More threads by Kevin Marshall

Jan 2, 2019
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My client in the bathroom renovation industry is asking us to swap out all the photos on the website with new photos that are all watermarked. He's concerned that people are stealing his images. I'm trying to communicate that I wouldn't be overly concerned with people stealing his images as it is going to happen as he continues to grow, and it is something that comes with the territory as you become more well-known.

I already advised the client that I wouldn't recommend doing this as it is taking away time from other more beneficial SEO tasks which would drive a better return on investment.

How would you respond to a client that wants us to swap out hundreds of photos on his website for watermarked photos?
We've been in similar situations, but with photographers, and in those cases we do recommend that they get their watermark on the images - maybe not a watermark over the entire image, but at least something in the bottom or corner. Of course, people can still cut that off and use the image.

So the next question is, what does he plan to do if someone does use his image? Will he sue them? Will he be looking for the stolen images himself, or using something like digimarc?

When we work with real estate people, or rental companies, we encourage them to put their logo on the images, and we even do it on some of the royaltyfree images that we purchase, but it definitely can take a lot of time that could be used elsewhere.

The only thing you can do is advise of the time, and then proceed as directed. You can certainly batch watermarking via PhotoShop, but it still means having to upload and replace. If they're the same name, you can overwrite in folders etc. FTP all images down, batch process and save to same filename, then FTP overwrite to the web again. It'll still take time, but a lot less time.
One thing to consider is that this can be personal.

We put a lot of time into learning our trade and honing our skills. Then we put a lot of sweat into our installations. So when we see them stolen and someone else taking credit for them, it bothers us.

It might not be the best financial decision, but it might be worth it to the client.

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