With all of the talk on the Orphan Works Bill in the U.S. it is good to know that there are some ways to put your copyright and contact information right into the image – without having to use a watermark that may make the image difficult to see. This is critical for both photographers and artists in general if you post your artwork on the ‘net.
I recently upgraded to Photoshop CS4 and in both Photoshop itself and its handy organizing sidekick Bridge, protecting your work is easier than ever. Photoshop will embed the copyright and your contact information right into the file. You cannot see it, however, if the file were opened in a professional program, such as one a company might use to work with your image, that information will come up in the File Info. It will be much more difficult for it to be declared ‘orphan’. Photoshop is not, however, the only program that provides this option.
This embeded information is called ‘metadata‘. Metadata will index on search engines. If you have your artwork photographed by a professional, you may want to ensure that they include your copyright information in the file info.
If you do not use Photoshop or your photo editing program does not have a method for recording metadata, you may want to seek one out. The IPTC website offers some suggestions. The IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) is attempting to provide a standard system for metadata on the web that is not platform specific.
In this post, I will show you how to embed metadata into your file using Photoshop:
2. The Dialog box will open and you will have the option to provide a description. Here I only put my copyright status (Copyrighted), statement (©Michelle Basic Hendry) and my website (www.artscapes.ca). Don’t hit the “OK” just yet…
3. There are tabs at the top of the dialog box which include ways of adding metadata to various file tpes including video. For our purposes, we need only be concerned with the IPTC tab. This tab will open up and ask you to provide information similar to what we have added but in more detail. This is important because the IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) provides a standard system for providing metadata on the web. This will insure that your metadata is readable outside of Photoshop and other Adobe products.
I have only provided limited information here, but you may choose to give detailed contact information.
4. The next thing is to save your image. Now I would suggest saving the image even before you have done any other modifications or corrections in order to embed the metadata into the file for every other use. So in my case, if my file is a PSD file, I’ll save it as a PSD before saving for the web. That way if you include the image in another format, the data is still embedded. In this case I saved the file for the web. Note the little pull down menu that says “Copyright & Contact Info”. You have the option to include just the copyright name or none at all. I would suggest leaving it as I have it here.
I am going to open up Adobe Bridge (another program) to demonstrate that the info has been saved in a compatible and useful format:
I hope this little tip and tutorial has proved useful and gives the creative person a little more protection.