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Copyright Question (sort of).
Old 02-21-2005, 09:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I really didn't know which forum to post this in so I am putting it in the Tech forum and hopefully someone out there can help me.

I just finished a photo shoot and I am providing the client with a CD of all the images. The images will be just as they came from the memory card with no corrections or other adjustments but I need to put my Copyright symbol on each image to protect myself.

My question is this: The client will be using the images possibly in various sizes (ie: 8 x 10, 5 x 7, etc) and I need to be able to put my Copyright on the original images so that it scales whenever any of the images is resized.

The native size of the images is something like 22 x 41 inches according to the image info in my Photo program. If I put the Copyright on the images so it is visible at that size I don't want to totally oblitherate the image with my Copyright if it is downsized and vice versa.

Is there a way I can make my Copyright scaleable so this will work the way it should? I want and need to do right by my client but I don't want to get screwed either.

Thanks for the assist.

David A
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Re: Copyright Question (sort of).
Old 02-21-2005, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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David,

Any copyright mark, or logo or signature you add to a picture, will get bigger or smaller as the photograph is enlarged or reduced. When you add text or even a copyright mark to a picture, it becomes part of that picture.

If you place your copymark on the Large image it should be the proper size for that image.. when the image is reduced, your mark/text will reduce as well.

Andrew
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If these images are jpeg and you alter them in anyway and resave them as jpeg you will lose image quality. This is not true if they are saved as tiff or psd.
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Re: Copyright Question (sort of).
Old 02-21-2005, 11:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've gotten to the point that I do all this resizing work for clients. Possibly because I'm working with a less sophisticated crowd, I've found that trusting this deceptively simple work to others has resulted in my precious pixels being tortured beyond reason.

As for copyright imprints, I have a bunch of different actions in Photoshop that will do them in the size and fashion that I think is appropriate for the image. Again, this is not something I would trust to a client, so when they want an image prepared a certain way, they need to ask me. Most of them have been cooperative on this point, and it only takes minute to prep an image since it's all done with actions.
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Re: Copyright Question (sort of).
Old 02-21-2005, 08:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As ws stated elsewhere, if you put the mark on the largest size image, and re-save it, the copyright notice will shrink in proportion to the image size. There are three problems with that method however. First, it will degrade the image qualtiy unless after you place the mark you re-save as a TIF or PSD. Second, at some point the proportion thing doesn't work. If the image is sized down to a 500 pixel tall image, whatever size copyright notice you put on that is not obtrusive at full size, will disappear or be impossible to read at the 500 pixel size. Third, there is really no point in doing this at all, since a notice on the image is not required for copyright protection.

If you register a copy of the CD with the US copyright office within 90 days of the shoot, you will be protected. (You own the copyright at the moment you click the shutter, unless you sign a "work for hire" agreement, or are an employee of the client anyway). The registration simply adds the necessary teeth to you copyright to recover damages (real and statutory, as well as attorney's fees) should your client or a third party use them for something beyond the scope of your agreement with the original client, or you don't get paid. I don't bother with copyright notices on individual images (after all, we don't imprint on slide images, only on the slide mounts), but you could use the Photoshop "Info" tool to put your info in, and check the "copyright" box that puts a symbol next to the filename on the title bar. I DO however put a copyright notice in a "readme" file on the CD, with my name, contact info etc. Once the CD is out of your hands, just having a notice on the image won't help you. If its unobtrusuve enough to not bother the client, anyone can remove it anyway, and I like to give my clients "clean" images. As I said, copyright notice is not required for protection, although taking every opportunity to remind people who it belongs to is a good idea (which is why all images I post here have my notice).

To learn all about copyrights and registration, go to this site http://www.editorialphoto.com/copyright/

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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