| Protecting your images is very important if you are a webmaster, or involved in any type of publishing on the
internet. Be aware that the images you post can be "swiped" or used without your knowledge and you ought
to be notified in advance and asked for permission to use photographs, artwork, drawings, illustrations,
cartoons or paintings ... any image that is in a tangible, visual format should be protected. At the other end of
the spectrum, if you use these works for your own project without asking you may be setting yourself up for a
copyright infringement lawsuit. Some basic information will be helpful to know!
In the past, it was assumed if work isn't showing the standard copyright symbol of ©, that it is free to use. This
now isn't the case. Everything created after April 1, 1989 is now automatically protected by copyright law even
if it doesn't contain this symbol - which is very important to note. Even if someone creates a stick figure and
uses it on the web or in print, it's automatically copyrighted. All the © notice really emphasizes now, is that a
work has a copyright enforced. It's basically there to let you know not to use it. By default, always keep it in
the back of your mind that any imagery is protected and stay safe. The best rule of thumb is to write to the
person or company who you see displaying the work you want to reproduce and ask permission and if there is
any kind of reprint fee involved.
It is very important to emphasize that nothing appearing online is considered as part of "public domain". Be
aware it has to be explicitly set in written form by the actual creator or owner of that image, that it is part of
the public domain. If this does not appear, don't use it! If you are planning a commercial website whereby you
intend on licensing images like clipart, photographs, illustrations, paintings or cartoons, the following tips are
#1. Embed your images with a digital watermark such as your name, web site URL or © symbol. This will show
visitors you enforce the copyright to your displayed images.
#2. Provide a written disclaimer somewhere in your written content and emphasize the facts surrounding your
images. I.e., that they're copyrighted and you intend on licensing them for specific amounts etc. All of the
details should be listed on your web page.
#3. Look for ways to keep people from copying your work . . .make them a low resolution when you initially
scan them while saving the original high resolution scan in the same folder for potential inquiries. You can
also add special "no right click" code into the HTML of your web pages where your images are displayed.
This code disables the ability of visitors right clicking and saving images on their own hard drive.
#4. Opt to enable your visitors to access pages with images through a username & password. This feature can
be activated if visitors pay a "subscription" which could be another way to generate a sales revenue for
#5. By deliberately showing low quality work, you are discouraging unauthorized use of your images to a
certain degree. Tell visitors you want to work with them and show them high quality samples AFTER you
make initial contact and establish a solid business relationship.
#6. Only the true professional respects copyrights. These are the people who will contact you for permission
to use what you offer. Don't preoccupy yourself with negative thoughts whereby someone out there might
be using something without your knowledge. Those are the fly-by-nights.
#7. You can insert code into your pages where images reside and if any are downloaded, copied or saved by
a visitor, you can track who is doing the illegal downloading. There are many types of programs that are
available for purchasing and some are actual freeware that you can download and install to deter any of
the potential violators of your material..
#8. Test your site and any image file extensions with CopyScape and there are other image services allowing
similar search functions. You may be surprised where your content might be appearing without your
knowledge. This is yet another alternative to verify your samples online.
#9. Don't emphasize "free" - your creativity should not be allowed for free . . . simply because there is an
intrinsic value to what you offer. Look at it from this perspective . . . if someone is showing an interest in
what you have online, they ought to be willing to pay for such content. You should consider the phrase
"exposure" as an insult. In essence, you are already getting all the exposure needed from the get-go, by
having your work appear on the world wide web.
#10. You have the option of not listing any pricing for what you offer commercially, or you may opt to list a
set of pricing structures based on how your visitors would use your images. Pricing for specific uses for
images or artwork vary greatly. Do some research at image provider web sites and browse their pricing
guidelines to set your own fees in accordance. However, as first mentioned, you can withhold any price
listing and negotiate one on one with each inquiry. Make sure to emphasize on your site that you require
potential buyers of what you have to offer, supply you with precise details of how they would like to use