Copy, Right?

Thursday, March 25th, 2004 at 0000

A site was forwarded to me a few moment ago, it was this one, it’s got something to do with a tennis website.
The most interesting part of the article was a section toward the bottom of the document, which reads as follows…

To deter Webmasters from using these photos on other Webpages or using them outside the above permitted uses, I have been advised to set a scale of standard charges for unauthorised use. This makes it extremely easy to obtain significant damages for unauthorised use of the photos, by applying the legal process from any court in a country that is a signatory to the Berne Convention, most Countries in the world have signed this convention.

The scale of charges are:
250 US dollars per Week per Photo, starting from the date of the infringement.
Unpaid bills accrue interest.
Expenses incurred by myself and the collection Agency, in the collection of these fees are also chargeable.

I think that’s a rather good idea myself…
Right now, I don’t use Digimark because I have so far failled to be convinced by the effectiveness of their systems. As someone who knows a thing or two about digital imaging, I can conclude that for the determined, removing a watermark is no mean feat. However, as technologies become “commonplace”, people get lazy. I’m betting that nowadays most people don’t give watermarking a second thought and, you know, it wouldn’t surprise me if a low profile is what Digimark are after. You see, thinking about it, if everyone knows about you and eveyrone’s looking out for you, they’re going to have the thought “I must remove the watermarks” at the back of their mind.

Now consider, that you advertise your product and you don’t respond to claims that it’s ineffective. You don’t, because that’s what you want people to think. If the world forgets you and think’s you’re useless, they won’t bother to protect against what they think you have to bring against them.

Maybe I should re-investigate Digimark. It costs $79 to “protect” 1000 images with traceable watermarks. If I follow the lead of the tennis chap and bill for use of photos at £250 a week from the date of use, and rely on Digimark to track them down, then in the event of someone pilfering my images I’m in the green.

It’s worth a thought.

Some kind of notice about the £250 a week levy will be winding its way onto the gallery soon.

6 Comment for “Copy, Right?”

  1. Zoomer Said this on

    all sounds a bit cheeky to me but if it makes money 😀

  2. Andrew Said this on

    I think it sounds great, nothing scares (normal) people more than a nice big warning. Put the fear up the image-stealing gypo’s!

    I’m sorry to say it Denyerec, but if other web companies are like the two i’ve experienced, then your images are not safe. Get digimarking asap, or your images will be pilfered courtesy of google! I’m all for paying photographers to do what they do as a service for me, but unfortunately if a boss thinks he can get it for free, then you have no option.

    I notice that photoshop inserts XML into the graphic (just try saving a jpg in photoshop, then loading it into editplus). I wonder if you could put a simple marking on that in the mean time. I mean sure it’s easy to remove, but at the same time, how many people think to check there? Even better, get GPG and make yourself a key, then encrypt your details into the image (as above). Most people will think its ‘just junk’ after a quick check, but you’ll be able to mark things.

    How hard could it be to write a script to ‘mark’ a file, and ‘check’ a file?

    Feel free to delete this comment if you plan to take it onboard!

  3. Barny Said this on

    Sounds like a terrible idea :-(

    Content wants to be free, copyright is a Bad Thing(tm). Much better is licensing everything under something nice like the GNU FDL ( or when of those trendy Creative Commons licenses ( and if you’re paranoid, using digital watermarking to make sure no-one is breaking the license. 😉

  4. Denyerec Said this on

    Thing is, if I spend 12 hours a day producing photographic content that everyone uses for free, I starve to death and there’s no more free content… If people use it, and say they’re using it, I’m less likely to be mad about it, but at the end of the day I need to keep a roof over my head. I guess it boils down to “If you wanna use them, ask first and we’ll work something out.” I’m not going to charge a highschool kid if he wants to use something in his report, but if someone’s putting on a gallery show in their name…hoooya.

  5. Shadow_Xj5 Said this on

    To comment on google images, google reads the robot.txt file at the root of the site (if it can find one) and looks for one in each subdirectory it goes into, in this file you can prevent it from reading images, addtionaly you can set your host up to disable hotlinking, so the only way people would beable to get the images is by visiting the site.

  6. Craig Said this on

    I think a creative commons license is a perfect solution for you. you could allow people to use for personal use(high school report), but disallow commercial use. so some guy uses your apple & blade image for a header on his blog, some textbook guy sees this on the blog and thinks hmmm..this photographer would be great for our next earth science text book. he contacts you because the guy using your image on his blog has given you fair credit as stated in your creative commons deed. thats win win. screw the whole i am going to sue you thing, who wants to do that? yuk. let me know what you think.

    with regards

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>