Social internet sites like MySpace, Facebook and a photographer's own favorite, Flickr are a must-use tool for the modern business plan. It doesn't matter what business you are in, networking is still networking. Social sites actually make networking easier and gives access to more contacts simply by the inherent structure of sites like Facebook. But what are the rules about intellectual property such as photographs and what can you do to protect yourself?
If you are a casual shooter and could care less about what happens to your snapshot of Uncle Henry, then you don't need to worry about this. However, if you are looking to take your photography to a business level applying good habits and smart practices now will go a long way to protecting your work and investment.
It almost seems a catch 22; put your work on the internet it invites theft but gets work. Don't put it on the internet you are protected but you don't get work. Fear not there are tips and trick you can use to safeguard your intellectual property.
- Hold Back: Don't post your very best work or work that has been licensed to someone else. If you are a decent photographer even your 'okay' work will be better than what the general public considers good photography. If you feel you need to post samples of your work on a questionable site, make sure you're not releasing your very best.
- Watermark and Embed: Most professional photo editing programs have the means of embedding copyright and author information into the metadata of your images. You need to make it a habit to encode this info into each and every one of your images. However, the best defense is still having a visible watermark imprinted on all your posted images. Visible but not overpowering.
- Keep It Small: There is absolutely no reason you should post a full sized image on a social site. By keeping your postings to 72 dpi and a max size of 600 pixels will deter all but the amateur thief. Remember that at 600 pixels wide on a 150 dpi printer your image size will be 4". At 300 dpi it's only 2" so you see that it won't even be good enough for a decent 4x6 inch photograph.
|2. Sharing Your Content and Information|
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
MEETUPFrom their Meetup Terms of Service Agreement
|4. Your Information |
|2. Use of Information|
|Flickr is a photo sharing community which provides you with an easy way to post and share photos online, and add meaningful metadata and comments to photos. You do not need to be registered to search or view public photos on Flickr, however you must be a registered member of Flickr or Yahoo! to post.|
Information Collection and Use Practices
|9. CONTENT SUBMITTED OR MADE AVAILABLE FOR INCLUSION ON THE YAHOO! SERVICES|
Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Yahoo! Services. However, with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Yahoo! Services, you grant Yahoo! the following worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license(s), as applicable: