Invisible vs visible watermarks – The choice between pursuit and prevention.

If we approach visible or invisible watermarking strictly as an anti-piracy solution, neither is foolproof.
Visible watermarks overlay translucent text or logo on your images “visibly”. This can be removed with image editing software. Invisible watermarks put invisible signatures inside images. Those also have limitations.

Visible watermarks will help you prevent theft in the first place. We believe that a lot of “piracy” is due to ignorance rather than malice. You could argue that one can put an elaborate license agreement on the website or below the photo. True. But that’s limited in effect. The audience for images is much wider than text. People might view your picture on a website other than your own website or blog. For example, your image might get listed through an image search engine. Not only that, people in many parts of the world might not understand the language of your license text but they might visit your website just for your beautiful pictures. A ¬© mark on your photo is a more effective deterrent.

Invisible watermarks on the other hand will not show the viewer any marks but will allow you to track its use on the internet. If the reuse it not to your liking, you can pursue the abuser. Considering the international nature of internet community and different levels of law enforcement, good luck with your pursuit.

What would you rather do ? Place a sign on your lawn telling people it’s private property ? Or stealthily place¬† expensive devices inside it to track and chase somebody once they have breached your boundary.

The choice is between pursuit and prevention. Between deterrence and litigation.

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