Should I Sell Digitals with a Watermark?

sell photos online
sell photos online

In the 21st century, technology is more and more advanced and plays an important part in our lives. Thanks to the Internet, now we can connect with friends around the world via social media platforms. We can read news and watch videos for free. We can also have opportunities to create online stores to sell your products to other people that are far from your place.

If you are selling online, the initial things, that you need to have, are products and photos of your products. But in this digital era, other people can easily steal your photos and use them for their stores. 

To protect your hard work and not let other people use your photos without your consent, sometimes you wonder whether you should watermark your digitals or not.

Should I sell digitals with a watermark?

The answer is Yes. Many online stores and sellers around the world often face the same problem that their photos or their digital assets are stolen and used for other purposes. 

If you go online and visit many forums related to eCommerce, online selling platforms, and social media places, you will see a lot of complaints from many sellers. If you sell your products on Etsy, you can see that many product photos of Etsy sellers are stolen. It is not a new thing.

To prevent the situation, you should watermark all your product photos before posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Watermarking your digital assets is not only a good way to protect your assets but also a powerful marketing tool for your company and brand. 

Many shops and online sellers often add watermarks to their product images to make customers remember their brands easier.

When users and customers share the images, other people will know who created the images and know more about the brands. That is a powerful marketing way and the cost to make the watermarks is really cheap.

You can watermark your product photos or prints or designs and upload them to your online store/platforms. But remember that you shouldn’t upload the original photos or digitals. You should watermark and upload lower resolution versions and keep the high quality and original versions private.

When customers purchase your digital products or photos, at that time you should show and give them the original version you created.

A few things to consider

  1. When you plan to sell digitals on the web, you should always have your own licenses. You can create your own licenses or read other licenses for reference. When you sell photos, designs, arts, and graphics online, licenses are important. They will tell your buyers about what they can do with your products and what they cannot do. The licenses are also your best friends when it comes to copyright protection. Several eCommerce platforms also have their own licenses and before you sell your digital products on the platforms, you should read them carefully.
  2. You should often check whether your digitals or photos are stolen or used without your permission or not. There are many ways to check this. You can use Google Image Search or often visit other stores to check. This habit will help you protect your digital products better.

 

How to Prevent Your Website from Image Theft

product photos
 a product photo

In this digital era, nowadays everyone can copy and download images, videos, software from the Internet to their computers. And it is easy to duplicate or replicate the files from one version to many clones. Users can simply copy and paste to achieve the task.

People can steal your images from your website and social media accounts very easily. Some will use them for personal purposes, but unfortunately, many others will use the photos for commercial purposes. Many online stores are complaining that their product images were stolen and used by other shops. You have invested your time and money in the photos and now they are being used by others without your permission.

How people steal images from the web

  1. It is very easy for people to download or save images from the web to their computers and drives. They can simply right-click on the image they want, and they can choose “Save images as…” and the image will be downloaded to their computers. 
  2. Some people will use the web browser to download all the web page. And in the downloaded folders, there will be your photos. They can choose “Save page as…” to do so. 
  3. Many stock photos are now shared on illegal websites and hosting. Users can go there and download them. 
image theft
image theft

How you will be affected if someone steals the assets

  1. First, you will be very angry about that. You invested time and money to take the pictures and bring them to the world. 
  2. If you are selling your products online, your competitors and other online stores will use them for their websites. Customers will be confused because of the same product photos in many stores. Your brand and business will be affected a lot. 
  3. If they are scamming people to get the money, customers will lose their trust and no longer believe in the stores that have the same product photos. 

