Watermarking, copyright, and the new intellectual property paradigm



Blaming myself for not watermarking my photos before they were nicked and posted all over the place is blaming the victim for the crime happening, which is wrong. I shouldn’t have to be liable for the behavior of a thief.

I should rumble with those who post unlabeled images without, god forbid, doing a reverse image lookup or a request for information in tandem, but that’s a whole separate issue.

I’m told by the lovely Jessica M of Pin Up Persuasion that she had to start watermarking her photos because online retailers of the dresses she was reviewing were reposting her images without credit… to sell the dresses she was modeling. Dresses which she had bought with her own funds, and took her own time and equipment to photograph, and effort to review.

What the hell?? I know that theft on the internet is rampant, but I’m seeing some ballsy things happening out there.

Artistically speaking, I’m fairly liberal, and I’m not obsessive about who posts my photos. I’m all about sharing and spreading creative labor. I’m not fussed where my images are used. But for the love of the Internet, just credit where the image came from!

Yes, I know there are a lot of idiots out there who do things like comment on a photo WITH THE MODEL’S NAME ON IT and still ask “Hey, who’s the model?” It doesn’t change that you should still credit the original poster, blogger, or the copyright owner.

Or, just click the ‘Share’ button, which means that all the photo’s info goes with it.

Or ‘Reblog’ if you’re on tumblr.

Or, link to the image instead of taking it, or in addition to taking it.

Really, it’s not that difficult. If my hard work generating content makes your life easier, credit me. If you find an uncredited image, attempt to locate the owner.

From now on out, all my images will be watermarked or have a credit listed on them. I’ll be testing various permutations of this over the next few weeks. I will most likely have to generate separate watermarks for the various sites on which I have an online presence. As I am going to be working with some photographers other than myself, I’ll have a few different copyright notices pop up. I’ll also be retroactively watermarking wherever I can. This may generate some duplicate content if you are a follower on FB or tumblr, and for that, I apologize. There is no way around it, unfortunately.

I do this for free for my readers. There is a definite time, mental, and emotional cost that I must pay to do this. It is not free for me to do this in any sense of the word free. It could certainly be argued that I would buy these things which I review anyway, so there is no specific financial cost to this blog, but that’s not entirely true. I’m going to have to move to unlimited file hosting pretty soon, which means money annually. I’m not obliged to get business cards printed, but having them handy sure beats all the data entry I have to do each week after a day’s work being asked “Oh, gaaaawwd, does your back huuuuurt? Where do you get your braaaaaaas?” while I’m just trying to deliver beer to the table so I can get that round of Jagermeister delivered to the next one. Certainly I enjoy helping women feel good about themselves by assisting them towards better bra and clothing options, but when my boobs start interfering with me getting tips and paying my bills, we have a problem. Rudeness isn’t the answer, but a printed card is a damned good one.

I will continue doing this for free. I will continue to work on my book, and maybe when it is released, some of you will even buy it. I may take some freebies for review’s sake just to defray some tiny bit of the costs incurred. What I will not do is support other people’s content machines or files of personal spank-o-vision just so they can repay the favor by pretending that my work is not important enough to merit the simple courtesy of a credit and a link.

So, watermarking it is.


I get to join all the porn girls who label their vaginas in order to build notoriety and make a buck, but I’m not making a buck. No disrespect intended to porn girls, who are lovely enterprising ladies in a legit business, but I am not one of them, nor am I ever likely to be. I simply do not have that level of confidence.

There’s a feminist rant in there just raging to come out, but I’m too tired to unlock the cage. I’ll come back and find the key after I’ve had some sleep. Meanwhile, this has been a housekeeping post. Back to your regularly scheduled skirts.

Here, have an annoyed Jareth. From Labyrinth. As played by David Bowie in the Jim Henson film.