Intellectual property breech occurred. Preventative measure suggestion
Recently a number of artworks were screen-scraped from the RedBubble web site an posted on other sites as someone else's work. These web sites earn money from advertisers on a per-hit basis so the image size obtained in this way is relatively unimportant.
I propose that the optional image watermark contains the full internet address of the artist, i.e. mine would be: "http://www.redbubble.com/people/bigh". This will identify RedBubble as the source site and make it easier for anyone to identify stolen work. Since some coments against stolen work ask where the item can be bought, this will also increase sales.
Stolen work on these sites sometimes display a watermark along the edge, and others have that edge cropped off! The watermark therefore needs to be located through the centre of the image only.
Currently the watermark option is defaulted to none. This should be changed to default watermark applied instead to help new members protect their work when setting up their account.
Finally, some artists may wish to remove the watermark from selected images, or indeed apply the watermark to selected images. Therefore this option should be included in the image upload and edit screens, with its default setting being the same as the setting in the artist's profile.
No one likes to see their work with text imposed on it, me included. But most of us like having our work stolen for someone else's profit even less. This is your choice. I think the above changes appeases both desires.
Absolutely gets my votes. The ones over at Graphic River use a grid system over the whole image, as well as the preview. I'm sure the people would much prefer that.
I wish I could give all the votes that I have for this idea.
Here's my vote
Yes please! It's not a cure but at least a deterrent to online thievery.
Damienne Bingham commented
Watermarks can be an important deterrent and worth having - though they are not always effective. I think a good option would be to create a way of allowing people to place their own watermarks on images, this way people will choose where the watermark is placed and what it says.
Rita Blom commented
I agree! Although I am yet to sell something I would hate to think that a thief is selling my work.
Rita Blom commented
I agree Harry, although I am yet to sell anything it doesn't mean I haven't had some work stolen. I enjoy being involved on Red Bubble but would hate to think my work is being sold by a thief.
ongoing problem ~ needs ongoing attention to address ~ prevention is far better than the cost to cure
Yes, Absolutely. I am finding my smaller non-watermarked preview images on various blogs very often and the are exactly the size of my redbubble previews.
I'd like to request two things that are crucial for protecting artists' work:
- Watermarks on the smaller preview images
- Custom watermark text
- (optional) Custom placement i.e. middle, lower third, bottom-right corner etc.
As an option, text "The watermark will not appear in prints" can be added under the previews.
I really hope we'll have it soon. Seeing my work stolen by bloggers on the next day after uploading stops me from uploading more.
Cindy Schnackel commented
Bruce, and others, I found the info on Red Bubble's "copyright protection group":http://www.redbubble.com/groups/copyright-protection-group to be of help in getting a stolen image of mine taken down. However, this is a common and ongoing problem for artists because showing your work online is more a reality than an option nowadays. The more we can do to prevent theft, the better. Time spent tracking down thieves and making them take down images it time NOT spent creating art.
Cindy Schnackel commented
I also would like to see some stronger theft deterrence. Something that would prove ownership and make images less of an easy target. I am glad RB does do some things to discourage theft, (more than some sites do), but as thieves' methods improve, so too do the methods of protection need to keep up.
photosecosse /barbara jones commented
Absolutely agree, being the victim of repeated image theft......though Flickr is mostly to blame, not RB !!
Peter Zentjens commented
I'd love an optional small watermark on the small images too. It's mainly those that get stolen and plastered all over the internet. It would be great though if the placement of the watermark could be chosen separably from the larger image. For instance I'd watermark my smaller images on the edge and the large view right down the centre (I hate that, but I'm tired of trying to get my image removed from all over the net)
Roxy J commented
Bruce, normaly the threat of legal action works.
Bruce Wallace commented
One of my images was stolen by this web site that sells plants, URL below.
My image is Syzygium Cascade.
The only place on the web that this image is shown is RedBubble.
I have asked them to remove it and they said they would.
That was 2 weeks ago, they have not.
I have sent them another email today.
Where do I go from here, if they continue to ignore my email request.
TOTALLY AGREE, MY FRIEND!!!! IT'S ONLY RIGHT!
This is some piece of shit who stole my artist friend's work and is trying to sell it here.
Totally agree !