How big does a watermark have to be to be legally recognized?

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dan Marchant Senior Member • Posts: 2,766
Re: How big does a watermark have to be to be legally recognized?

Starshot wrote:

Or how small can you make it I mean?

A watermark is used to identify the owner/creator of an image and or to stop it being used without permission (usually by making the image unusable by covering a portion). So for this purpose a watermark would need to be large enough and prominent enough to render the image unusable. As pointed out above there is no legal protection involved.

A copyright notice is something different. You no longer need to put a copyright notice on work for it to be protected, however (in some countries) the removal of a copyright notice by a person infringing your copyright will be taken evidence that they wilfully infringed your copyright - which means the penalties are higher. In the USA removal of a copyright notice would be a federal offence which carries a large fine. Pointing this fact out to someone who just removed your copyright notice and used your image without permission can act as an encouragement for them to settle a dispute before it gets to court.

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