Copyright for images in social media

August 15, 2011 — Leave a comment

With the riots across the UK, we’ve seen even more cases of news organisations grabbing an uploaded image and publishing it in their newspapers, TV channels, etc, often attributing the picture to a generic “From Twitter” or “From Facebook”.

Most of these photos are actually taken from services like twitpic, yfrog, or mobypicture, who all provide apps for mobile phones to easily upload and share photos as they’re taken.

Given the number of these media outlets taking photos linked from Twitter or Facebook without attribution, and then claiming they couldn’t find the original owner, it would be an useful option to support adding a text string such as “Copyright 2011 Ewan Leith http://twitter.com/EwanToo” (or whoever uploaded the photo) to the corner of the photo, and a digital watermark hidden in the picture to reduce the impact of people simply trimming the photo to remove that copyright claim.

This seems like a technically fairly straight-forward thing to add by the photo sharing sites, and a great little addition for anyone interested in the ownership of their own photographs.

I can’t find any services which already offer this, do you know of any?