The internet has made it super-easy to share images with others. With just a couple of clicks we can display our latest photographs and dazzle friends and followers with our original shots. The problems arise only when others use those shots taken by you on their social profiles, blogs or website without asking for your permission and giving you the proper credit.
In order to prevent such an unpleasant thing from happening you can copyright your photos. In the US the law is pretty clear: once you take a photo, you automatically gain exclusive rights to use and distribute that photo. If this isn’t reassuring enough, you can go ahead and register your copyright with the US copyright office. Just take into account that the fees aren’t exactly moderate.
Of course, there’s another reliable option to enforce your rights, one which we’ll be elaborating in this article: watermarking. Once you place a watermark on your images, whether it’s a text, logo or other element, you clearly claim ownership of those images. This means that the photographs can’t be used by others without your prior authorization.
It’s good to know that you can easily copyright images with the aid of photo editing software. In this article we’ve compiled a list of 10 Windows tools which you can use to defend against image theft:
The most elementary way to insert a copyright notice into a photo is by using Paint 3D, the improved version of the classic Microsoft Paint. Available along with Windows 10, this photo editor gives you the possibility to protect your content online in a simple way. Here’s how to do it.
Open the desired image in Paint 3D and select the Text tool. Choose whether to add a 2D or 3D text and click on the image to type in the desired text. The program doesn’t have a built-in copyright symbol, so you’ll have to manually enter it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+C. Customization options are scarce and basic. You can choose the color, preferred font style and size and adjust the alignment.
This built-in tool can be an option only if you’re not too particular about watermarking and don’t need to process multiple images.
PhotoMarks is our first third-party solution for copyrighting photos on PC. The app is quite easy to use thanks to the intuitive interface and enables you to watermark images in bulk, which is pretty handy if you’re dealing with a large collection of images. All you have to do is add your photos, apply the desired watermark and select the output format and destination folder. That’s it.
PhotoMarks allows you to insert a logo, as well a a trademark, registered or copyright text and completely customize its appearance. Using drag and drop you’re free to position the text where you want, to resize and rotate it how you prefer. At the same time you can select from a large variety of fonts and colors, adjust the opacity, apply special effects like stroke and shadow or draw a bounding box around it. You can also enable tile mode to repeat the watermark across the image.
The tool offers other useful features. You can resize your photos, rotate and convert them (including from RAW formats) or decorate them with borders and frames. One important feature worth mentioning is the app’s capability to save your settings as Profiles for later use. You can save your pictures on a local folder, upload them to FTP, share them on Flickr or send them via email.
PhotoMarks also has an iOS version if you’re looking to watermark the photos taken with your iPhone or iPad.
iWatermark Pro is an interesting option if you need to protect your intellectual property. The tool comes with a series of useful features: it places at your disposal various types of watermarks both visible and invisible, it can be used to watermark both photos and videos and has batch processing capabilities to make your job significantly easier.
iWatermark Pro gives you complete freedom to edit your chosen watermark. You can move, scale and rotate it to your liking, set the transparency, change the text’s background color, drop a shadow or choose from numerous fonts and colors. You can send your new images via email or directly share them on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
In addition to watermarking, you can perform other operations such as renaming and resizing. One of the negative aspects is that the interface is not exactly user-friendly and it will require some time to adjust to it.
TSR Watermark Image
TSR Watermark Image is a simple and efficient tool to automate your watermarking process. This Windows app enables you to add standard text and logo marks, as well as 3D versions if you’re looking to obtain a special look.
Once you’ve decided on the watermark type, you can begin tailoring it to your needs. TSR Watermark Image does give you the chance to adjust it, but unfortunately there’s no possibility to do it freely, using drag and drop. You can’t place your text exactly where you want, you have to select from 9 preset positions. In order to rotate and resize it you have to manually enter new values. The tool also lets you adjust the transparency, add special effects like emboss or chisel, as well as select your preferred font and color.
