Why I don’t use Watermarks
I get this question a lot, and it often comes up in interviews. I know my opinion is different than many other photographers, and that is okay.
As you know, my work is all Creative Commons Non-Commercial. That means people, as long as they give credit and link back here to http://www.StuckInCustoms.com can use my images on their blogs, wallpaper, personal use – anything – as long as it is not used commercially. Every day, I upload a HUGE max-resolution image to the Internet. I do not have any fear at all… Believe me, it’s quite liberating living in a world without internet-stealth-fear.
People that want to license our images regularly contact licensing at stuckincustoms.com – we get many of these every day of the week.
So why don’t I use watermarks? It’s a multi-part philosophy –
1) Legitimate companies do not steal images to use commercially. So I don’t have any logical fear there.
2) There are other services, like Tineye (and Google) that can help me easily find evil-doers.
3) If there are evil-doers, they will have already used my image wrongly, setting up a slam-dunk legal case.
4) We do register our images with the copyright office, so if someone uses an image commercially without a proper license, it is an easy law suit.
5) Watermarks look ugly. Whenever I look at a photo with a watermark, often times, ALL I can think about is that watermark! It is so distracting. Maybe this is just me.
6) I don’t have to maintain two versions of each image – one with a watermark and one without.
7) NOT using watermarks and using creative commons helps more and more people to use your image freely for fun, which increases traffic and builds something I call “internet-trust”.
8 ) As image search and image recognition get better and better, there will be no need to watermark things. For example, there is no need for me to “watermark” my text-article on “Being An Artist Sucks; Being an Artist is Awesome“. I can easily do a Google text search and find everywhere on the internet that article exists! The same thing is happening for images.
What are your opinions on the matter?
New Tweetboard Widget
I added a new Tweetboard widget there on the left. It’s a quick way for you to check in on the latest tweets and conversations on Twitter.
Daily Photo – Beautiful and Classic Savannah
When I drove through Savannah, I met up with my good friend Scott Kublin who showed me some of the sights. This gem of a place was one of the first places we visited. I walked up and down the road a few times to find the most interesting place to take a photo. This one was taken with the 14-24 lens — although the other interesting shot was the 200mm shot from much further away. I decided to go with this one because I really liked the position of the sun.