Monday, 2 August 2010

Pirates and Pickpockets Prevention 101

Image Theft. Ugh. Not a very tasty thing to digest, I'm afraid. It's something that I was taught during college years (by brainwashing and subconscious tampering) to fight against and prevent at all cause. A strange kind of education, especially if what you want to do is to share your work to all human kinds through the internet, where pirates sail the oceans and pickpockets roam the streets.

So shrugging this off, at the beginning I started publishing my work with only minimum protection. None of those huge watermarks covering almost the entire area of the work, no flash animation implemented to cunningly prevent the images from being nicked, or even the innovative yet annoying 'no-right-clicking'. Which for people such as myself is like second nature, considering you can navigate through the pages by doing that.

Then came the day when I saw my own work used, by... lets say a hamster. Published without notification or even permission, and for personal profit use, I might add. Funnily, I felt the strangest kind of feeling. Like having a flock of my own hair cut off and taken away without asking. Exaggerating, am I? Well, I'm just trying to be honest. So after seeing yet another one of my work used by a much larger hamster, I decided that maybe I should just give a stronger protection to my work, not because I felt overly protective about them, but because I think that there's a lesson to be taught here.


No matter how subtle. No matter how discreet. Besides, I would've given the permission anyway, if only they had asked.

So now comes the part where I need your help, all of you wonderful and generous kind of hamsters. I was asked by an observant blogger friend if I could somehow find a way to minimize the signature watermarks that I use on all of my work. Why? Because apparently it's getting in the way of the viewing and probably  annoying to some people's eyes? Well, since inputs mean a lot to me, I've decided to come up with a couple of options. Ones that I could still use to teach those pirates and pickpockets not to go home full handed, whether for them to use as a whole artwork or even partial by cropping.

Now, which of these do you think works best? (Please click away if you need to...)

Again, thank you so much for reading this. I realize some people may feel that image theft on the internet is something which is inevitable, especially for those working in the art area. But I don't think I could ever just watch or even walk off while someone takes away something of mine without permission.

Ask. It's all they need to do.

Amalia oxx


  1. Hello Amalia well that sucks, to be polite.....

    To be honest I never notice your signature spoiling your work. If I was given the choice of these two though, I would go for the vertical format. Of course it will depend on the image, eh?

    The one in the middle is harder to photoshop out, given that it is entwined with the crux of the image elements. Neither would be terribly hard if someone set their mind to it.

    Some artists I know value their work by how much of it is stolen - hmm.

    Maybe you should upload as GIfs, it takes up less memory, looks the same on screen but supposedly prints out worsererer :)

    these vandal &^%*&^%$###@ was it print or on net they used the work for?

  2. Well, I see you are a good kind of pirate, my friend? :)

    Thank you so much for the inputs. As you already know, I'm quite thick when it comes to formatting, blablabla, and stuff. So I think I will try your suggestions.

    And actually, I've had my work used both on net and for print. It wasn't very nice, but it's in the past now. :)

  3. Well one of my best friends is a barrister. He is my water mark. :)

  4. BY the way, I'd put your ameail address as your water mark, that way honest pirates can get in touch with you if they find your image elsehwere from your blog!

  5. I'm sorry, are you talking about a barrister on court or a barrista behind the bar? Either I'm confused or your jokes are waaaaay beyond my wit! :D :D

  6. Ok, that's a good idea too. Wow! You've had your vitamins, I see? Hehehehe... :D

  7. Oh, now my thick head is clearing! Barrister, huh? Your water mark?? Ahahahaha... *duh*

  8. They are both very subtle, and I don't know enough to offer an opinion. But I think you're doing the right thing protecting your work!

  9. Hi Amalia, I would choose the horizontal mark. but that I think is not important. Well, I think that against these people can not possibly cover.
    If you're there ask you to go to my blog and tell me what happened with your watermark!!
    (Sorry for using your illustration, once you've made your comment, I erase)

  10. Well, Roberto, exactly what I thought about it in the first place. Because I know these people are experts and they will pursue when they really want to. So you see, using watermarks is not just about 'protecting' to me, but it's more about 'labeling' my work and get as many people to know they're mine.

    You know? Sort of like microchip implanting on brains? :)

    Nevertheless, thank you again. I always like reading other people's point of views on things that really matters. :)

    I know that it's not a lost cause, and I won't give in that easily.

