Online tools that could help protect photographers’ copyright

THERE ARE some new tools that promise to help to protect photographers' copyright currently being developed or already out there, which may be worthy of investigation. These include PicFair, a system of accounts created by photographers to sell images under a licence to buyers who don't have to sign up to buy them, and who "can't work out a way of" drawing up contracts and buying images.

Then there's Pixelrights, a subscription service through which photographers build portfolios that use "smart-frame" technology. There aren't actually any JPG files in the portfolios that anyone can steal. Instead there's a sort of "interactive frame" of scrambled pixels, with author's rights meta-data hard-wired into them. This apparently makes copying and downloading the pics impossible. A pop-up copyright warning automatically appears if anyone tries to make a screen-grab of any of the images on Pixelrights. Its creators are trying to get the interactive frame tech legally defined as "anti-circumvention technology", which would make thieves who try to pinch its images more "culpable" in law.

The Freelance's assistant editor's head hurts when he tries to grasp some of the concepts involved, but there's more - with other examples of tools that protect copyright on images - here. Do any of these really work for you? Let us know.

Last modified: 01 Dec 2014 - © 2014 contributors
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