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How to Protect Your Photographs on Hubpages Without Watermarks

  1. WryLilt profile image88
    WryLiltposted 5 years ago

    I'm aware that many people who have take their own photos and added them to hubs have been unhappy about the "No watermarks" rule on Hubpages.

    There is a simple way around this - that should both protect your content, increase your traffic and not break the rules.

    Create a MADE FOR PINTEREST image. It's simple to do - take your own relevant image (or one you can legally alter, make sure you check the copyright and attribution rules!), use a graphics program like Gimp or Picnik to add a border and make it snazzy and add the article title of your hub to the image.

    Pinterest is becoming "the next big thing". When a Pinterest user enjoys your article they're much more likely to pin an image which describes the article - it makes it easier for them to remember when they want to find it again (instead of looking through random pictures).

    Not to mention - an image pinned to Pinterest with a teaser or title makes people a lot more likely to click through and visit or even repin it onto their own boards.

    I've started doing this and have seen hundreds of pins in the week since I added just a handful of MFP images.

    smile

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
      Uninvited Writerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Those are great ideas, I may try it when I have time smile

    2. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      If you recall, there was a Hubber recently whose Hubs were unpublished for having a "watermark" which was the name of her business, and others have been unpublished for showing their name in very tiny print.  Sunforged got unpublished for having an image of a logo.  The response was that NO text is allowed on photos.

      I suppose it might get through because the title is clearly the same as the Hub title, but strictly speaking I'm pretty sure it would be regarded as watermarked.  It may be worth getting an official opinion before doing too much work on it.

      1. WryLilt profile image88
        WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Hubpages themselves have been encouraging the use of Pinterest. But yes, it would be good to get official clarification.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image95
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I know, it's the idea of placing text on the photo that I'm concerned about - because they've been so inflexible about that in the past.

      2. alarmsystemguides profile image66
        alarmsystemguidesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        it's not necessarily a text that needs added, a simple pattern with a high transparency on top of the picture will do just fine. Not sure if there is a HubPages rule against that...

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Non visible ones can be removed.

          And we are talking about watermarking in a way that is both allowed and increases traffic.

  2. SmartAndFun profile image91
    SmartAndFunposted 5 years ago

    Yes, a very good idea. Thanks for sharing. If anyone wants more detail on this idea, check out WryLilt's hub, which I happened to see on my feed yesterday or the day before. I also happened to notice that K9Keystrokes has started placing the title across all of her new hubs' main photos. Great idea, thanks again.

  3. mary615 profile image95
    mary615posted 5 years ago

    The program I use for my own photos is Picasa.  I have checked "water mark" which causes my name in very small print to be on my photos.  I'm aware of HP's rule about water marks. Am I in violation by doing this?  BTW:  I see a lot of Hubs with water marks from _________.com or whereever right on the photo they used.  This is so confusing....

    The idea of adding the title to your images for Pinterest is a good one, but if you want to use that same photo in another Hub, you couldn't (guess you could go back and remove that title on the photo)

    1. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      From the FAQ:

      My Hub has been moderated for watermarked or pixelated photos; what does that mean?
      Images that are low resolution, grainy, or pixelated detract from the aesthetic appeal of a Hub and are prohibited. For the same reason, images or videos that contain prominent watermarks are also prohibited. This rule applies even if they are your own photos or videos, or photos or videos that you have the legal right to use.

      ---------------------------------->

      So yes,  you should report any hubs you see with watermarked photos.
      And if you save the original copy of the photo, then you an always go back and start from scratch for another hub.

      1. mary615 profile image95
        mary615posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        My name shows in very small print at the bottom of my photos.  It is NOT prominent as stated in the FAQ,  so I think I'm OK there.
        I hate to flag some of these Hubs cause some of the authors are "friends" and I don't want to get them in trouble, so I let it slide.  It does bug me though.  Some of these Hubbers have really high author scores, too.  I read your Hub on Pinterest, and it's great.  Too bad you can't put a link in here!

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Be careful, I've seen people with even relatively small watermarks get unpublished.

          As for friends, maybe message them personally? Otherwise someone will flag them eventually...

          1. mary615 profile image95
            mary615posted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, I think a private email would be in order.  Thanks.

        2. tsmog profile image81
          tsmogposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          the catch 22  on a trip 3 is she can't but you can, I think

  4. Rosie2010 profile image74
    Rosie2010posted 5 years ago

    Great idea, WryLilt!

  5. mary615 profile image95
    mary615posted 5 years ago

    I will ask HubPages about writing on the photo to be pinned.  I'd like that cleared up once and for all, wouldn't you folks?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I think it's a good idea, though I think Wry should speak to them since she's the one who had the inspiration.

  6. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    I remember not so long ago on the forums someone who had their hubs unpublished because they put their name in the border round their photograph.

    I'd like to hear it from an HP staff member if we are going to be allowed to use Wrylilt's idea, before I go to the effort of changing photos.

    1. mary615 profile image95
      mary615posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Lets ask Wry to ask the question then.  I asked but in the wrong forum anyways.  I ask in the "need help".

    2. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I remember that too.  There was a long discussion and the outcome was that there is nothing you can put on a photo to protect its copyright. 

      So if this idea is to be allowed, it will have to be an exception. It would be in HubPages' interest, so maybe it will get through.

      Does the big-eyed pussy cat mean you're not feeling like a sad little purple birdy any more?

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        The pussy-cat has appealing big eyes. We are reduced to pleading with Google!

