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i have a website where firms can have a page dedicated to them ( like a directory ) and the sellers of my website are responsible for taking photos of what in the firm the administration of the firm wants to have on their page.

now the problem is, i know the images aren't copyrighted and if someone wants to screw me and make my website take out thousands of images and make my sellers go to all firms to re-take photos causing a massive prejudice i think they would simply copyright them all and communicate with me to take out the images or sew me.

how can i stop worrying over this, i don't want to be copyrighting images from my clients almost every day in order to be 'protected'. i think i'm maybe concerning more that i should or that this stuff i said has to have a flaw or some corner-case anywhere on it.

any good suggestions?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can add a watermark to each images with your company or the firm logo/name automatically at print or upload time. You can use a software to do it prior the upload or using a script depending of the technologies you are using.

Keep in mind that your enemy are also images crawlers.

Services exists also to batch upload files to proof "date" ownership but it is useful only for legal actions.

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adding a watermark to the images besides being hell to do on thousands of images doesn't create a record stating the time it was first uploaded so people can remove the watermark on some images and copyright them as their own and then claim i stole it and watermarked it, since i have no proof i had the image first on those possible but improbable cases i would be screwed –  wxiiir Sep 30 '11 at 21:43
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Apart from the watermark, i have suggested services to batch upload files to add a proof of ownership timestamp. You can use services like provemycopyright.com –  jflaflamme Oct 1 '11 at 8:58
    
thanks for the answer –  wxiiir Oct 2 '11 at 1:47
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You need to specify what country you're operating in. While copyright has been standardized to an extent, there are still many differences from place to place.

Do you actually know that the images aren't under copyright? By which I mean have actually researched this, and can point at documentation saying so. In the United States at least, copyright is assigned automatically. Registering the copyright gets you some advantages, but is not generally necessary.

If after determining the above things(and probably some more) you determine registration is needed and still don't want to spend time doing it, then you need to hire someone to do it for you or find yourself another line of business.

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i'm operating in europe/usa (berne convention countries only). yes i do know they don't have copyright and i tell you how on the question, we take our own photos so how could they be? if big websites needed to spend millions copyrighting every user's image and paying a mob of people to do such work they wouldn't earn much i figure. –  wxiiir Sep 30 '11 at 23:53
    
forgot to say that about copyright generally not being necessary because of being 'automatic' it's just crap because you don't have an exempt organization that keeps records of when you generated/posted your content gathering all the stuff people do on the web automatically and for free, automatic copyright or no copyright at all worth the same in court if people want to sew you and register your stuff on their name before you do but on your name. –  wxiiir Oct 1 '11 at 1:34
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