  11. My dear Amalia, I see that protecting your author rights is a problem, that can't be underestimated! I'm not surprised at all. The situation is similar for the writing people and I've suffered once from such a theft or let me say - a use of my dramatization without permission. It's the so called "intellectual piracy"....There 're some laws that've been written, but the question is who follows them? I told you what I feel like a viewer, but now I realise that more imprortant is to put the appropriate signature in the best place. Still, if I can choose, I'm for the vertical version. I went back to your older posts and saw how it was in the beginning... It's so nice and only natural that you want to show your art to all the world... And what to do that next door to Good there's always Evil, awaiting to hit, to kick, to lie, to steal...? Just continue to be yourself - this amazing and talented artist and person!! Because noone can steal what's in your imagination, heart and soul...xx

  12. Obviously, everything you do to protect your work is valid.
    I'm not saying sit back. and wait to be stolen.
    but not despair.
    The world is so.

  13. P.S. What time is it now in Jacarta?? Here's 5 o'clock p.m. :-)))))))

  14. Rossichka, I do realize that artworks are not the only things being stolen, and there are just too many ways for these people to get what they want.

    It sucks, and I know that it's just how it is. But whenever there's will there's always a way, right?

    The question is, what's my priority? It seems that I can't please everyone all at once. :)

  15. Please yourself and protect your art!:)

  16. Those nibbly hamsters!!!! Goodness. I can never understand how people can blatently copy or actually take art. It is stunning in the worst way. I like the one in the middle because the mood is not ruined, but it is right there. I should learn how you do this. Would you consider dropping me a line sometime to let me know how to watermark? No worries if you can't dear. I will play around with it. Luck to you against those buccaneers! Blessings.

  17. Rossichka, thank you. You know what? I think I will. :))

    My voice and action may be microscopic, but it's better than nothing at all.

    Oh, and it's 9.30 pm here!! What time is it there??

  18. Hello Amy. Hahaha, yes, they are such rodents, aren't they?? Well, I'm no expert at watermarking, but of course I will drop you a line on how I did this.

    Thank you for stopping by! :))

  19. I think you'll do the right thing!.. Here's 5.30 p.m., time for my coffee, but I have to go out and I'll drink it in an hour! have a nice evening!...x

  20. how did you find out that your image was stolen, just wondering? I used to watermark my images but stopped because an art rep told me it was not the thing to do, that she saw too much of my name and it got in the way of my work, etc, etc. I felt dumb for watermarking everything and stopped. Hmmmmm, I vote for the vertical also. I am like you, all you have to do is ask for the most part. I know people who do the thing where you disable the right click but I figure if they know how they can still capture the image and for some reason I find it annoying. I'm not really sure why though. I used to use png files, now I use jps for faster loading, hmmmmm, now I have to consider changing to gif... My brain hurts, so sorry for the thievery.

  21. Hey K.H., the thing about watermarking is not so much about protection, I think. It's more about labeling and subtly sticking it on people's mind. You see, the first time I found out my image was being used elsewhere was from someone I know online, who accidentally saw an image that looked similar to mine. Alas, it really turned out to be mine.

  22. Thank you for the reminder Amalia! It is a shame that people would do that. I am afraid to say that I do not know how to put watermarks on my work! I definitely need to learn. I don't have Photoshop but I am trying to learn an open source version called Gimp. And to be honest, I never even noticed the watermarks on your work, so they don't distract for me! :) I am probably just so amazed at your talent that I don't notice! Thanks again, and have a great day! ~Lauren

  23. I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. I have never noticed that your signature interferes with enjoying your work either. It's all just so lovely. I think you should do whatever you have to in order to protect your amazing art. I hope you find a solution, so we can continue to share with you your glorious creations!

    Good luck

  24. hi teh invitation ketrima ga yah?

    blog aku untuk sementara private (so' iye... hehe), soalnya lagi ada masalah pribadi&masalah hati (edannn....heheh...).
    but yeah it's true.

    maaf ya untuk soal prevention gw mah kaga ngerti apa2 suer deh, jadi ga tau deh, gw mah ngikut kamu ajalah, dukung apapun.

    not that "i dont care" about my drawings, tapi lebih kepada:
    who would steal my drawings anyway????
    i dont think anyone would steal my stupid drawings, yeah yeah whatever, hahaha watir gini gw.

    see you and good luck!!!!

  25. Lauren and Julia my sweets, thank you so much! I'm melting away here, reading your words... :))

    I understand that putting watermarks has a different meaning to everyone, but I think in this case a tiny bit of healthy narcissism is essential for an artist. After all, our art is what makes us distinctively different from other artists, right?

    A little signature may not 'protect', so it seems, but I know it helps show our claim. :)

  26. Mita, who says nobody would steal your drawings??????? I steal them all the time. Right clicking is my thing! Hehehee...


  27. Who the heck would complain about your watermark? Huh? What sense of entitlement is that? I never was distracted by your wAtermark. Whoever complains about it is not focusing on your art. Don't even bother removing it!