How to prevent your website from image theft

  1. Disable right-click option on your website. The Right-click option is the simplest way to download and save images from computers and drives. So if you disable this feature, users will find it hard to save your photos. Many CMS platforms are providing their users with many useful tools to disable the option. If you are using WordPress, Shopify, or BigCommerce, many plugins help you do that. You can search in the WordPress plugin store and find some good ones. If you are running custom made websites, you can hire developers to help you do that. 
  2. Adding a copyright notice and the usage permission related to your images. Add an announcement about the permission of your photos will be a good thing to notify your users. If you specify the rights and the limitations of your image usage, they will not dare to steal your images and use them for their purposes.
  3. Watermark your photos. This is a useful way to protect your photos. When they see your watermark and brands, if they save and download, they cannot use them for their websites. Moreover, watermarks are good ways to promote your website and products. There is much software that helps you watermark your photos. Several applications help you add watermark to each photo separately. Other applications help you watermark batches of photos at the same time. 
  4. Never share high-resolution quality images. It is a useful way to protect your photos. Users can only download your compressed versions of your images. And of course, the qualities are not good enough as the original versions. When you own your originals, you still have the right to control what you have.
  5. Add a DMCA notification to your website. This is another way to show your visitors that your website, content, and photos are protected by DMCA. This will discourage thieves from trying to steal your images. 
  6. If you are a photographer and planning to submit your photos to photography websites, you should read carefully the instructions, licenses and what they would do with your images. Do the websites allow users to download your photos for free or low-resolution photos?

In general, it is easier and easier for people to download and save images from the Internet nowadays. But to ensure that your photos will be protected and not be downloaded illegally, you should combine all the above-mentioned ways we suggested in the article.

Should I Watermark My Etsy Photos?

If you are wondering whether you should watermark your Etsy photos or not, you have come to the right place. 

In this digital era, content theft is not a new thing. A lot of commercial software and ebooks are offered for free on illegal websites. Many Etsy sellers often complain about product image theft. They said that other sellers stole their image listings and the descriptions to use for their shops. 

Here are some examples:

ThePepperBug wrote about their experiences about product photo theft in 2017. 

Etsy seller Pepper_Bug
Etsy seller Pepper_Bug

This is the original thread.

https://community.etsy.com/t5/Managing-Your-Shop/Sellers-who-steal-your-images-Grrrrr/td-p/14330479

Another thread started by SticksnStonesWrkshp in 2018

Etsy Seller felt bad about image theft
Etsy Seller felt bad about image theft

https://community.etsy.com/t5/Creative-Process/Someone-is-stealing-my-images-and-descriptions/td-p/18145524

TheFortuneCat expressed her bad feelings when someone stole and used her images for months. 

https://community.etsy.com/t5/Creative-Process/Stolen-photographs-Suggestions/td-p/8288930

FortuneCat expressed her bad feelings when someone stole her product images.
FortuneCat expressed her bad feelings when someone stole her product images.

As you can see, many sellers are bold enough to steal your product images and use them for their stores. DestinationLtd expressed her bad experiences when she can’t prevent other shops from using her images without permission. Some shops will use your images for their shops. Other shops will use them to scam customers. They receive orders and the money from buyers but they don’t send items to them. They don’t do business at all and only want to steal money from the customers

Unfortunately, the situation happens very often. 

How can you be affected when someone uses your images?

  1. Because some shops will use your images and the bad result is that buyers cannot know who is the real creators and owners of your product images. They will doubt and suspect the product and your business. This also confuses buyers when they search for your products and they can buy from your competitors, not you. 
  2. As a result, your sales and your business will be affected. People will avoid buying from you and they will not use your products and recommend your business to other people. Your business will decline.

What to do when someone stole your product images

  1. You should contact the shops that stole your images first and told them to remove the photos. Many shops that stole your images will not respond and do what they ask them. But this is what you have to do. You have to protect your assets and business and that is your rights.
  2. You need to contact Etsy’s support and report this situation. Etsy provides you with many supporting channels. 

     3. You can also visit the Etsy community to report the situation. Here is the link: https://community.etsy.com/ Many sellers will help you and share their experiences with you. Another thing is that you can visit the community and read threads about the situation. You can improve your knowledge and know what to do when you are in the same situation.

    4. You can file a DMCA for the things they did with your store and business. 

Etsy may deactivate the links of the shops that stole your images. But many people can still open other shops and use your images again. If you have read some threads on the Etsy community, you can see that that situation is possible. 

Should you watermark your photos on Etsy?

