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May 25, 2011
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Watermark by jollyjack Watermark by jollyjack
I donít quite get why people put watermarks on their DA uploads. Thereís only a finite number of things that someone can do with a low-res image, and most of them render a watermark useless anyway, especially with so many photoshop-savvy folk out there these days.
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:icon2ndmercwithamouth:
2ndMercWithAMouth Featured By Owner Edited 2 days ago  Student Filmographer
And nothing stops an art thief like a Watermark!
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:iconshakotanfever:
ShakotanFever Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I think most people that are photoshop-savvy are skilled enough to create their own work, and not bother with the work involved in removing a watermark... Maybe.

My... That watermark did ruin this image though : P
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:iconkattopaz4:
KatTopaz4 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014
Simple, To avoid art theft, people taking your work and claiming it theirs.
But, it does ruin the picture a little
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:iconwatonzon:
Watonzon Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have seen a bunch of art thieves out there that will try to steal others art. What my friends and I have noticed that if we post up a watermark on our images then it will lesson the chances of a art thief stealing our own drawings/creations. If we put the watermark in the corner then the thief could easily just crop out the images. But if we put it in a spot that is harder for the thief to steal from then they will leave our art alone. 
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:iconmiller1997:
Miller1997 Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
I fully agree! I tried conveying the same message on my profile and received an army of a watermark lover's minions. I stood my ground. :)
Watermarks should be abolished. If someone uses your art, it's good business.
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:iconsjart117:
SJArt117 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I just had to watermark all my art due to art theft and recolours.
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:iconhermy-one:
Hermy-one Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There are so many works I've seen I would have faved if it weren't for a big fat DA watermark across the subjects face. If you are going to watermark, make your own and make sure its not right in the center :/ 
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:iconleucisticraccoon:
LeucisticRaccoon Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Watermarks or whatnot are OK in my opinion, but they don't have to plaster it all over their image.
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:iconscom1359ap:
SCOm1359AP Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
Personally, I prefer to take a cue from Al Hirschfeld.  Create a signature or watermark, but put it some out of the way spot in the middle of the image that won't take from the design, yet were someone to try and remove it, it would be immediately detectable or damage the piece.  Hide it in woodgrain.  Build it into a tattoo.  Maybe disguise it as graffiti on a wall.  Someplace where you and anyone who knows your work can point and say, "That guy made this.  You didn't."
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:iconkrislowe:
krislowe Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It makes it harder for it to be stolen
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:iconcenobite451:
Cenobite451 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
Fave'd the journal entry. But this gets the point across quite well too, and far more succinctly. :+fav: :D
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:iconhannahelizabethh:
hannahelizabethh Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Student General Artist
lols agreed, but maybe throwing it super tiny in a side corner would be fine. 
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
A watermark, done right, is difficult to remove.

I speak from long and unhappy experience when I say that a low-resolution image DOES have uses. Pirates, given half a chance, will use it on their own websites, for example, without even acknowledging the creator. TO add injury to insult, many pirates "deep link": they display the stolen image on their website by using HTML that siphons the image from YOUR (or dA's) webspace to THEIR website. This is the Internet equivalent of punks stealing your car, then using your credit cards to pay for the gas they use as they joyride in your car.

There are currently many websites, for example, that use dA's images as "free wallpaper to download", filler for website graphics, bait for drive-by infection fake websites, and so on.

I can also point to websites like "Quilting from the Gut (dot com)" which uses a copyrighted graphic by Dr. David Annal from MY website, puts it on their front page, doesn't give any way to send them feedback/DMCA "cease and desist", and falsely claims the artwork is by M. C. Escher (whose works, incidentally, are also copyrighted...by mcescher dot com ). Not only am I unable to stop them at the moment... I'm also dealing with several other websites each year who pirate QuiltingfromtheGut's pirated image & perpetuating the lie that it's MC Escher's work.

To add to our frustration, the DMCA puts the burden of discovery on the creator of the image. This means that frequent offenders on Zazzle, Etsy, deviantArt (yes, dA), wordpress.org, and other blogging centers do not punish nor prevent piracy nearly as much as they should & could.
Imagine, for example, if you could not publish an image to dA or Zazzle until a human mediator had run the image through TinEye and/or images.google dot com to make a reasonable guess that the image is original and owned by the submitter.

(Offtopic: To see that dA is not pursuing copyright offenders enough, go have a look at dA member LaPurr's journals. Almost every one is a simple copy-paste of the entirety of a COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE by another author, stolen from another website. I've had to warn the owners of those copyrights many many times, watch them get dA to remove that single instance of copyright infringement, and yet.... LaPurr is not shut down. Beyond the removal of the single instance of piracy on the table at the moment, she is not monitored more closely nor hampered nor penalized.

Zazzle etc. are enablers. The watermark is an ugly but somewhat effective countermeasure against that enabling. dA and its members should be praised for making rampant copyright infringement slightly harder by using watermarks.

