Official HubPages WATERMARK

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  1. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    Hubpages wants original works.

    Hubpages suggests original images to accompany original work.

    Hubpages doesnt allow Visual Artists to use traditional and accepted best practices to protect their images (unobtrusive watermarks)

    Only A NAIVE online creator would be ok with that policy

    You want original images - then create a protective utility.

    Create a feature to the image uploader that watermarks an image with the Hub Authors user name or subdomain and perhaps a small Hubs logo (the favicon would work) - you can design the proportion and placement which will allow Creators to have protections on their images without ..well, whatever objections you may have had that led to this too broad policy.

    .. not sure, whether, its just avoiding having to make individual judgments (understandable) or Brand confusion maybe? ... but you could make some sort of uniformity across the site with original artworks and still offer basic protection

    either way, do it .. its a great idea, if I do say so myself

    1. livewithrichard profile image73
      livewithrichardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Bumping this back up...  For what it's worth, I'm all for this so long as it is an option. An option between giving correct credit to the copyright holder or claiming ownership of the image by the hub author.

  2. GinnyLee profile image87
    GinnyLeeposted 12 years ago

    good idea.  I had never thought about that, but most of my images are point-and-shoots for the specific purpose of supporting one of my articles.

    Your suggestion seems pretty reasonable that addresses the concerns of the hubber and will hopefully address HP's concerns as well.

    1. sunforged profile image71
      sunforgedposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I commend you for taking that extra step to support your articles!

  3. WryLilt profile image88
    WryLiltposted 12 years ago

    Great idea!

  4. 2uesday profile image66
    2uesdayposted 12 years ago

    This is a great idea and I hope it gets a response from the team soon.

    I have stopped adding new photos here as I am aware that if people are copying articles from HubPages and using them elsewhere then the chances are our photos are also being stolen and used.

  5. Cardisa profile image88
    Cardisaposted 12 years ago

    Would there be an option to ask hubber if they are using their own photos so as not to watermark photos used from elsewhere?

    I think it's a great idea, I just still see people naming themselves as source for photos they get from the internet. There should be a flag for that but the point I am making is that we don't want to watermark someone else's photos lest we be in deep do-do.

  6. livewithrichard profile image73
    livewithrichardposted 12 years ago

    If I cannot place my own watermark on my image then I certainly do not want Hubpages to place their watermark on them which would be a misrepresentation of ownership since we retain the sole rights to ALL of our content. 

    For the most part, I only use images with a Creative Commons license and placing a watermark on those would violate that license as well. 

    I think the intent of the OP is good but honestly, if you don't want your images to be stolen then don't post them where they can be stolen.

    1. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I do see your point (plus I'm bumping this thread!)


      -It could be optional to have a watermark.
      -It could just feature your HP username, not the HP logo, which would mean you could re-use it elsewhere if you write on multiple sites with the same name.

      1. livewithrichard profile image73
        livewithrichardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        smile or... HP allows users to request original images from other members and allow the images to be stored on their server and available for anyone to use.  They can set up a public image gallery with their very own watermark on them and when a member uses the image it will auto-fill the credit to the photographer. 

        Images uploaded my members would be under the Creative Commons license, unlike our hubs, but once uploaded they cannot remove them if they are being used by other members.  Also, if a member chooses to use an image from the public gallery then the copyright holder should be able share revenue earned on the hubs their images are used on.  Of course, HP should be able to share in that revenue as well since they are providing the platform and the storage. 

        Just a thought...

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Interesting thought! Then again I guess this is all hypothetical as so many ideas never get put into practice. sad Fingers crossed for this one!

          1. livewithrichard profile image73
            livewithrichardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I know!!! It's very discouraging.  So many of our ideas went unheard or outright dismissed by staff during the Panda fiasco that I just had to take a break and work on my own sites.  Now that those sites are earning on their own with minimal upkeep, I'm finding a little time to come back here and see if it is still worth my time and effort to publish here.  I'm running a few experiments on non productive hubs and if those don't pan out then I'm done here.  Done publishing I mean, I'll probably still take part in the community and cultivate the work that I still have published smile

            1. WryLilt profile image88
              WryLiltposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I have come back just to participate in the forums... learnt my lesson last year and now have my content spread over lots of sites (both revenue sharing and my own). Definitely a good idea!

