Get A Copyright Stamp To Put On My Photos

Creating your copyright symbol is an easy way to protect your images from unauthorized use.

Adding a copyright symbol to your photography helps ensure that your work is not used without your permission. Copyright violation is a common occurrence on the Internet. Marking your images with the copyright symbol, name, date or your watermark will provide extra protection if you need to file a lawsuit for violation of your copyright. Supporting your symbol by registering your images with the US Copyright office will give you more leverage in a court room. Using a digital photo editing program allows you to create a simple copyright symbol and apply it easily to all of your digital images.


1. Open a new file in a photo editing program. The file size should be approximately 100 pixels x 300 pixels with a resolution of 150 DPI, or dots per inch. Your copyright stamp, also referred to as a watermark, will vary in size and shape, but these numbers are a good starting point. DPI refers to the amount of data present in the entire image file. A 72 DPI image can be used if your images will remain in a digital format and be placed online; it will be too small for a printed image (the copyright symbol will be distorted when printed as well). A DPI resolution between 150 and 300 is used to print images.

2. Set your file background to transparency. This setting will cause only the actual symbol or text in the file to appear when it is placed over your digital image. In most editing programs, a transparent background with lightly colored squares will appear for editing purposes only. Once the image is saved and applied to another document, the background will be completely transparent.

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3. Use your text tool to add the copyright symbol, indicated with a small letter “c” inside of a circle. In most editing programs, a character dialogue box will appear while you use the text tool. You will find the correct graphic under the symbol section of your font options.

4. Add additional text to the copyright symbol. The date of the creation of the image and the name of the artist also should be included. For example, © 2010 Joe Photographer, is a common copyright indication for a photographer. Some artists choose only to include the date next to the symbol or to include their URL address and the date for online publication. If using a watermark, add your company or artist logo to your images in place of the copyright symbol to indicate ownership.

5. Save your copyright file as a PNG or GIF file, using the “Save File As” option. Leave the file open on your desktop.

6. Open the digital image that you want to protect with the copyright symbol. Use the selection tool in your editing program to drag the file onto your digital image. Place the copyright symbol in the desired location. You should be able to see through the symbol once it is placed on top of the photo.

7. Save your digital photo. Repeat this process for your remaining digital files.