to see an image of a Monarch butterfly, especially one so beautifully photographed. They seem to have disappeared here in Northern Virginia. Two years ago there seemed to be lots of them and then last year I didn’t see a single one (a couple I thought I saw turned out to be Viceroys). I caught a glimpse of one from a distance earlier this week. I’ll have to examine the shots carefully to see if I can tell. I’m thrilled to see that I am not the only one who photographs Cabbage Whites–they are so ordinary and frequently seen that many folks ignore them and assume they are moths (and I know how tough it is to actually get shots of them).
Thanks, Mike. I have seen quite a few Monarch this year, where last year I saw very few. I have been checking milkweed and have seen no eggs or caterpillar damage. That really makes me think as to why. Did they fly further north? Did they succumb? Who knows, but lack of procreation in our area is not a good sign either. I get so many Cabbage Whites here I rarely ever photograph them. I do think they are pretty, but far too common like in your area. I did not use either of my macro lenses on these images. That would have helped my Cabbage White photos because they are better glass and allow more light. Those little butterflies don’t sit for very long either. Thanks for your comment.
Ohhh that cabbage moth in the first pic is the most gorgeous thing…never cared for the little critters before; you have done a cinderella-act on it for me!!! 😀
I am strangely comforted by the discussion regarding what I’ll call ‘artists-rights’. While it is an on-going and unfortunately common problem and certainly not limited to our times or the internet…the fact that we all struggle with this type of theft bonds creatives together in respecting each other’s art by being ever more diligent in giving attribution, credit, asking permissions, etc
For me, the age old question of ‘is it worth it to still create and put it out there chancing such theft’ is moot…as an artist (in the general realm) I HAVE to!!!!
keep at it lady
I know oher people have had their photos stolen and get the the thief kicked off the site as well as ruin their reputation. I guess it is a form of flattery but if they are making money off it , then it is criminal..
Unfortunately there seems to be no protection for artists – creators – photographers. As for FB, it actually owns anything you upload on your page and have the right[!] to use for publicity purposes. Outrageous yet true. I never upload images there, simply share posts etc. Look at what happened Paul Taggart [painter] at You Tube: http://www.artworkshopwithpaul.com/ and here: http://www.youtube.com/user/artworkshopwithpaul