Other editing options include resizing, rotating or converting your images. You can also add borders to your pictures or a colored cross effect.
Arclab Watermark Studio
Arclab Watermark Studio offers Windows users the opportunity to add multiple text and logo layers to their original photographs. The software makes it possible to batch copyright images in a fast manner thanks to the easy-to-navigate interface. On the top side of the screen you’ll find the files loaded, on the left side – the watermarking options, while in the middle you can see a real-time preview of the watermarked photo.
Arclab Watermark Studio allows you to add text and image watermarks, as well as EXIF metadata to your pictures. You can make adjustments to your text or logo, but in a rather rudimentary way. For instance, you can’t freely move and resize your watermark on the picture. To resize the text you have to manually enter a specific size, while for the logo you have to type in specific dimensions for the width and height in pixels. On the plus side, there are numerous preset locations available.
Arclab Watermark Studio lets you save your current settings as a project and reuse them in another session. Before processing your images you can also resize them and select the output format.
If you don’t want to install a new software on your PC, you’re free to resort to an online alternative. Watermark.ws is a browser-based tool that allows you to apply a watermark to photos, videos and GIF’s. The free version is rather basic and lets you watermark only one photo a time. The premium version allows you to watermark an unlimited number of files and provides other useful options.
Watermark.ws gives you the opportunity to add a text, a logo or your signature to images. There are plenty of options to adjust the text, ranging from changing the location and scale to changing its background and using diagonal lines. You can also resize, rotate and crop pictures, as well as apply diverse effects. Once you’ve finished you can download the edited photos on your PC, upload them to the cloud or directly share them on social media.
AoAo Watermark is a Windows software designed to ensure copyright protection for hundreds of photos at once. The tool has an intuitive interface and therefore it’s quite simple to use. Once you add your files, you can move on to the next stage of the process and add the desired watermark. In that sense you can resort to a text and/ or logo.
AoAo Watermark lets you add a copyright symbol, as well as file and EXIF info to your text and customize it in various ways, from the font style and background to choosing a single or tile alignment. The program offers a useful feature that automatically adjusts the text size to fit images with different sizes. Besides watermarking, you can crop, resize, rename or add frames to your pictures.
Movavi Photo Editor is a solution developed to easily apply professional edits to your pictures. The editor places at your disposal options to auto enhance your images using AI technology, to erase objects, change the background, restore old photos, apply artistic effects or retouch portraits. You can also crop, straighten and resize your photos.
Even though it’s not specifically designed for image protection, Movavi can help you accomplish this task. In that sense it offers two useful features: Caption to add the desired watermark text and Picture in Picture to add a logo to your pictures. You can customize your watermark as you please, with options to freely place, resize and rotate it, to adjust it transparency, add a frame around it and more. You can save your watermarked photo on your PC or upload it to Google Drive.
Add Watermark allows you to watermark both images and videos in bulk and places several options at your disposal in that sense. You’re free to import an existing watermark, but you can also create a new one from scratch with the aid of a multitude of texts, images, effects, backgrounds and graphic elements.
Another option is to select and modify one of numerous templates available, including various copyright watermarks. The tool lets you completely customize the chosen watermark. This means you can adjust the placement, size and rotation, choose from a large library of fonts, apply a tile or cross pattern and more. In addition to a text or logo, Add Watermark also lets you add your digital signature to photos.
Batch Picture Protector
Batch Picture Protector is an easy-to-use tool for adding copyright to multiple photos at once. The app lets you insert both text and logo marks and adjust their appearance to match your standards. For that purpose you can select one of the nine predefined positions (can’t do it freely with drag and drop), the rotation angle, font, size and color. Moreover, you can set the transparency and apply special effects such as shadow and glow.
Batch Picture Protector comes with a built-in watermark manager to help you be more efficient. This means that you can save multiple types of watermarks into the library and easily reuse them in future sessions. Unfortunately you can’t do anything else with this tool except for watermarking.