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value of embedded metadata in photos?

11:07 pm on Nov 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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At Pubcon one of the speakers (I can't remember who) said something like "I actually like it when people steal photos off my site because I embed my own information into the metadata and then it gets posted on all their sites giving me *....(benefit)....*"

I am wondering what benefit he gains, is it because his picture was the first version of the photo, will it make his site show up first because he has the oldest version of the picture?

If other websites resize his photo that would probably lose the information? I've heard of reverse image searches such as [tineye.com ], do they use the meta information or do they just recognise the pictures?

The reason why I want to know:
I post some creative pop culture photos on my Facebook page that get 50-100+ likes from my Facebook friends and think that if they circulated on sites like Tumblr and hosted them on my personal blog it might get me some traffic.

I do most of my WordPress blogging from my iPhone and I have a watermarking app (I can put my blog url on that) and will share the pictures on my Tumblr and maybe repost it on my Twitter, Facebook etc. Is that likely to beneficial?
11:36 pm on Nov 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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If you clip off just one pixel ( in a straight line ) from a side of a photo..the metadata is gone..in fact almost any alteration removes metadata..including "resaving" or rotating etc..

If the copying website just "squashes" the original to fit their site via "src" height and width ( you'd be amazed how many sites just do this )..then the meta data is preserved..

Visible watermarking is better ..done diagonally through the centre of the photo..much harder to get rid of ..even with "intelligent fill" ..

Bear in mind if the image "copy" that you are looking for ( ie; you have the original but you are looking for copies ) via tineye is on a page which has "anti-hotlinking" applied tineye will not find it as a match..

AFAIK tineye also obeys robots.txt..

You could always use steganography to "hide" another file in your images ..if the images are altered, some of the second file will be left in the hex code as "proof"..there are other ways..

HTH :)
3:17 am on Nov 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I just posted some pictures on my blog without bothering with worrying about Metadata. I chose to keep the watermark relatively subtle so that it COULD be cropped out, but because the images are already cropped very tight, it would make the images look bad if cropped, especially the ones with borders.

I used Instagram versions of my pictures so they are all cropped into squares and some have borders. When I took most of these pictures I did not have Instagram in mind so cropping them into squares isn't totally ideal, but putting out these versions of the pictures whilst keeping the originals on my personal Facebook should keep my intellectual property relatively safe I guess.

I'm really keen to know if there's a way that makes reblogging my pictures beneficial to me other than hoping people keep my URL link on tumblr when they hit reblog / hope people get curious and type in my URL from the watermark. eg. Posting my picture on their own site.
12:23 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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if there's a way that makes reblogging my pictures beneficial to me

The fact you release your work is beneficial, raises your reputation as a designer, photographer or whatever you specialize on. But you need to have a plan how to better promote it.

You deploy copy protection measures only if you don't want others to use your images.

You release your images with a license for others to use, that promotes your business if others find them useful because they will surely want custom images to be developed and trust your expertise. In this case using a copyleft license you could promote your name quite fast.
The drawback is you will have to invest time and effort without direct compensation although you could politely have a statement for sponsorship.

If you publish your work you aren't so concerned about reciprocal links. Because you will be an authority site for your work. And the relevant repositories you would publish your work have high enough ranking to keep you as the leading entity over your work.