I’ve decided to start watermarking my images – yes I hate watermarking as much as you, but because of sites like Pinterest we can’t have nice things.
Although the common opinion even of friends of mine that if you put it on the internet it’s fair game, in my country all of my images are automatically copyright to me and no, unlike the common opinion you can’t just take them as your own and I don’t need even need to state that they are copyright…but I do to remind people they can’t just copy or ‘borrow’ the pictures which kind of saddens me (I can also tell you some horror stories about people borrowing/stealing portfolios for interviews to claim as their own!).
Especially as someone who also does mashups, always with credit even though without consent, I realise you can’t stop people making stuff with your work – or would even want to, I would be chuffed if people do take my work and do something non-commercial with it, preferably with credit. I think the credit part is important, because if someone likes an image or something goes viral I’d like a little of that attention too – it might lead to work.
So if you want to do something or repost my work, just ask. I won’t bite and the answer will most likely be yes; unless I have to get further permission. Commercial usage would be a case by case basis, depending on the subject/permissions etc. but again please ask. Even if people use my work artistically without permission (say in collage, something I do also but I do transform the images as much as possible, and quite often use Creative Commons works under license – a few of my pictures are CC usually the political ones but most aren’t because I was never totally happy with the global legal standing of the licenses) I don’t mind, but again I’d love to know about it.
You can’t really stop the tide of the internet, or really stop someone who is determined to rip off your work, and I understand that and don’t want to fight the new technologies – as a blogger, artist and user of Tumblr too I know how much fun it is to find new imagery and spread love for the artists, or work with content you find online. I just wish there was a way of doing so that ‘tagged’ the images without clunky copyright watermarks, and kept the link wherever it went – because I want my images to be seen and I want many people to see them. I don’t want them to be lost or ‘orphaned’ without credit, and I hate spending hours trying to find out who the photographer was on some uncredited Tumblr image too. For now the watermark is the best way, if a little vulgar.