Many Etsy sellers recommend that you should watermark your photos to protect your efforts and business. If you are in the same situation, it is better to protect yourself and your business first. Preventing your images from theft is better than finding solutions to deal with someone who stole your assets. So in general, you should watermark your photos. 

When you watermark your photos and add text or logo to your assets, other shops will hesitate to steal your images because they cannot use them for their stores. 

You can use your logo as a watermark and buyers will know exactly that those images are yours. Watermark is also considered a marketing tool. The more people see your images, the more they will know your brand. 

If you are worried about the quality of the images or SEO when you watermark your photos, it is not necessary. Many watermark software will help you add watermark to your photos easily and quickly without losing quality. The software will also provide you with tools to help you change and make the watermark look good with your photos. You can change the colors, the position, the opacity of the watermarks. And you can do many other things with your watermark.

What about SEO? Do you think that when you watermark photos, Google and other search engines will not index your images and your stores? The answer is no. You don’t need to worry about that. Forget SEO tricks and only focus on your products and services. When you serve your visitors well, Google will serve you well. 

What does it mean? It means that you create high-quality products and images, Google still indexes your stores and images. Why? The reason is that Google only cares about the quality and value of your business. Google doesn’t care about what SEO tricks you use or you watermark your photos. 

The more advanced web technologies are, the more sophisticated the Google search engine is. The machine learning algorithms behind Google will know that your images and products are good or not. The algorithms will know that your business is worth to be featured or not. 

So you don’t need to worry about SEO rankings when it comes to watermarking your product photos. What you need to care about are your business and your products. 

Options to edit the photos

How to Add Watermark and Logo to Multiple Photos at a Time

When you share your photos on social media platforms or you need to send your demo photos to your clients, you should watermark the photos to protect your assets. Watermarking one photo is not a hard thing. But it will be really boring if you must add a watermark to 30 , or even 100 photos to share with your friends or clients. Imagine that you have to add a watermark to 200 photos, it will be a nightmare.

However, there is a solution to the issue. You can use the website https://watermarkup.com/watermark.html to add your logo and text to 30 – 40 images within seconds. Currently, the application works best on a desktop. We are experimenting and we can increase the number of images you can add watermarks to per time you upload your photos. It means that you can watermark 50 photos at the same time and you only need to repeat one more time to watermark the rest of your photos. 

To add your watermark to your photos, you need to go to our website where we host our application there.

Steps to Add Watermark and Logo to Multiple Photos at once

Step 1:

You go to the web-based application by clicking on the link: http://watermarkup.com/watermark.html. After that, you need to upload your photos to the website by clicking the “Upload” button. You don’t have to worry about privacy because the application doesn’t store any of your photos. All the watermarking happens in your browser.

upload button - watermark application
Upload button

In the free version, you can choose up to 3 photos. It means that you can watermark 3 photos at the same time. By upgrading to pro membership, you can watermark 30 – 50 photos at a time. You will be able to upload 50 photos at the same time and add a watermark to all the photos.

Step 2:

After uploading the photos, you can see the previews of all the uploaded photos on the left of the application. 

In the below picture, there are three thumbnails of the photos we uploaded. But we need to make the photo appear on the main area like the picture to start watermarking.

images are shown in the left of the application

The images are shown in the left of the applicationYou can click on the thumbnail of the image that you want it to be shown in the main area of the application.

There are three options to watermark your images:

  1. Text
  2. Logo
  3. Templates
 options for watermarking
Options for watermarking

When you decide to make a text watermark, you can edit the color, its opacity, the position, and the font. Remember that you can copy and paste the text by using CLONE or REMOVE. Use the + button to add the text to your images. 

Options to edit the photos
Options to edit the photos

The great thing is that you can see the watermark appear on all the uploaded photos.

If you choose to add your logo or text templates, the application will help you add it to all photos. In the free version, there are four templates for you to choose from. If you upgrade to become a pro member, you can use more templates and save your text for later use.

If there are some issues with the watermark and the picture, you can choose to switch the editing mode to edit each photo separately.

