Photographer designs watermarking iPhone app to ward off copyright theft

British Journal of Photography

Photojournalist John D McHugh said battling against people sharing your photos on social media is a fight that "can’t be fought." So he designed Marksta, an iOS app that lets photographers add their name, logo or other information to a photo.

In an email interview, McHugh said other watermarking apps he tried "were very basic, and looked like they were either designed for kids, or by kids!" (You can decide that for yourself.) Marksta, he notes, lets photographers position a templated watermark anywhere they'd like on their photos, which frees them from worrying about whether their photos are being used without credit.

"Especially with [people's] fears about exploitation of their photographs by various social media websites," he wrote, "I believe a lot of people want to watermark their images."

I can think of a couple of instances in the last year where a dated watermark, even by amateur photographers, may have saved media organizations a lot of heartache: The saga of Andy Duann's "falling bear" photo, as well as the story of Karin Markert's Tomb of the Unknowns photo, which many people believed was shot during Hurricane Sandy.

The app gives you options for creating your watermark:

(Thanks to Liz Heron for pointing out the BJP article.)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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