I agree that watermarks can and do turn nice images into muddy junk....but they're a necessary evil until we figure out how to make pirated images trackable (tineye dot com and Google's image search are a nice start) and have reasonable methods for removing pirated images from someone else's website.
I wonder.. I know there's technology to insert invisible watermarks into JPEG images. I believe there's even a PhotoShop add-on tool for that. But... I wonder if there's a simple way to Google for images containing that watermark?
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:iconcloudymayday:
Cloudymayday Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love ruining my art with watermarks >]
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:iconcurelovelywarrior:
CureLovelyWarrior Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
you rock! copyright nazis suck!
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:iconbeeto45:
beeto45 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013
i agree, i only wind-up removing the watermark and setting it as my wallpaper anyway
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:iconcacio044:
Cacio044 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not good and famous enough to be afraid of my works being stolen.

If someone will steal my work and use it, then I'll know I'm a good drawer.

Same things works with rule34
If I see some porn image of my characters (not done by me), firstly I'll be very proud of myself, then I'll be very disgusted.
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:iconhappychild:
happychild Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013
I agree 100%. It's something I used to be guilty of, but stopped when I realized that the art was severely compromised by my irrational paranoia of having work stolen.
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:iconbelafargo:
belafargo Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
OMG someone finally spoke out on this!
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:iconstargate38:
Stargate38 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this example and I mentioned it to NTamura. You know why? Because NTamura's deviations have annoying watermarks on them and I want them removed before 3/31/13!
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:iconsoriyns-knight:
Soriyns-Knight Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student General Artist
isn't that thing on the top left corner a watermark?
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:icontargey:
Targey Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Writer
It is, but like with all his other work, it's tucked away in the corner. A lot of people place them on the art itself though. I get why they feel it necessary, but I find it's a distraction that has the potential to ruin the image.
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:iconuberman5000:
UberMan5000 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
"Well obviously MY drawings are good enough to be a prime target for ANY art thief, so I must put this gaudy watermark over them to THWART their efforts! No one has stolen my art to date, so it must be working!"
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I think you should use this watermark for a week just to annoy everyone:P
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:iconkalosys-stock:
Kalosys-stock Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dear, I posted one of my photomanips with a low resolution and a very small watermark. But an editorial from Albania stole my image, removed my small watermark and they used my image (with low resolution!) as a bookcover. So... watermarks are very ugly but very necessary sometimes :(
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:iconxelestial:
Xelestial Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it depends on the watermark. Some artist I don't notice and others I can't even see the damn image. If you have a low res image with a huge watermark, I can't appreciate it.I'm going to start putting some on mine because a known art thief decided to watch me. Tbh, I'm savvy with Photoshop but if I were an art thief and the watermark was going to be a pain in the ass to take off, I'd probably move to something else without one. Of course if the person is determined to have it, they will find a way, but it discourages the average joe from stealing it.
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:iconimperator-zor:
Imperator-Zor Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Have the watermark be small and put it in the corner, bang, problem solved.
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
No, making a watermark small & putting it in the corner simply means that the image thief has to crop the picture-- which is easy for anyone with access to the simplest paint program like Windows' "paint".

It's unfortunately true that thieves will also target images which, by the nature of how we use them, cannot be watermarked. For example, I use tessellations in my website's graphics...not as illustration, but as infrastructure. The banner at the top is always a tessellation: an image that repeats without gaps or overlaps.

I'm constantly finding that some (*#@!&$ on Zazzle.com or similar sites has stolen that background image & is selling neckties, coffee mugs, etc. emblazoned with my tessellations for profit (and for Zazzle's profit). Those for-profit sites like Zazzle are enablers because they don't perform even a simple image search (TinEye or even images.google dot com's search-for-an-image) before allowing their co-conspirators to sell OUR copyrighted art.

Case in point:
www.zazzle.com.au/tessellation…
How many copyrighted patterns do you see in this Zazzle $50 necktie sale? I count AT LEAST TEN pirated copyrighted images by various artists.
One of them-- the orange-and-white ghosts-- is stolen from my site's October banner ( www.tessellations.org )
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:iconclovercarmen5:
clovercarmen5 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
better to water mark than to get u'r art stolen.. not all of us can draw good and protect our art from theft since we r not famous or well-known -_-
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
It happens whether you're famous or not. I've seen pirated "Calvin and Hobbes" art-- the author/copyright holder of "Calvin and Hobbes" has never permitted his art to be shown legally except in books and newspapers, yet who hasn't seen a window sticker of Calvin peeing on an automobile logo?
www.google.com/search?site=&tb…

Likewise for classic artists such as M. C. Escher. I find his work pirated all over the 'Net, despite it being copyrighted by Cordon Galleries in the Netherlands ( at mcescher dot com ).

In fact, I would take a bet that for 9 out of 10 famous recognizable artists' works, I could find someone on eBay, Zazzle, even dA or the like selling pirated copies.

