Stop thief!

Pity the poor photographer.

On the one hand he/she may get hassled by the police for pursuing a perfectly legal activity in a public place.

On the other, she/he can have images stolen or used illegally, with limited powers to do anything about it. The police certainly aren’t going to help. :-)

Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, and I’ve mentioned it before (here). Image theft is rife on the internet.

I’ve just found another photo of mine that’s been posted without my knowledge or permission ...

It appears on a free image hosting site called Image Donkey and the photo was taken off this blog entry of mine, back in April.

How do I know the picture’s come from here?

The size. It’s exactly the same as the image I posted, down to the last pixel.

I’ve contacted Image Donkey and requested that they remove it. But, so far, the silence has been deafening.

Okay ... so this one is no big deal. No one’s trying to sell it. At least, I don’t think so. But it would be nice to have some credit.

What can you do to protect your photos when you show them – in a blog, on Flickr, or through an agency, for example?

Not a lot. Anything that appears on a computer screen can be copied.

You can watermark your photos, which is what most agencies do. That works fine for them, because people are going to buy the real thing, watermark-free. But who wants a picture on their blog with text across the middle of it? Apart from anything else, it looks pretentious.

What I do is only post low resolution versions. This particular one is 600x399 pixels, which is a touch under 2.4 megapixels. On top of that I save them at low resolution. So, while they may look okay on a monitor, they’re not much use for anything else.

Take a look. Here’s close-up detail from the original and the blog version, side by side ...

The low-resolution one is still good enough to be posted on the web. But there’s not a lot else can be done with it.

Ah well ... I suppose I should console myself with the knowledge that some people regard my images as good enough to be stolen.

(Oh ... and if you’re the reader who took this photo and posted it on Image Donkey, maybe you can send me a comment explaining why. I’d really appreciate it.)

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