what is going on?
September 29, 2007
I have had a few emails asking me about the watermarks. One “funny” one that asked if I thought I was such a great photographer now with my new fancy camera that I had to put marks on them so no one would steal them. Yes! That is exactly it!
I forget sometimes that not everyone uses flickr.
This past week it became evident that people from a website called Orkut were stealing photos of children, many many photos, and creating fake profiles using the children’s photos. The process to have the photos removed was ridiculously arduous. My daughter had two profiles. I filled out the report abuse form no less than 2 dozen times with NO response. As of last night all but one photo was removed. I filled out yet another abuse form demanding that my daughter’s “profile” be removed.
I harbor no illusions that the internet is filled with rainbows and unicorns. This is not the first time my photos have been taken. In the past two weeks alone I know two people who have had their photos used on websites without their permission. Let me make this clear, this is not about pedophilia. This is about copyright infringement. I do not have a creative commons license on any of my photos. They are mine mine mine and taking them without permission is illegal.
Putting a watermark on the photos means people will be more apt to pass up the photo. Unless they have mad photo shopping skills and really want the photo.
The two examples I have above are screen shots of the webpages. This is how people steal photos. If they aren’t watermarked they now have the photo and can do with it whatever they want. There is no skill involved.
So now, how to watermark the photo. If you scroll through my recent photos you will see in the comment section that I had no idea how to do it either. I could write on my photos using an old Paint Shop Pro program, but I didn’t know how to change the opacity of the text.
In my comments on this photo, Andi left this link to a website that explains how to do this:
You will need some sort of photo editing software. There might be some programs available online for free download. if anyone knows of any feel free to leave a link in the comments.
Finally, I am in the process of turning most of my photos over to friends and family on flickr. If you want to be marked as a friend you need a flickr account. It is easy enough to set up. I can not add you unless you have an account of your own.
And now I must go spend my afternoon at the baseball field. Though with my new camera I am looking forward to it. Sort of.
A number of people have asked how to find out if their child is on Orkut. The easiest thing to tell you is to join this flickr group and a) search for your user name, though you would probably already know if someone had specifically identified your child, and then b) click on one of the links for one of the other kids and check out the photos in that profile. Then check out their contacts. Then their contacts. Then their contacts. Until you feel satisfied.
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