I’ve already had at least one image of mine pirated for derivative work sold on CafePress. I like sharing my photography with others, but I’d also like to get my fair share when it comes to profits made from my work.
Something that isn’t a whole lot of work turns out to be adding a plaintext comment to a JPEG format image. I’m using the “jhead” utility that is available for many different platforms. (Anybody else remember the king of multi-platform applications, the Kermit terminal and file transfer utility?) In any case, replacing a current comment in a JPEG file with something specified in a command-line string is simple:
jhead -cl ‘Copyright 2009 by Wesley R. Elsberry. All rights reserved.’ picture.jpg
That would set the “picture.jpg” comment field to be the copyright statement in single quotes.
I just wrote a short Perl script that is trundling through the images directory I have for this blog and adding the comment line to all of them. I’ll be adding that to my regular processing workflow on my file server, so in the future every JPEG file going out should have my copyright statement included.
It is pretty easy to strip comments, too, but at least for casual thieves the comment field should give me an opportunity to find my work when it strays.