I always use visual watermarks with all my online photos. I don't feel comfortable using my photos online without them. Almost all my photos that transferred over have them. I heard that photos with watermarks might be removed because they're not allowed. What is the official policy on this? Can I keep my watermarks?
Watermarks are not permitted on images.
Yes, I saw that, but it doesn't answer my question. I have hundreds of photos to replace and I am EXTREMELY hesitant to use my own photos without watermarks. Will my photos be removed or my hubs flagged?
It's might take me up to a year to replace them as I have to track down the original photos, some of which are on my old computer, to create a new fresh photo without a watermark or digitally watermarked.
I guess I'll take all my hubs to another site then, if I'm going to get punished for that.
We need to update that. There is a permitted type of watermark. I'll make sure it's done soon.
Oh good, thanks. I know there's a few new photos I planned to add, soon, that way I can do it the HubPages way.
That's good - we have been complaining about being able to protect our own images for a long time. What type specifically is permitted?
If there is a "permitted" type of watermark I a sure we would all like to hear about that as soon as possible. It is not like this has not be a hot topic for, well, years.
Is there a reason why the definition of the permitted type cannot be posted in this thread right now? Because it has come up once before in recent months due to a HOTD, and that thread did not lead to any clarification so I do not have absolute faith that this thread will be any different.
And I've never heard about this because....?
When was this huge, major reversal to long-time HubPages policy made?
Paul, as Relache points out, this is a HUGE, MAJOR reversal of policy that crept in, unannounced, several months ago.
I can recall photographers begging Jason for the right to put their name discreetly in the bottom corner of their photo. The answer was no, because moderators don't have time to check whether a copyright notice is yours, or a sign that you've stolen a photo that's copyright to someone else. I think that's a very valid concern
At the time, several Hubbers suggested it should be allowed provided the name on the copyright notice was the same as their HubPages username, making it an easy check. Even that was rejected.
Then when Pinterest became popular, we were allowed to add descriptive text to a photo - no rule change announced, just Matthew casually telling people on the forums that it was OK.
And a few months ago, a photographer casually mentioned that he always put a copyright notice on his photos. Some Hubbers, including me, pounced on him to say, "you'll be in trouble", and then Matthew popped in and said it was fine. At the time I recall pointing out that this was a huge change but Matt never replied.
I can see in some instances where watermarks would definitely be bad. Examples include those big obnoxious ones that cover the whole photo or ones that advertise a website or business. But, I don't see a small signature or light watermark as being a problem and it's common practice across the web. Some people get so creative that they incorporate their watermarks/signatures in a way that you really have to look to find them (though the photographer knows exactly where they are).
It has nothing to do with whether it looks attractive. It was simply to make things manageable for moderators - because Hubbers weren't allowed to add their own, a copyright notice on a photo was an immediate red flag that it was illegal, and the Hub would be unpublished.
Anyone who has been a moderator will tell you that time is very limited, and the priority for HubPages is the text, not the photos. Moderators simply don't have time to run off checking whether the copyright owner named in a photo is actually the Hubber.
If HubPages is now allowing any old copyright notice, then personally I think it's a backward step, because it strongly suggests their moderators are no longer checking photos at all.
Can you give us a timeframe on when we will get information about what type of watermarks are permitted?
Thanks for asking this question, Shorebirdie. I am in exactly the same boat. I have hundreds and hundreds of photos which are watermarked with my name which have been transfered over from Squidoo.
The idea of replacing them all is mind boggling and I would not share them on a site anyway without any kind of watermark in place.
I'm glad to hear that there will be some kind of update to this policy otherwise most of my craft content and work with personal photos would have to be moved elsewhere. I know of many other people coming over from Squidoo with exactly the same issue.
SO glad to hear this is in hand Thank you Paul
I agree. It's so much easier for me to spot a stolen photo when it has my mark on it. You wouldn't believe how many people, online and offline, who say that if you don't sign or watermark your photo, then it's OK for someone else to use it. Doesn't mean it's legally right, but it's a common belief. So, I think it actually does cut down on casual theft.