Step 3:

After you find the photo look good with the watermark, you can download the photo by choosing DOWNLOAD option. It is below the UPLOAD PHOTO option.

Download Options - watermark application
Download Options

When you choose to download all the photos, the application compresses them as a zip file. It is a better way to save you more time from downloading. If you have to download 50 photos separately, it will be a nightmare.

In summary, watermarking multiple photos at the same time is not a difficult task. You can save more time by using Watermarkup. Let’s get the watermarking task done easily and quickly. 

If you have any questions or get stuck when using this application, you can see the full documentation here for your reference.

Where to Put a Watermark on Your Photo

When it comes to watermarking your photos, there are various options for you to choose where to place your watermark on your photo. 

To find out the best place to place your watermark on a picture will depend on the specific photo. It means that you must have to know the colors, the person, and the landscape and choose a proper position to put the watermark.

But there are several places that you may like and use very often. 

Here’s in this article we will mention several popular positions people often choose to add a text or logo to their pictures. And you can use the ideas to apply in your photos.

The bottom right

It is undeniable that the bottom right is the most popular position that photographers and other people often choose to put a watermark. You can see hundreds of photos on the Internet, and the bottom right is mostly preferred. 

Why? Because the bottom right is often a proper place that is easy to read for human eyes. We often read text or sentences from left to right. And the first thing we will see is the content and picture itself. The logo or watermark will be the last thing we see (from left to right). Because of that, the text and logo will not distract from the content. 

But there is a problem with this position. The bottom right corner is also easy to be cropped by people who want to steal your assets. They can use photo editing tools to crop the picture and remove the watermark.

The bottom left

The next position you can choose is the bottom left of the photo. Although we can easily see the logo or watermark right in the beginning when we look at the picture, it is fine to put the watermark there. You can edit the size of the watermark to make it not so big that it gets too much attention from viewers. 

However, the bottom right corner is still more popular than the bottom left. Many professional photographers still use this position for their photos. 

The picture below is an example. The bottom positions are often okay because they will not distract too much from the main picture. You can also reduce the opacity to make the watermark more transparent (for example 60%) and look better.

watermarkup_place_to_put_a_watermark_on_a_photo_bottom_left

The centered position

Many photographers often choose this position when they are selling their photos on the web. They create a big watermark and place it in the center of the photo. You should only use this position when you plan to sell the photo and you should reduce the opacity of the watermark. 

When you use this position, it is very hard for thieves to steal your images because the big brand or logo will disappoint them. Of course, it is really hard to use watermark remover or software to remove the watermark from the photos. 

The downside of this position is that because the watermark is so big, the main content will be affected. You can consider using this when you show demos or examples of photos you will sell. Your customers will have to buy to get the original and high-resolution files. 

Put many watermarks across your photos

A lot of people will put many watermarks across their photos when they are selling photos on the web. You can also see that many stock photography websites will use multi watermarks on their photos.

This will help to prevent users from stealing their images. If users want to get the high-resolution images, they must pay.

Here is an example:

multiple watermarks
multiple watermarks

You can see that it is not easy to remove all the watermarks on the above photo, right? You can use this example when you plan to send your client a demo photo of your products or services. If you want to make the photo look better, you can make the watermarks more transparent by changing their opacity values. 

The position you like

It is okay to have the positions you like. If you find that other places are okay to use with your photos, you should use them.

In general, choosing the most suitable watermark position is up to you. You can be creative and decide where you should put the text or the logo. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You can try and learn from it to make your photographs better next time. 

Things to remember 

When choosing the perfect watermark position for your photos, you need to consider one thing. 

You will not want the watermark to distract from the content of the photo. So please consider your photo first before watermarking.

Place anywhere you like with Watermarkup.

If you are looking for a fast and reliable watermarking tool, you can try Watermarkup. The software helps you watermark 30 photos in seconds and even save your watermark for later use. The software also provides you with dozen of useful tools like add your logo, resize your watermarks, automatically download all the watermarked photos in seconds. If you need an image editor, the website also gives you a powerful editor. All the customization works in your browser.