The internet has made it super-easy to share images with others. With just a couple of clicks we can display our latest photographs and dazzle friends and followers with our original shots. The problems arise only when others use those shots taken by you on their social profiles, blogs or website without asking for your permission and giving you the proper credit.
In order to prevent such an unpleasant thing from happening you can copyright your photos. In the US the copyright law is pretty clear: once you take a photo, you automatically gain exclusive rights to use and distribute that photo. At the same time you can register your copyright with the US copyright office, just take into account that the required fee for one work is $35.
Of course, there’s another reliable option to enforce your rights, one which we’ll be elaborating in this article: watermarking. Once you add a copyright watermark, you clearly claim ownership of those images. This means that they can’t be used by others without your prior authorization.
It’s good to know that you can easily copyright images with the aid of editing software. In this article we’ve compiled a list of 10 Windows tools which you can use to defend against image theft:
The most elementary way to insert a copyright notice into a photo is by using Paint 3D, the improved version of the classic Microsoft Paint. Available along with Windows 10, this photo editor gives you the possibility to protect your content online in a simple way. Here’s how to do it.
Open the desired image in Paint 3D and select the Text tool. Choose whether to add a 2D or 3D text and click on the image to type in the desired text. The program doesn’t have a built-in copyright symbol, so you’ll have to manually enter it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+C. Customization options are scarce and basic. You can choose the color, preferred font style and size and adjust the alignment.
This built-in tool can be an option only if you’re not too particular about watermarking and don’t need to process multiple images.
PhotoMarks is our first third-party solution for copyrighting photos on PC. The app is quite easy to use thanks to the intuitive interface and enables you to watermark images in bulk, which is pretty handy if you’re dealing with a large collection of images. All you have to do is add your photos, apply the desired text or logo watermark and select your destination folder. That’s it.
PhotoMarks allows you to insert a trademark, registered or copyright text and completely customize its appearance. Using drag and drop you’re free to position the text where you want, to scale and rotate it how you prefer, to select from a large variety of fonts and colors or apply a tile mode. You can also adjust the opacity, apply special effects such as stroke and shadow or draw a bounding box around it.
The tool offers other useful features. You can resize your photos, rotate and convert them (including from RAW formats) or decorate them with borders and frames. One important feature worth mentioning is the app’s capability to save your settings as Profiles for later use. This way you won’t have to apply the same edits over and over again and hence boost your productivity.
PhotoMarks also has an iOS version if you’re looking to watermark the photos taken with your iPhone or iPad.
iWatermark Pro is an interesting option if you need to protect your intellectual property. The tool comes with a series of distinctive features: it places at your disposal 11 types of watermarks both visible and invisible, it can be used to watermark both photos and videos and has batch processing capabilities to make your job significantly easier.
iWatermark Pro gives you complete freedom to edit your copyright watermark. You can move, scale and rotate it to your liking, set the transparency, change the text’s background color, drop a shadow or choose from numerous fonts and colors. You can use PhotoNotary if you want to export, create copies or share your watermarks in the cloud.
In addition to watermarking, you can’t really perform other operations except for renaming and resizing. It’s also worth mentioning that the interface is not exactly user-friendly and it will require some time to adjust to it.
If you don’t want to install a new software on your PC, you’re free to resort to an online alternative. Watermark.ws is a browser-based tool that allows you to apply a watermark to photos, videos and GIF’s. The free version is rather basic and lets you watermark only one photo a time. The premium version allows you to watermark an unlimited number of files and provides other useful options.
Watermark.ws gives you the opportunity to add a copyright text, a logo or your signature to images. There are plenty of options to adjust the text, ranging from changing the location and scale to changing its background and using diagonal lines. You can also resize, rotate and crop pictures, as well as apply diverse effects. Once you’ve finished you can download the edited photos on your PC, upload them to the cloud or directly share them on social media.
TSR Watermark Image
TSR Watermark Image is a simple and efficient tool to automate your watermarking process. This Windows app enables you to add standard text and logo marks, as well as 3D versions if you’re looking to obtain a special look.
Once you’ve decided on the watermark type, you can begin tailoring it to your needs. TSR Watermark Image does give you the chance to adjust it, but unfortunately there’s no possibility to do it freely, using drag and drop. You can’t place your copyrighted text exactly where you want, you have to select from 9 preset positions. In order to rotate and resize it you have to manually enter new values. The tool also lets you adjust the transparency, add special effects like emboss or chisel, as well as select your preferred font and color.
Other editing options include resizing, rotating or converting your images. You can also add borders to your copyrighted pictures or a colored cross effect.
AoAo Watermark is a Windows software designed to ensure copyright protection for hundreds of photos at once. The tool has an intuitive interface and it’s quite simple to use. Once you add your files, you can move on to the next stage of the process and add the desired watermark. You can choose between a text or image mark.
AoAo Watermark lets you add a copyright symbol, as well as EXIF info to your text and customize it in various ways, from the font style to single or tile alignment. The program offers a useful feature that automatically adjusts the text size to fit images with different sizes. Besides watermarking, you can crop, resize, rename or add frames to your pictures.
Fotor is not designed particularly for image protection, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use it to add a copyright text to your photos. In fact it’s something quite easy to do. Just click on the Text tab, type in your preferred text and begin customizing it.
The tool lets you select from a wide range of cool fonts and colors, drop a shadow effect, set the opacity level, as well as freely change its position, size and rotation angle using drag and drop. You also get to play around with the values of the character and vertical spacing until you find the desired look. Of course, since it’s an all-round photo editing software, Fotor is packed with features to optimize and stylize your images. It can also be used to create impressive designs and photo collages.
Batch Picture Protector
Batch Picture Protector is an easy-to-use tool for adding copyright to multiple photos at once. The app lets you insert both text and logo marks and adjust their appearance to match your standards. For that purpose you can select one of the nine predefined positions (can’t do it freely with drag and drop), the rotation angle, font, size and color. Moreover, you can set the transparency and apply special effects such as shadow and glow.
Batch Picture Protector comes with a built-in watermark manager to help you be more efficient. This means that you can save multiple types of watermarks into the library and easily reuse them in future sessions. Unfortunately you can’t do anything else with this tool except for watermarking.
Add Watermark allows you to watermark both images and videos in bulk and places several options at your disposal in that sense. You’re free to import an existing watermark, but you can also create a new one from scratch with the aid of a multitude of texts, images, effects, backgrounds and graphic elements.
Another option is to select and modify one of numerous templates available, including various copyright watermarks. The tool lets you completely customize the chosen watermark. This means you can adjust the placement, size and rotation, choose from a large library of fonts, apply a tile or cross pattern and more. In addition to a text or logo, Add Watermark also lets you add your digital signature to photos.
Alamoon Watermark is another Windows tool particularly designed for batch copyrighting images. The interface is simple and clear and makes the entire process pretty quick. Add your images in the first step, apply the watermark in the second and select your saving options in the final step prior processing.
As far as customizing goes, you can freely move the copyright watermark or select from a series of predefined locations. You can also resize your text, change its background color and font and fine-tune the opacity. There’s no option to rotate it though or to repeat it across the image. If you want to apply other operations, the tool is pretty scarce, offering only resizing and converting features.