I am very glad to hear this too! I am one of those coming over from squidoo that uses a personal watermark on my craft and recipe photos. Thank you and I will be looking forward to reading this update!
Well, I think I'm going to try to work with the old policy, but it's impractical to replace all my photos all at once and may take me many months, or even a year or two, to change all of them. It also makes me extremely uncomfortable as watermarking them is second nature to me.
I frequently add new content/photos to my pages, so I will probably change all or most of them eventually. Some of my hubs have photos with no watermarks (though they have signatures on my artwork in the photo, I hope that's allowed).
Right now, I'm working on fixing violations and adding more content to my hubs instead of replacing photos
By the way, this is the only site or group of people whom I've ever heard that adding a watermark brings suspicion on the person watermarking the photo. Most sites I've been on encourage it if you are using it for illustrating web content. I've never heard of someone saying that it looks like it might mean you stole the photo.
That seems pointless, since Paul has said they are going to issue the new policy shortly. I'd advise using your Hubber name to create the copyright notice, for avoidance of all doubt.
Or make them MFP.
http://wrylilt.hubpages.com/hub/How-to- … -Pinterest
" I've never heard of someone saying that it looks like it might mean you stole the photo" - I can't help feeling you're taking the policy as some kind of personal insult. It wasn't like that - it was simply a practical decision made by a site whose moderators were already very overworked. I explained the logic, and if you read it, you'll see it was designed with the best intention of protecting the copyright of other photographers.
Hmmm, I will have to think about doing MFP.
I am not sure if the new policy involves putting large text over the photo or not. I hope not, I really don't want big text all over my photos. We shall see. I guess I will hold off adding new photos for now unless my hubs get flagged for it. Except for one because that one has a really ugly-looking watermark on its first photo and it's cropped funny in the previews.
I'm not at all taking it like a personal insult, I don't know why you think that. I see a lot of posts about this subject, so I know it's not me. I'm just pointing out that this is strange as I've never seen any other site tell people they can't watermark their own photos because of the reasons I see on this site.
The same thing was said about the same issue three months ago. So soon probably means eventually and may mean never. In the mean time, what choice do we have but to comply with what is currently the written rules?
This is why I use MFP images they have to steal my whole article title to make the image look legitimate.
This is a good discussion. Watermarks are important to artists who need to protect their own images. Maybe there can be somewhere on the hub that we can list that the picture is our own or the watermark is registered to us.
We do plan on making a solution to standardize watermarks, but it's not a simple solution. As we get closer to implementing we will update folks.
I know for me, I just want a way to mark my photos so that people can't say, "well, your name isn't on it, so it's free to use" "or, you can't prove that's yours, where's your 'notice'?". I still put my name in the credit field on Hubpages.
Good to know, Paul. For artists, this is a big issue.
I'm really happy that you are changing the policy. I work hard to create the images for my how-to hubs, and they are expensive and time consuming to do, since I have to buy the material and make the thing and keep stopping to photograph each step. I would love to protect them with a watermark.
I'm not sure what you mean by "standardize" watermarks. I do hope that it means you will provide consistent limits, or add system generated watermarks that include our Hubber name. I do hope it does not mean that the HubPages logo will/can be placed on them.
Sorry if that sounds paranoid. I recently wrote a photo book, and the company offers a chance to print a pdf so we could see it on paper. I printed the pdf and it says "preview" all over it, which is expected. I don't expect to use their software and print it myself. But underneath, it says "copyright Shutterfly", which was irritating, since I have the copyright.
That sounds great, thank you. In the meantime, I'm leaving updating the "how to" style hubs with tons of personal images until last.
I asked about this a few months ago on this forum post http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/122327 and did get a reply from staff.
Glad to see that it sounds like something more official will be coming down the pike soon.
Since then I have been putting a watermark on my photos with no penalties.
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