I wanted to talk this week about how to protect your art and what to do if someone takes it without permission. To be honest, and as you’ll hear in the video, I’m not very into thinking about these things. I like to put my trust in the goodness of others, but I also stand up for myself when I feel it is absolutely necessary. Everyone has different ideals of how much energy they want to put into protecting what we create, so I’d love to hear from you about your experience in copyrighting/watermarking/containing/distributing your art!
Andrea Ros - I love your work and I follow you. The tone and feel, the subject matter and colors of your art resonate with my soul and my own inspiration.
Personally, I treat my work as copyleft, free to everyone. They want it, they need it, they can have it. I probably just can’t be bothered and am usually on to something else. Sometimes it is amusing when I come across it. Sometimes it is surprising. My friends are more often outraged on my behalf. I choose my battles. Someone who needs to steal my work rather than make his own has only my sympathy and well wishes.
Samantha - I recently had a client use an image of mine to enter a contest, which believe it or not is within their rights, as long as I have credit. I am not cool with this and just assume that people don’t know that about me. I now have a stipulation in my release to clients that they are not to enter photographs I’ve taken of them in contests without written permission. It will depend on the type of contest and rules of that contest whether I say yay or nay. Copyright is such a tricky thing, best to pick your battles though!
Alex 2.0 - Assuming the best in people, however hard, is vital. A general rule: assume ignorance before assuming malice. Good post, Brooke!
Meg - Thank you so much for posting this! This is an issue I am very much dealing with right now. I have been coming to terms with the fact that I do need to take action and have been trying to remind myself that I am not a bad person for saying something, invoicing or terminating a client. Your video was such a soul soother to me– thank you again ! <3
Majestic Webcast - I am the owner of a music video blog on YouTube.
Honestly, I don’t always have time to asking permissions from photographers, but when I am uploading someones material I think it is just a common sense to put their name, official website and a small something like a Facebook, because if I am uploading these pictures means that I am in love with it. Video blogs are meant to promote artists material, so someone else love it as I do. I think even a like does count for artists.
(Sorry for my incorrect English).
FIT BMX - I know a man that is a incredible predatory bird photographer, his work is some of the best you will ever see. He had people taking his photos, cropping off his watermark, and posting them around the internet. several went viral with his watermark removed, he got no credit! He doesn’t do photography for a living so all his gear cost are out of pocket, he uses a Canon 7D Mark2 with a Canon 500mm F4 IS USM that is over $10,000 plus he has other lenses too. He may have sold some prints if he had got some credit for his work. Here is his flicker. https://www.flickr.com/photos/coastalconn/
It is very kind of you to be so nice about it! 🙂
Scott Ungerecht - Brooke, you are a very brave photographer! I know when anyone invests a lot of time, money and energy in taking photos, they want to make sure people don’t take unscrupulous advantage of them or their work. So, I couldn’t imagine posting any of my photos online without placing a copyright watermark in the middle of every photo. I also add the words “All Rights Reserved” to every watermark. I usually post all my watermarked images on YouTube (as slideshow videos), which does a great job of preventing people from stealing my work. I’ve never had a problem with anyone trying to steal my photos from YouTube. Unfortunately, people can’t buy my individual photos on YouTube, so I would have to sell them on a photo sharing website like Smug Mug, which is considered one of the best in the industry. I have no problem with watermarking my images because it really does help prevent my photos from being used without my permission.