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Photography and the web
Copyright issues

The last thing you want once you've got your images online is for dodgy types to start plundering them.

Copyright laws apply to work published on the internet just the same as any other medium, but as a basic legal precaution, it's best to place a copyright statement linked to every page of your site, or consider using Digital Watermarking (

In reality, it is very difficult to stop unsavoury sorts purloining your images and using them elsewhere so you'll have to be on your guard.


Posting up high-resolution original photos is simply tempting fate and if you wish to display your photos on the web, post them up as small as you can tolerate and at no higher than screen resolution (72dpi).

That won't stop other web authors nicking your work, but print reproductions at this resolution are unacceptable for most commercial concerns.

For further info on copyright issues, check out the following resources:

Copyright Web site:
World Intellectual Property Org:
UK photo copyright
Copyright licensing agency:
Top Ten Copyright Myths:
UK Govt guidelines:
US Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights:

Article © Mike Slocombe 2001

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