        Actually I just like the photo LOL. Pretty sure it's Puss in Boots.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image95
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Yes it is, I remember seeing the clip from the movie.  It's even more cute in the animation!

  7. rebekahELLE profile image90
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    I don't really see exceptions being made. They were very clear about that in the above situation.

    The policy would have to be rewritten again, and at this point, no one knows the future of Pininterest in regard to their copyright issues.

    But I guess it never hurts to ask.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, so I recall. At the time, some of us said that if the "watermark" matched the Hubber's name exactly, it would be easy to police - but that cut no ice. So this may not either.

  8. WryLilt profile image88
    WryLiltposted 5 years ago

    From Wikipedia:

    Digital watermarking is the process of embedding information into a digital signal which may be used to verify its authenticity or the identity of its owners, in the same manner as paper bearing a watermark for visible identification.

    -------------------------------

    1. This would be identifying the article, not the owner.
    2. It would put at rest the minds of people who take their own photos but can't watermark it with their name.
    3. It would allow a big increase in traffic to the site, because not only can you pin your own related images, but other users with a Pinterest account are more likely to pin an image which describes an article they enjoyed, instead of a random picture.
    People are more likely to click an image of a sunset with the words "Ten Most Beautiful Sunsets in the World" on Pinterest than just a random image of a pretty sunset.
    4. Pictures with poor quality titles or design aren't likely to get repinned anyway.
    5. Many top bloggers and websites are now starting to create "Made For Pinterest" images, as you can see with a quick browse of Pinterest.
    6. An image with a small username can often be easily altered or have it removed - or even be used on another site. If it's got a title on it, anyone who steals it would have to write an entire article on that topic if they wanted it to match their content. Yes some people would but hopefully this would deter random thieves and spammers.

    Either way, I've sent an email to the team with a link to this thread.

    1. mary615 profile image95
      mary615posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks so much.  I for one will be checking back here.

  9. Sally's Trove profile image86
    Sally's Troveposted 5 years ago

    It seems to me that to not allow adding text to a photograph (or any other graphic) for the purpose of creating the combined objects as a single jpg or other graphic image would be the same as not allowing any image that contains text (think charts, graphs, and also other images upon which the artist has applied text, as in adding the letter "a" or "b" to point out a portion of the image) .

    WryLilt's suggestion is not watermarking (embedding bits of information that identify author and copyright). It is simply creating an image using graphics software, treating the text as no more (or less) than any other graphic element.

    I think it would be helpful if HP were to better define what a watermark is and what it is about watermarks they don't allow.

    Historically, a watermark is unobtrusive text or impressions added to paper that identify the paper's maker.

    Digital watermarking embeds authenticating code into an image (or video); the code may or may not be rendered as a visible image and may or may not be malicious.

    Adding text (or your name and copyright information, for that matter) to your photo as WryLilt explains is not digital watermarking. It's simply creating a graphic file image.

    Does HP not want author and copyright text applied to photos (an application as harmless to the digital integrity of jpgs as historical watermarking is to the integrity of paper)? And if not, why?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, but Hubpages have disallowed such images as "watermarked" before.  I recall Sunforged, for one, having a Hub unpublished for doing exactly what you describe.



      I know why they do it - because most photo sites watermark their sample images, so it's an easy way to stop people stealing those images.  It would be too much work for moderators to check each watermarked photo to determine whether it's stolen from another site, or genuinely belongs to the Hubber - especially as the Hubber may use their real name on the photo but have a nickname here.  And it's also extra work to determine what's a watermark and what's added text, so they've lumped them in together, too.

      In the past, I've suggested they could allow Hubbers to watermark their photos with either their Hubber name or the Hub name, either of which would be bleeding obvious and take seconds to check - but apparently that's still too hard.

      1. Sally's Trove profile image86
        Sally's Troveposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        "Watermark" still needs definition by HP. "Bleeding obvious" says it all.

  10. WryLilt profile image88
    WryLiltposted 5 years ago

    I received an email back and all it basically said was:

    "This should not be an issue. If you'd like to send us an example, we'd be happy to review it."

    So I don't know if it would be on a case by case basis or how it would work. I've sent an email back asking for clarification.

    1. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Bumping this for those interested.

      1. mary615 profile image95
        mary615posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Wry.

      2. Sally's Trove profile image86
        Sally's Troveposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Bumping again. It is of interest.

        1. IzzyM profile image87
          IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          And another wee bump!

          1. WryLilt profile image88
            WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Bump!

  11. Dale Hyde profile image88
    Dale Hydeposted 5 years ago

    It would be cool to have a staff member drop in and clarify this for all! As a user and lover of Pinterest, I would like to know. As it is now, I get traffic from Pinterest, but being able to use such described photos would be nice without the risk of violating any HP rules.

    1. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I think this is the closest I'll get to an OK from the team:

      "The image you've provided is high-quality and the text is complementary. These shouldn't be an issue, particularly if they're done as tastefully as this. Please note that text that obscures an image or otherwise detracts from it would likely render it low quality.

      This was in reference to the following image:
      http://s1.hubimg.com/u/6269740_f260.jpg

      1. Dale Hyde profile image88
        Dale Hydeposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        That is encouraging.  I think I will wait a few and see how it all goes before I start in with that. Maybe admin will address the issue in a separate topic.  Thanks for sharing the photo as an example, however. Nicely done!

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          If it's done properly, I doubt you'll have issues. If you create a crap image it will be worthless anyway, coz no one will want to pin it!

 
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