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Give Me Your Stolen Graphics and I’ll Give You Ads for Your Site

Updated on July 15, 2011

You work hard to create an illustration or take an original photo for your web page. You adjust its color levels, enhance its sharpness and crop it for maximum impact. To prevent your creation from being stolen by others, you add special watermarks, include anti-theft code and plaster copyright notices all over its web page. Despite all your precautions, your image ends up on several other websites, and on Creative Commons Images as a copyright free distributable credited by someone else.

Don’t get mad. There’s no possible way to prevent your images from being appropriated by someone else. Instead, why not use this unfortunate propensity of others to your advantage? You can advertise your website by encouraging people to appropriate your graphics.

  1. Open your graphic using an art program that contains layer. If you don’t have one, download and install the free GIMP graphics program.
  2. Click the Text tool. If this tool in your art program doesn’t automatically create a new layer, then manually create a new layer before clicking the tool.
  3. Move the cursor inside the graphic and click an insertion point. The exact location is not important.
  4. Type in the URL of your website, without the http designation. For example, type in Make the font small enough so the text is readable but unobtrusive. And use a font color that contrasts with the graphic image.
  5. Move the text somewhere into the center of the picture. It’s important not to put it at the edge or the bottom, where it can easily be removed with cropping. You can try and align it with a vertical or horizontal line in your graphic.
  6. If you are satisfied with the location of the text, merge it into the background image. In Gimp, you right click on the Text layer and choose Merge Down.
  7. Save the image as a JPG under a new title. (You want the original graphic to remain unchanged.) If the program asks to flatten the image, answer Yes.
  8. Insert the JPG with text into your website. If needed, mention in the caption that anyone can use your picture for any purpose.

People who view your new graphic will do one of two things:

  • They will ignore it because it has your website address on it.
  • They will steal it anyway and use it as they see fit. However, because your website name is on the graphic, people who view the picture on other sites, will see your page address. Then, they will go to your original website, if they are interested in visiting the original source. Thus, the more your pic gets distributed, the more viewers will see that it comes from your website.

A minority may take the trouble to try and Photoshop your site address away from the pic. But because this will be more trouble than it’s worth, more people will use your pic unchanged. Or they’ll leave your image alone and steal someone else’s pic.

Note that this method only works for graphics outside HubPages. It is against HubPages rules to have any photo with a watermark, even if that watermark is for your own hub.


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    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Alocsin, an interesting hub and something I have never thought about. However, I will now. Voted Up and useful.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 6 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Very useful, thanks for sharing these advices and links.

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      Very good idea.You might as well get something out of your creativity.