    Please do what gives you peace of mind. I am thankful that you share your art and if watermarking them will allow us to continue enjoying them without you havoing to worry, please keep your watermark. My goodness, the things people think they are entitled. I don't get thjese people. Thank you for sharing your art.

  28. Hello! I have no access to wifi. I am in the dark ages here. I aM typing my comments using small keys so lots of typo errors please pardon me. Not only am I invisible, I have no regular internet access :(

  29. I am on mobile YM now. Can you see me?

  30. Amalia, it is true what you say, stealing is not lawful, ever. Ask. A blogger asked me a picture for his post that talks about the sea and I said ... why not? But stealing is another thing… I think the image to the right to be the most secure, because the left image is easily cut capacity. Keep in mind though that with graphics programs in computer you can delete the names in photos ... nothing protects us ... a hug ... ps, how do I disable the right click? a hug

  31. Amalia
    I respectfully say:
    I'm not interested in discussions.
    Obviously some people do not read well. Because what I told you it was not you take out the watermark. I said:
    "You can not put it in a Different Place Than the center of the picture?"
    But some people do not realize that they make the same mistake that they are criticizing. Because if I have no right to ask you the change of place, they have no right to ask you to leave it there. I apologize for bothering your friends, even at this Lady.
    Unfortunately I do not think I will return to comment on your blog (so glad someone).
    Yo espero que tu tengas un buen día y doy por terminado este tema.

  32. Great discussion. My understanding is that by posting your art on the blog, it's dated. That proves you created before someone stole it.

    Death and destruction to art thieves!!!

  33. Hi,
    Oh, that's not good.

    As far as the watermark goes, I think the one in the middle of the image seems like it would be harder to get out...and for people to cover.
    what were they thinking, anyway???? aghh! people!!!
    that's such a shame, really!
    just remember, living well is the best revenge.

  34. Aaaahhhhhahahahahahaha! Someone took over your blog and dictated the terms of the discussion too? What is this world coming to? HAHAHAHA! Hllo darling. Just taking a break. Gotta go. I am having a chat with a very important person... TSUP!!!

  35. Hello Amalia,
    Interesting discussion here. I would choose the horizontal one, looks more difficult to erase(they have time to erase the watermark but they don't have time to ask for annoying).
    Maybe another option for people who don't like watermarks could be uploading their artwork picture with less resolution than the original, so if your picture is 300ppi you upload a smaller copy of 72ppi or 100ppi...maybe that can protect from printing...I know there's no way to be completely safe but it's just another option.

  36. Li, did you try emailing the hamsters??? Might give you a peace of mind :)

  37. Thanks again everyone for your feedback! I can't thank you enough, really. I will post a conclusion to this discussion, hopefully it would bring out something positive for all of us! Cheers all! oxx

  38. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced this. I hear it happens often. I don't mind your water marks at all, I can still enjoy the unique wonder of your art!

  39. Amalia,

    Ces sent me to your blog and I am so sorry that you are having issues with content being lifted and used. Yes, I have discovered that mine is being sifted through for WORDS.....
    Let me say this, on you signature and copyright.
    I am blind as an old bat, and EVEN if it is smack dab in the center, I am an artist, therefore, I see around it. I see the WORK, not the name (well, yes I do...the words are not right).
    I see your art, and I see the right to protect it in any manner that you have to.
    You have exceptional work, and it should be strictly yours unless purchased.
    Unless paid for.
    Most bloggers are quite kind....and will make requests and then link to you and never do anything for profit.
    Then there are the Evil Squirmies.
    You go girl..... ;)

    Anne....who now must follow....all Ces's fault!

  40. Anne, hello, hello! It's nice to see you here, and thank you so much for commenting.

    Yes, I realize that images are not the only things being used without permission... Alas, words are even easier to copy!!! It does seem to be such a pain, but I'm sure that many people are going through what we're facing and I'm also sure that many of them will not stay still. Well, I will use the "HANDS OFF" sign on my work, for the very least..heheh. :))

    Thank you again, Anne. And I suppose I should thank Ces too for dragging you here! Haahahaa....:D

  41. ~amelia...i am ever so sorry you had to experience the world that we live in always having to be cautious...worrying and wondering what the mind of others may be up to is frustrating...we create and our hearts are open wanting to share...yet we have to remain apprehensive of those who will try to take advantage and profit from another...uuuggg...your art is simply beautiful and protective you should be...there is no contest about such is your mind and hands that are creating and it should remain just so...sending you my thoughts and protective wishes that this will be a closed issue...much l♥ve amelia and blessings aplenty~

  42. eh beneran dicolong? trus masih dipake ngak sama hamsternya hehehe


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