The issue is both licensing and mis-appropriation. I am not sure how much thought you put into your rant, but I would like to know - do you make your living from coding? How much coding time you donate for free to commercial entities....and do you give that code to other commercial firms for free? And are you cool with others stealing your code and saying it is their own? Do you get requests for free coding with the promise that it will look good on your resume, and do you accept those jobs?
I do think there is (at least for now) less to worry about in this auto-watermark removal than first meets the eye. Most science illustrators who mark their own work are not likely to have enough constantly marked images for an algorithm to key into. And it may only require you to move the watermark location around the image to avoid it...
But the future could be much different. What we need is a good automated photoshop plugin that will give us what we need for free. Since that seems to be what our customers are expecting from us, why can't we expect it from our suppliers as well? Maybe I should try that line on our plumber as well....
Subject: Re: [SCIART] It has now gotten more difficult for us to protect out images
As a member of perhaps a different generation of illustrators, can you
elaborate on why watermark stripping is so worrisome. Is it because of
licensing, or theft by other artists? I'd like a better perspective of
why this google technology puts Scientific Illustrators specifically
in a perilous position.
I may be playing devil's advocate, but here it goes. What value does a
single illustration have that a missing watermark can diminish it?
Anything that's converted to pixels is able to be pirated, period. If
you're spending more and more money on anti-theft tech, you're losing
more than if you just gave the picture away. This is because, the same
programmers that are creating watermarks are the same ones that are
capable of removing them. But, aren't you creating work to generate
more work? What does it matter if a work you've created is out in the
wild without watermark? Have some way to make sure there's no doubt
that it's yours, and you'll gather more work for yourself. Otherwise,
keep your illustrations in un-digitized form to really protect them.
End of Devil's Advocate rant.
Meanwhile, here's the google blog post on the research and ways to
protect against such watermark removing algorithms:
Deborah, what language do you code in? I know a little python and am
willing to help create something that's free for the community.
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