low resolution of photos on a CD to prevent theft

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by judith_howcroft, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. I use an iMac Tiger and store most of my photo library in iphoto. I have had hi res photos stolen that I put on a CD and gave over to an ad
    agency. " Live and Learn" Any suggestions for the best way to share these on a CD using lo res and still have them look great, if
    possible? What size to use and how to? Thanks Judi
  2. Share them for what purpose? Are you offering proofs so they can pick which images to purchase? What is the customer going to do with the image? Of course you should spell out image usage rights clearly in a contract and be ready to sue them if they don't honor the terms. If it is for use on the web even a low res image would be "stealable." Many pros put the word "PROOF" or "Photo copyright of XYZ Studios" in big letters over the image to act as a watermark.
  3. If you are going to hand out CDs as portfolios:

    1.) Limit the size of the photo in pixels: 600 pixels for the long dimension is a goodly length.

    2.) Make sure all of the photos are watermarked with your name.

    3.) If you are in the USA registering your copyright is a very good idea too. You can register a DVD-R full of 400x600 pixel level 5 jpegs ( translation: thousands of photos) for $40.00 plus shipping.

    If someone removes your watermark that is clear proof of willful infringement. Willful infringement combined with copyright registration puts you on good solid legal ground and carries some very serious federally stipulated penalties to go after the bad guys with.

    How do you know your photos were "stolen"? Have they been used in ads or brochures for the agencies clients? If so send the end client a bill for the usage and CC the ad agency as well.
  4. As Ellis suggests, a prominent, unmistakable copyright notice on the photo is the best protection. It won't win fans in the critique queue here, but that's a whole 'nuther ball game.

    Even a thumbnail may be stolen if the end use is a thumbnail on a web banner or ad. So providing small proofs is no guarantee the image won't be stolen.

    I've seen people go to ridiculous lengths and expense to avoid paying for a photo, even when it cost them more in time and materials spent on retouching and cranking out unsatisfactory inkjet prints while trying to turn a copyrighted thumbnail proof into an 8x10.

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