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Official position on watermarked pictures

  1. Marisa Wright profile image98
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    Could one of the HubPages team confirm the official position re watermarked pictures?

    I know the rules say "prominent" watermarks are not allowed, but I can also understand the desire of Hubber photographers to protect their photos.

    What's the definition of "prominent"?  Is there an acceptable type of watermark that HubPages will allow?  Can you suggest how else Hub photographers can protect their images from copying?

    1. Greekgeek profile image96
      Greekgeekposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I'd love to know the answer to this. I had a small copyright notice on my photos, comparable to that seen on Getty Images, BBC images, and other image credits used by professional journals and newspapers.

      After seeing the kerfluffle over watermarks, I took them out, but I hate leaving my photos naked. Sure, a thief could crop off the image credit, but at least that would discourage "it looks free so I'll take it" kids who don't know any better.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image98
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I agree - I think we all recognise that genuinely dishonest people will always find a way, but there are a lot of people who simply don't know any better, and at least it would stop them.

    2. Camille Harris profile image
      Camille Harrisposted 6 years agoin reply to this


      Thanks for the "bumps" below.

      We understand the desire to protect your images with your own watermark; however, the official stance is that watermarks of any kind are prohibited.

      Here's some information on protecting your content via copyright: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl107.html

      You can also place a "Copyright © YEAR AUTHOR/BUSINESS NAME" on your Hub(s). 

      Please know that we take DMCA complaints very seriously and investigate and act to resolve them as swiftly as possible.

      Hope this helps.

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        The question was: what type of watermarking is permitted?

      2. Marisa Wright profile image98
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Then I suggest you change your Learning Centre wording which says "prominent" watermarks are prohibited.

        It's unreasonable to penalize people if you don't make the rules clear in the first place.

        Unfortunately the advice on copyright is useless, as is the advice about placing copyright notices on Hubs.  People find images from HubPages via Google Images, and they don't stop to check the location - the only thing that's likely to give them pause is something on the photo itself.

        It doesn't affect me as I don't use my own photos, but I'm sorry to hear that's the position for those serious photographers who wanted to use their work here.

        1. Greekgeek profile image96
          Greekgeekposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          And it's why I've started using Wikimedia Commons photos instead of my own. Without that protection, it's just too easy for people to grab photos in image search without ever noticing, "hey, this might be copyrighted!"

  2. subdomain profile image60
    subdomainposted 6 years ago

    I also would like to know the answer to this, as I plan to use my own photographs for some of the hubs I intend to write.

  3. Cardisa profile image92
    Cardisaposted 6 years ago

    Just a suggestion...you could put a signature at one of the corners of your photo, like the way and artist signs their art. It's pretty easy to do. Write your signature, scan it unto your computer. You use Microsoft Publisher or Open Office Draw for this. Copy the picture to the program and just place the signature where you want it. Group the objects, then convert to metafile, then save as picture. All can be done with the right mouse click. Remember when saving photos to select PNG, JIF or JPEG for HP. I find PNG the easiest to upload to HP. This is an alternative to having Watermarks. It seems HP is flagging any kind of watermarks these days.

    1. relache profile image89
      relacheposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      It's NOT an alternative.  What you've just described doing is called creating a visible digital watermark, and thus that sort of signature would do nothing to potentially avert HubPages ban on them.

  4. subdomain profile image60
    subdomainposted 6 years ago

    But why would HP need such a rule, if a hubber feels like protecting their own copyrights on their own photographs? What could possibly be wrong with it?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image98
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Because the most common reason a photo is watermarked is because it's been stolen from a stock photo site.  So prohibiting watermarked photos is an easy way of reducing photo theft.

  5. Aficionada profile image88
    Aficionadaposted 6 years ago

    I would also worry that posting my signature online would make things that much easier for identity thieves.

  6. Marisa Wright profile image98
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago


    Don't the staff read the Report a Problem forum any more?

    If this thread is no longer intended as a place to report problems or ask important questions of staff, then it should be renamed.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image98
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Bump again.

  7. Sally's Trove profile image81
    Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago

    I'm amazed this issue is not being addressed by HP.

    If I want to put my own watermarks on my images, that's my right because I own those images. If HP can't determine my watermarks from someone else's, that's not my problem, it's theirs.

    There's some hiding in the hole about this...why is HP silent?

    Good for you, Marisa, for bumping. I wouldn't have caught this otherwise.

    1. Bill Yovino profile image88
      Bill Yovinoposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. I use my own photographs for my hubs and would love to protect them.  I see countless hubs that are using photos that are obviously copied from unsuspecting Internet sites. I've seen a few that mentioned where they got  them from, but that doesn't give you the right to use them.  For example, a recent hub about a soup recipe had a photo attribution. I checked out the link and it was the website of a small restaurant.  I doubt very much that the hubber had permission to use that photo. Plus, it wasn't a photo of the recipe that the hubber wrote about. To me that is false advertising.