With all the madness the design community has endured with the pilfering of my and others’ work in recent months, the thought inspired me to create a poster. The sentiment was this: The professional community that I have come to know – especially the online community, has not only taken the pilferers to task, we have banded together to watch out for each other. I am very proud of this.
I know we cannot completely stamp out copyright infringement and plagiarism, but we can try and make the casual infringer aware of the damage they are doing by downloading others’ work and using it without permission.
Let’s stick together as a strong design community and continue to look out for each other.
So, how can you protect yourself from your own image pilfering?
- Keep track of your images. Have a naming convention that you can easily keep going and where they were posted.
- Use metadata in your images. Include metadata, creation and copyright data information when saving in Photoshop or Adobe Bridge.
- File for copyrights on your images. You can file for copyrights in groups of images, too and save some money.
- Be careful where you post your work. Only submit to sites that you know or trust.
- Be a good neighbor. If you see a familiar image that looks overly inspired, contact the original designer if you know who it is. If not, Tweet it.
- Scan the image servers. Use Google Reverse Image Search or Tineye.com to see if anyone’s using your work.
- Cease & Desist letters – Get a copy of a DMCA form and have it ready if you need to send it.
- Consider digital tracking software. Services like Digimarc can label, watermark and track your digital library.
- Turn off image links on your website. Although not a big solution, it can certainly deter the casual infringer.
- Label your work. Let the pilferer know that they are borrowing your work should it end up beyond your reach.
And hey, let’s be careful out there.