Protecting your photos online: Realistic strategies for today’s web

The Know Your Rights video below is an insightful panel discussion about how to protect your copyright when you publish photos online today. It’s a balancing act between the need to show your best work online in a way that’s big and beautiful enough to attract photo buyers, and the culture of today’s web which is inclined to copy and reuse anything they see on a web page. Business models are evolving beyond the old mentality of “block all copying and add a big watermark,” and successful photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Zack Arias explain why. An important part of the discussion is about whether Creative Commons Noncommercial licensing works as part of a profitable business model.

(The video might play a short ad at the beginning. Mobile users see the note at the end of this article. )

I was impressed that photographer Catherine Hall asked a lot of the same questions I would have. Whether or not you decide to share your photos as openly as some of the panelists do, chances are you’ll gain a new perspective that will help you make decisions about sharing your own images on today’s web.

This video is also a great example of the many Google+ Hangouts now held by the rapidly growing and influential photography community on Google+. You can connect with me on Google+, of course!

Recorded in August 2011 by Keith Barrett for Vidcast Network, which hosts a number of photography-related Internet video shows and Google+ hangouts.

Note: Apologies to those viewing on devices without Flash; their video is hosted at which does not seem to supply a non-Flash alternative outside of their mobile app. To view this video on iPhone/iPad, download the app from the App Store and search for “Catherine Hall hangout” .