  7. Nouveau Skeptic profile image61
    Nouveau Skepticposted 12 years ago

    I'm okay with that policy because I understand their reasoning, and the advantage to us all of the overall efficiency it contributes to.

  8. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    I was suggesting as an option (to encourage original images), and only adding the HP part to fit any aesthetic or branding concern they may have.

    As a point of order .. when we use watermarks .. we still expect that the image may be used without our consent, but it stops a certain percentage that can just pick the next choice in google image search and also allows a stolen image to possibly be A) brought to out attention by a party who notices its misuse b) provide some promotion/exposure to the creator

  9. Gordon Hamilton profile image93
    Gordon Hamiltonposted 12 years ago


    I do understand your thinking and the logic behind it.

    Unfortunately, I could not disagree with you more. I certainly do not want my painstaking, original photographs watermarked and rendered tacky by Hub Pages or any other medium. I try to do my best to feature only quality (and always original) photos here on Hub Pages and wherever else I may publish on the Web and I want them to stay precisely that way.

    I'm sorry but whenever I use Google search and click on a page which turns out to have a watermarked photo, my immediate response is to click the back button as I assume it is tacky spam. (It always looks like it...)

  10. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    again - an OPTION.

    I simply dont use anything but Public Domain or CC imagery on sites such as HP. Some are more entrenched to one platform and would benefit from some basic protections.

    A watermark doesnt have to be tacky, look at any Professional Photographers site and find the attractive and useful mongram style "watermark" that is always used.

    If it appears tacky, then it is a failure in design, not a failure of the concept of "watermark"

    1. Gordon Hamilton profile image93
      Gordon Hamiltonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      OK - agreed on option part. I'm always in favour of freedom of choice and long may that may that availability be the case.

      Sorry, no agreement on second part... I'm afraid they all look tacky and are spoiled by the branding in my personal opinion, however subtle that may deemed to be. Just my opinion - no offence intended in any way...

  11. livewithrichard profile image73
    livewithrichardposted 12 years ago

    Example of a good watermark:


    Example of a tacky watermark:

    also bad

    The watermarks I say are tacky are also necessary so that the image cannot be cropped to eliminate the watermark, they're just not attractive and shouldn't be used the way we need them to be used in our hubs.

  12. melbel profile image95
    melbelposted 12 years ago

    Yeah, but a watermark can still be edited or cropped out. Also, what about images that I upload that don't belong to me... like ones from Flickr that I'm legally using. I don't think that those photos should be watermarked. As a photographer, I would be angry is one of my photos on Flickr were watermarked on another site.

    As as artist, you can report sites that steal your photographer. It's just as easy as if someone stole wording from your hubs. To find images that have been stolen, just use TinEye.

    1. livewithrichard profile image73
      livewithrichardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, that was my point about cropping, the less obtrusive watermarks are easier targets.  And you are right, images which are CC licensed cannot be watermarked.  Tineye will not show you stolen images, it only shows how many sites are using the same image.  The shared image may very well be a CC image.  Though if you are a copyright holder you can use Tineye to see if your image is being used properly.

    2. sunforged profile image71
      sunforgedposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Do you use threaded view?

  13. Eaglekiwi profile image76
    Eaglekiwiposted 12 years ago

    I quit writing because of all this gobbly gok wink

    1. Gordon Hamilton profile image93
      Gordon Hamiltonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Quite right, Eaglekiwi. Smile, I'll take your picture, we can watermark it and sell it to some guy in China for $1,000, telling him you're the new Doris Day! (Or has their been another big movie star more recently...??? ) smile

      1. Eaglekiwi profile image76
        Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Works for me lol

  14. CWanamaker profile image94
    CWanamakerposted 12 years ago

    I like this idea.  Sometimes I spend a lot of time making the perfect images for my hubs.

  15. rLcasaLme profile image70
    rLcasaLmeposted 12 years ago

    This is a great idea. I hope they would consider it.

  16. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    Some personal thoughts on why some of these comments make the issue more convoluted then necessary.

    I see Image Theft being discussed here as being of three very distinct "levels" and the associated "watermark" is highly relevant.

    3.Intentional Theft

    A great majority of bloggers, facebook sharers and hubbers use and share images with zero consideration to "rights owners"

    This is mostly just a matter of ignorance. Lots of people new to online publishing will just use google images to search a term and grab, right click or even hot link whatever fits their need at the moment.