As a final argument, consider that when millions of people go to thepiratebay to download the latest movie, they're clearly counting on the fact that the film, director, and actors' fame is fueling, not preventing, piracy. (Thepiratebay gets over 2,000 hits PER SECOND, by the way.)
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:iconclovercarmen5:
clovercarmen5 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
so, it's good to be pirated? but then you lose what belongs to you :(
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
I didn't intend to say that it's good to be pirated. I wouldn't agree.
It's good to get fame or to popularize your work, but there are "copyLEFT" ways to do that & retain some control over the image.
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:iconstookam:
Stookam Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
Erm, not to be a total noob, but what is this "watermark" you speak of?
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:iconmalkrow21:
malkrow21 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
You're looking at one.
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:iconstookam:
Stookam Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Still not sure what it is.
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:iconmalkrow21:
malkrow21 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Look at the artwork. You see that text that's written over the chick?
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:iconstookam:
Stookam Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
OOOHH...ok, thanks for clearing that up.
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:iconmalkrow21:
malkrow21 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
You also see it in the top left corner.

The idea behind the watermark is for the artist(s) is to leave their signature on their work to prevent art theft. So the idea behind the water mark is good, but the execution can be bothersome for viewers because watermarks can be quite a distraction. The reason watermarks can be a distraction is because artists sometimes place in the middle because it's much harder to edit it out than it is if it were to be placed at the sides, depending upon the background, like if it's a plain black or white.
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:iconrailway-traveller:
Railway-traveller Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012
Totally agree!
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:icon9skulls:
9Skulls Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think people just use the watermark to boost their "professionalism", you know. Maybbe they think too much of themselves, that putting a big ass watermark over their artwork would make their art seem more valuable to outsiders.
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
Maybe a small segment of artists do that... for the same reasons they might seek an agent, or buy the most expensive portfolio briefcase they can find.
However, and I think this is true in most cases, it is caused by using images.google.com and discovering that your/our art has already been stolen. We're using this watermark business as one tool in preventing future thefts.
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:icontbonegirl28:
tbonegirl28 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Student General Artist
I think a lot of people get confused about stealing and borrowing an idea or element of a work. although I totally believe that people will steal art, but I put work on here for others to enjoy and I don't put anything over my work because it'll only distract from my work. I would totally kill somebody if they stole my idea... for reals.
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
That's interesting, and brings to mind court cases and personal experiences. Who can forget, for example, the musical "sampling" that goes on? There's a sampler "song" out there-- been out there for 5 years at least-- that uses Peter gabriel's easily recognized, copyrighted drumbeat from the early music video hit "Sledgehammer". www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqyc37aOqT0‎

To me, that's clearly copyright piracy, since the sample is large enough and unique enough to be easily recognizable.

At the other end of the scale, there's a very interesting argument to be made in FAVOR of sampling / against copyright when the sample size is small enough to be unrecognizable to an unaided ear. The sample drumbeats that are copyrighted and sold to sampler musical artists, for example, are often stolen from a particular 6 second drum solo in a copyrighted 1960s song. Listen to this description of the whole situation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac

To make the matter worse, let's wonder aloud about how major an idea or element of a work has to be, to qualify for copyright protection. Tessellation artist Bruce Bilney and I, for example, are constantly confronted by stolen themes from our art. A tessellation is a pattern that repeats without gaps or overlaps, and producing a good tessellation that looks like its theme-- kangaroos, reptiles, dancers, whatever-- is really the heart and soul of any tessellation picture. Yet, judging from the number of people who have taken those themes and are selling products based on them, you can understand why Bruce Bilney, Escher's copyright holders, and I are ready to spill blood in defense of the most basic part of our work.

Here're a few examples:
Original work (by Escher): Reptiles, a tessellation
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reptiles…
Scmuzzles, a popular puzzle not authorized by Escher's copyright holder:
www.google.com/search?site=&tb…

Bruce Bilney's elephant tessellation:
www.google.com/search?site=&tb…

Roylco's plastic templates, which closely resemble Escher's reptiles, Bilney's elephants, and David Bailey's "tusk dogs":
www.google.com/search?site=&tb…

So, where do you draw the line for copyright protection of an element of a song, text, or illustration? We need some rules.
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
Oh... I should include a link to David Bailey's "tusk dogs":
www.tessellations.org/review-t…
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:iconq-le:
Q-Le Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's because artists don't want to get their artworks stolen. It really happens and in some cases the thief makes money of it and claims it his/hers work (i've seen once a thief had his own exhibition with stolen work!).... watermarks is not really possible to photoshop away. well, in traditional art it isn't but I don't know about digital stuff etc.
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:iconhmsnike:
hmsnike Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
I think the theory is that if they put a watermark on their art, people won't steal it and call it theirs because it's nearly impossible to photoshop out.

In theory. Fortunately, I'm not good enough for people to steal my art in the first place.
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:iconangry-green-toast:
angry-green-toast Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Professional Filmographer
SOOOOO TRUUUUUUEEE! thank you for this public service announcement.
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:iconmangaanime:
mangaanime Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011
I also wonder what "savvy" means?

Captain Jack Sparrow also say "savvy".
What does it mean?
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:iconsethness:
sethness Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
I think it's a corruption of "sabe", which is spanish for "to know, to understand".
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:iconasgm:
asgm Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
This question was already asked below, so I'll just copy paste my answer.

It means being good at something. So someone who is "photoshop-savvy" is very good at using Photoshop.
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