Digital image watermarking has become commonplace these days because of how easy it is to integrate them into a picture without disrupting the visuals massively. This technique aims to restrict the authorization of an image based on the consent of the photographer or copyright owner so that a would-be thief doesn’t get to get away with stealing.
Although watermarking has been in use for years, owing to how secure it is considered, advanced tools like AI now seem to pose a threat to the innate security of this technology.
But can you consider watermarking to be a go-to solution when you want to safeguard your intellectual property while advertising your content to a broader audience?
More so, what options do digital content creators have at their disposal when it comes to safeguarding themselves from the undying possibility of content theft?
Before diving into the security aspect, let’s first make it clear what digital watermarking is and why it has become so prevalent in today’s digital-first world.
What is a digital image watermark?
Put simply — digital watermarking techniques involve adding a semi-transparent consisting of text, graphic, or even a logo to specify that a particular image belongs to the respective owner, and it must not be replicated or used without consent.
All watermarking approaches have one thing in common — incorporating the watermark element such that it becomes an innate part of the image. Subsequently, you can claim the right to the watermarked image in case it gets stolen or replicated by an unauthorized body.
This provides a sense of security to the owner so that they can rest assured about the existence of the included watermark even if the image reaches the wrong hands. With that being said, let’s go through some prevalent uses of watermarking techniques provided by a reliable platform like Visual Watermark.
- Protecting the photo against theft and misuse becomes possible when you have a visually clear watermark on the image in the form of a line of text, copyright notice, logo, or even name.
- Watermarks can also be used to add descriptive tags to an image so that you can seamlessly distinguish them several years down the line. This particularly makes sense when you have a lot of travel photographs that can be watermarked as per date or travel location.
- Adding name tags can also be done with the help of watermarking techniques so that each individual in an image can be identified on the go.
- Some photographers tend to include camera-specific information in the form of a watermark that can help figure out the different variables like shutter speed, camera type, aperture, etc.
- You can also showcase your creativity with the help of a watermark while protecting your image at the same time.
Why does watermark security matter in the age of AI?
Photographers or owners aim to go the extra mile when it comes to ensuring that their images don’t get stolen, and if they do, removing the watermark can be made as difficult as possible. On the flip side, there are individuals who remain on the lookout for watermark removal techniques that can make it easy to replicate or duplicate someone’s work without them knowing.
Apart from existing manual editing tools that can let an expert remove certain types of watermarks, the real threat is from sophisticated software-based automated solutions. Although there isn’t a free-to-all service as of now that can viably remove all watermarks, tech giants like Google and Nvidia claim to have developed such technology using AI. However, it’s quite obvious why they haven’t made it available for public use.
So, this raises an unskippable question — what can photographers do to make their watermarks more secure?
Ways to make their watermarks more secure (and immune to theft)
Let’s face it; there’s no denying the real power of meticulously developed AI tools. This is why photographers have to be on the lookout for finding ways to amp up the security of their watermarks by investing in reliable services like Make Watermark.
Some of these ways are chalked out here for you to consider.
- A typical approach is to make the watermark more prominently visible in the photograph. While this may seem obtrusive to some, increasing the size of the watermark means you’ll increase the effort required to get rid of it completely.
- Another method is to use dynamic watermarking, which allows the image content to be streamed on the website instead of being embedded in it. This allows the website owner to restrict download access through right-clicking while including a dynamic watermark that can be changed as and when needed.
All in all, watermarking techniques entail security as long as you are mindful of nailing the right placement and design of the watermark, along with factoring in possible ways in which these images might get stolen.