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 Windows tools which you can use to defend against image theft:
PhotoMarks is our first 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 copyright symbol or 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.
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.
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.
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.
SquiggleMark is our final proposal for protecting your intellectual property from being used without your permission. The tool is pretty simple and lets you add copyrighted text or graphic watermarks. Naturally, you’re free to edit them with regard to location, size, rotation, transparency and more.
In addition to watermarking you benefit from other useful features for image optimization, such as resizing, rotating or cropping. It’s worth mentioning that the app enables you to add your copyright information not only to photos, but videos as well.