Some solution to protect your images on the internet

Published by TheJoe on

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


This article was published more than a year ago, there may have been developments.
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Those who describe today are the most common methods that allow us to, in the event of litigation, of resolve the issue related to copyright images.

The International Law (to Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works) states that the artistic rights to the work resulting from the ingenuity and creativity can be attributed to the people who made. Forever. This means that if today I compose a piece of music will always be my, I can decide whether to play it without receiving compensation, but the author is me and to me that specific work must always be attributed. The same mechanism applies to the photograph (on condition that the photo is understood as a’artistic work).

It would be worthwhile to investigate the difference between art photography and photography so-called “simple”, but it would require a post (a series of post) all its. Suffice it to say that the photograph by law is divided into “creative” and “simple”.

Without the necessary preconditions let's get right to the point: the’attribution of the picture on the internet. There are different ways, more or less agree. Let's see some.


This is undoubtedly one of the most used: a small words a margine o un’Picture Added to the original photo which attributes the authorship of the picture to a person or a legal entity. Can also be used (reduced opacity) so that the image is covered completely.


  • is easy achievement,
  • usually the user who sees the watermark across the image is discouraged from using the Clone tool, and one looks like ready without watermark,
  • it does not cost nothing.


  • if the watermark is placed in a corner of the photo you just cut two edges the 40 / 50 pixel (or clone the affected part) and will have a photo ready,
  • even if the watermark is full screen you can clone parts of the image and hide. And it's’ a long process, but in the end is removable.


The EXIF ​​data as opposed to the watermark are saved information from the camera within the image that can not be seen by watching the image. The variety of data that a camera can save by using the EXIF ​​is truly immense. Among the standard data saved from all cameras can cite the image resolution (dpi), the shutter speed, the’aperture, the ISO, the flash (though it started or not)… and I could mention many other. Some visualization software, if set up properly, allow you to automatically download photos to some Copyright information as the name of the person clicks the image and the release license.


  • are given completely invisible looking at the picture,
  • are fast to modify,
  • the change it does not cost nothing.


  • are quick to change, so even after setting them to circulate online files is still a risk. Anyone can edit them and claim authorship of the work.


I was undecided whether to include the Digimarc among the options, because it is not a solution open. After registration and payment of fees on a regular basis the software Digimarc (they say) injected into a sequence of photos “invisible” image that would remain unchanged even when the image is resized or degraded. In fact I think their software performs a mapping of the image at different thresholds of saturation, which is then saved in a database. Their bots constantly scans the Internet (how does Google) looking for images with mapping similar to those stored in the database, and when it finds one notifies you. And here explains the costs for the customer, the process is long and expensive, certainly could not do it for free.

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  • if their bot works well you're pretty sure that when your images are used without permission will is notified,
  • must not try you in person on the internet your images on the sites of others,
  • does not degrade the image and does not make the annoying to the view.


  • coast 10$ pulls the,
  • I do not know how their bots, might work but I do not have the certainty,
  • since the Digimarc website (and the software) are owned others (who buys the license is in fact a “licensee”, is not the master of anything but can only use) there is the possibility that in future all sold, the ceases support users. What would I do with all my images “digimarcate”?

Invisible Watermark

The latter technique is rather simple but ingenious, it costs nothing, is not owned and is quickly achievable with photo editing software. The operation is simple, but since many of the steps are the next article will be a tutorial that will explain in detail. The underlying principle of all is to have a picturex” (my original photo I just have to keep) and create a pictureand” (the photo that contains the watermark invisible to circulate in internet). To prove to be the author of the photo just to compare a particular procedure by superimposing the two graphics immagni. Magically comparirà il watermark with our name and copyright information.


  • we should not be entrusted to external companies, external services, proprietary software,
  • is easy and fast to achieve,
  • the image produced by the human eye is identical to the original,
  • it does not cost nothing.


  • should not discourage the user to use your photo,
  • it is not easy to enforce your rights in the case of international dispute (also because there is no intermediary certifying that that image is really yours).

As I was cleverly pointed out in the comments, keep the RAW file is the safest way to prove to be the author of the photo, since the conversion from RAW to JPG is now impossible. It would also be possible to circulate images croppate (only two sides of the edge, 5px per side) and keep the original. In case of controversy we could provide proof that the file is our.


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.


DaAsFlickred · 27 October 2012 at 3:17 PM

Keep the raw file should ensure the ownership of the photos..

    TheJoe · 28 October 2012 at 3:19 PM

    And it's’ true, is one of the few ways to prove to be the author.

DaAsFlickred · 24 October 2012 at 6:02 PM

joe nice article!! 🙂

voucher · 16 October 2012 at 11:23 AM

ahaha, nice picture! 😀

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