Recently, on the UK Food Bloggers (UKFBA) website, there was a discussion on watermarking photos. It appears to have stemmed from a blog post written about Pinterest. For those of you who don't know, Pinterest is one of the newest social networking platforms where users can share photos. Through my, albeit limited, experience of the site, there is always a link back to the original source. So there is accreditation. I do, however, accept that there are instances where there is no credit given, and there is a very clear complaint process if this is the case.
The advantage of watermarking your images is very obvious. If someone else uses it, you name, URL, etc. are clearly visible as the original source.
The disadvantage is that they are very often an eye sore on what might have been a great image.
In my opinion, I think that watermarked images also look a tad arrogant. Especially when the image is not that great anyway. I certainly know that my photography is not that great. And maybe I'm coming from it from an amateur blogger point of view. I don't make any money from my blog or the photographs, so if someone "steals" it, then I'm more flattered than offended.
However, if I was a professional then I would have a very different opinion if someone used my images. Because then I'm losing money. In that case, I would totally agree that watermarking images makes sense.
Copyright is big news at the moment, and rightly so. I think we bloggers have to be very careful. I freely admit that I have used images in the past that maybe I shouldn't have. Not so anymore.
But let's be clear. If you don't want your images being wrongly used by other parties, don't use other peoples images with out giving any credit. It works both ways.
On the UKFBA discussion that I mentioned earlier, someone disagreed with me. He thought that images should be watermarked, and pointed out that a photographer he knows now makes more money from seeking out people who have used his photos without a license than he does from commissions. (A sad state of affairs no matter what angle you look at it from). However, when I clicked through to this commenters blog, there were several images that did not appear to be his own - with no accreditation. A tad hypocritical.
I fully expecting for some (most?) of you to disagree with me on this. This post is not intended to be disrespectful to anyone, and is simply my opinion. I am open to discussion.
What are your thoughts?