    As they scan that big page of results, they are likely to just skip the ones with visible watermarks.

    If they do use the image, and you do care that they used the image, its pretty easy to to say with confidence, "thats my image" and pursue what ever level of attack you choose.

    The FB(and other social media sites) sharers I would just consider as a free promo opp and would encourage those shares (AS LONG AS SOME CHANCE OF TRAFFIC/CUSTOMERS COMING BACK MY WAY) exists.

    Certainly, wont be stopping either of those "types" In fact I added custom CC and Public domain searches to the latest version of the Online Writers toolbar specifically to hopefully assist those who were either ignorant or lazy

    The "lazy" ones, know they are "stealing" the image, but when there is no watermark they know its pretty unlikely they will ever be called to task for it.

    Maybe, a dishonest site owner or blogger will take the tie to crop the watermark, but really why would they bother when they could just grab the next image in google results instead.

    Stock Image Houses pay premiums to Artists/Designers/Photographers for their works or offer licensing packages. When they post their previews they use big honking watermarks or lowres versions to keep people from stealing them. Graphic Designers and Web Developers ARE KNOWN to intentionally steal those and cut out the watermarks.

    So if some dirtbag is using one of those in an article or site and it looks bad, GOOD that is the intention.

    So - going back to the original post and concern.

    You cant do anything about group 3, but you can either get the possibility of some free promo from group 1 or 2, have an obvious and visible claim for groups 1 and 2 and you can be a little less desirable to steal from then the next image in the all the options in an image search result.

    Richard's posted images are a great example of how such a tool can be utilized.

    Furthermore (harsh as it is)

    I dont know who the hell would have the time and patience to manually "tineye"[sic] their original images. Thats just ludicrous. Its a silly suggestion. Its not scalable.

    Why the hell would one watermark a cc or flickr image - how is such a statement even for a moment relevant?

    It's also silly to think that fighting content or image theft is "easy" after the fact , again its an issue of scalability and choosing your battles, its boring, often fruitless and a waste of time and effort to have to hunt down thieves and violators, its simply good practice to use simple techniques to limit how easy it is to be stolen from. Watermarks are that existing good practice. They work.

    Now after all that ... this suggestion was only a response to a previous thread where a very high quality original image was deemed unusable due to a watermark (as is stated policy) .. This was intended as a compromise suggestion, personally, I just would use CC and PD images and save the headache

    1. melbel profile image95
      melbelposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It's easily scalable. A script could be used to to check ALL photos against something like TinEye and return only urls where they're found. An additional script could be used in conjunction with this to disclude urls where work is allowed (ie. disclude,, etc.)

      Furthermore, I personally don't see many sites using watermarks other than photography sites. They just look tacky. However, that's just my personal preference. I wouldn't put a watermark on my images or use such a tool if HubPages were to implement one. If someone were to steal my images, I would just file the appropriate paperwork.

  17. WordPlay profile image83
    WordPlayposted 12 years ago

    My two-cents: I like the idea a lot, as long as I would have control over which images are watermarked. Some of my hubs feature printable invitation images with copyright lines in unobtrusive locations, as is standard in the invitation industry. Since people print the designs and send them to people, additional markings would hinder their usefulness. I also have clip art and scrapbook images that would become literally useless if they were watermarked.

    But I would like having the option to add watermarks to any other images I post.

  18. Stacie L profile image89
    Stacie Lposted 12 years ago

    I sell photos on other sites and they give photographers the option of placing the sites watermark on the photos for protection. I like this idea and think it should be implemented here...

  19. recommend1 profile image61
    recommend1posted 12 years ago

    Of course images should be protected.

    And Sunforged (as usual) has it about right.   An overall HP watermark that includes the authors end rights to the image is a way to go.  The only option at the moment is to use free images which reduces the quality and 'attractiveness' of a hub.  Using unprotected quality original images is just giving it away to be claimed and watermarked by someone else.

    The issue of how the watermark is applied is valid, an edge mark can be cropped off too easily and a splodge in the middle ruins the image - but I have seen professional photographs watermarked unobtrusively with a mark that covers most of the image and cannot be seen unless you are looking for it.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I must've missed this thread.

      What a wonderful idea.

  20. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    tsk tsk tsk smile


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