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Old 02-28-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
Shesul
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How do you protect your work on your portfolio site?

I've seen lots of artists who expose their works on their portfolio sites without much worries about putting some digital watermark (not the ugly overlay, but embedded digitally) or in some cases not even signing their works, which is fine if you're a recognized artist that could easily prove he authored the works in cases of theft or wrongful usage, but how do less known artists deal with this? . I was wondering if you have such worries and if so, how do you protect your concepts, renders, mattes etc in your own portfolio?
 
Old 03-01-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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It's by no means foolproof, but right click protection makes it annoying to nick images off a site. I use it on my photography site, although I also visually watermark (it's ugly but it's a deterrent) and digitally embed copyright info in all my photos.

There isn't much more you can do, really.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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I often put my name and logo on my artwork when I publish it, but it's not for 'protection'. It's so if somebody sees it, they know I made it. If I took any more steps than that I'd risk inconveniencing the very people I wish to hire me.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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The chances of yours (or my) work being used to make money for someone else are very slim. Basically, the value of getting your name and work out there outweighs the risks. You can reverse image search on TinEye or Google and see if your images pop up anywhere but your own website. I've found copies of my own work that way, but only one was for commercial use. I simply asked them to take the pic off their site and they did. But I am baffled when accomplished artists don't even put their name and website on their work, if only for helping others to track them down to ask permissions or for offers of work.

If you are worried about something like concept designs being stolen, that's the chance you take. If you see a plane you designed suddenly appear in the next Ironman movie, good luck suing the production company. They have teams of expensive and highly trained lawyers and you, likely, don't.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:28 AM   #5
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I'll add that I know of only a couple instances where concept designs were directly stolen and the artist sued and won. The biggest one that comes to mind is the Lebbeus Woods artwork used for 12 Monkeys. But that's a fairly extreme example in that it was stolen from a highly recognized artist and the image in question was previously published in multiple books, so it was much easier to prove infringement.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #6
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A wide spanning subtle watermark, if all you're interested in is self-promotion rather than making the content available for those wanting it as desktop backgrounds goes a long way, but even right click protection won't do much when there are plenty browsers out there that can fetch the stream effortlessly.

It's just something you have to accept, and if you publish copyrighted material you don't own (say work done on movies) make sure you don't use unauthorized material, which often goes under the radar when artists just post on their own websites, but might turn nasty when the wrong grabs end up pointing a studio finger at your site for an uncredited or unapproved disclosure of media.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:26 AM   #7
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Depends on what you mean by protect, but the short version is: You can't. Once it's on a website you really don't have any control over what end-users do with it, at least from a technical angle, so the best you can do is a water-mark and add the copyright information to the meta-data.

Flickr has the best protection of a straight image that I've seen but a quick trip to the media information tab in Firefox gives you a handy list of images on the current page, sortable by size. Flash galleries can be decompiled, etc. and anything else is probably getting too intrusive for potential clients/employers to bother getting past.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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As an occasional hirer I'd advise you not to add any kind of right-click protection to your images. When on the lookout for potential artists I'll make a list of names and drag a few of their pictures into a document I can refer to later. If I can't just drag that picture into that document I may just move on to a website where I can. I've definitely skipped over an artist before for this reason.

Big watermarks are ugly and make me not want to even look at the image. A small signature or URL in the corner is as far as you should take it. The better you can embed it into the image the better. The thief will crop it out, but you'll have that extra slice of the image to prove you're the creator in the unlikely event of a dispute.

Most of all, don't worry about it. You can't prevent it without annoying your audience. If you start repeatedly losing revenue from image theft, then you need to do something about it, but wait to see it if happens first and what your losses are.

As already mentioned use Tin Eye to trace copies of your images. But it can be a bit disappointing ;-)
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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Use a reverse image search from time to time. If you find your work posted somewhere, send in the marines.

Last edited by scrimski : 03-04-2013 at 02:50 PM.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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If someone wants to steal your artwork, they will steal it no matter what you do. I wouldn't put watermark on it, just your name or website info.

P.S. if they steal your work that means it is GOOD!
 
Old 03-04-2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgorK
If someone wants to steal your artwork, they will steal it no matter what you do. I wouldn't put watermark on it, just your name or website info.

P.S. if they steal your work that means it is GOOD!

That does not mean it is legal.

I would put the following on all your artwork:
A watermark

Your name


Here is a great resource on the subject
http://www.artpromote.com/copyrighthelp.shtml

Some ideas from the site:

How can I prevent image theft on my website?
Disable Right Clicking
Use .htaccess
Include a Copyright Notice
Use Smaller Images
Mark your Images
Use a Digital Watermark
Include a Copyright FAQ
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz
That does not mean it is legal.


I'm not telling it is legal.


Thanks for resources on this subject, Roberto!

Last edited by IgorK : 03-04-2013 at 03:19 PM.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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"Right click protection" is super annoying, and it's just a few steps with any modern browser to grab the image anyway.
I use watermarks, but it's more about getting credit when someone posts an image somewhere else, especially facebook.
For people stealing the images and publishing them as their own work, in the end, who cares. I wouldn't waste any energy on the thought of preventing this things happening. Because even if it happens, it wont harm me in any way really.
What happened to me was that one guy pretended to be working for me on facebook and another one took my whole identity, including full name.
It's annoying, because it's personal, but in the end there is no harm. It's only the internet, people take it to seriously. For me, and everyone else I know, the internet is not relevant for getting jobs.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic
"Right click protection" is super annoying, and it's just a few steps with any modern browser to grab the image anyway.


Or just Google search and see how it can be back On again... its a ridiculous measure IMO
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
It's by no means foolproof, but right click protection makes it annoying to nick images off a site. I use it on my photography site, although I also visually watermark (it's ugly but it's a deterrent) and digitally embed copyright info in all my photos.

There isn't much more you can do, really.


Stopping right clicking is infuriating, that's where my back button is.
You've got copyright info embedded, but nobody can save them without doing a print screen, which removes any embedded copyright. Doing both seems a little counter productive.
 
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