Put a copyright on your rights


Facebook bought Instagram, a photo-sharing site, in August 2012. It was a noble acquisition as users were uploading images to Instagram at the rate of approximately 60 images every second.

In their own marketing terms, Instagram is “a free app” and “a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family”. It has over a 100 million users. In December last year, Instagram announced their revised policy on the use of consumer’s images. The most pertinent alteration to this policy would allow Instagram to sell users images commercially to third party businesses. This meant they could sell your picture and make a profit from it. There was uproar from users and Instagram were forced to back down in the same month. Nonetheless users were spooked over their rights to their own images.

Irishman John McHugh is a professional war photographer, based mainly in Afghanistan. He often uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to circulate his images, but this modification in Instagram rights had threatened not only McHugh’s images, but also his whole career. He had already spent a year developing an application, called Marksta, that would protect his intellectual property and hence his career. His app is not only for professional photographers, but also for all of us who want to “share photos with friends and family”. Marksta permits users to easily and quickly place watermarks on their photography using text. Marksta offers a vast range of options on your choice of watermark, such as your website address, your Tumblr name or your logo, including the copyright symbol ©.

You can incorporate your choice of watermark from your iPad or your iPhone and then you can safely share your images online, protecting your copyright. There were already applications available on the market to watermark images, but McHugh did not find them very user friendly, as they were clunky and did not have sufficient choices on which watermark a user could choose. As he is a photographer himself, he knows exactly what is wanted and needed by users.

And he was proved right. Marksta became the top rated application on the Apple store in the Photo and Video Category within the first week of its launch in January 2013. It costs €1.79 and is available on iTunes. Marksta’s success continues, because users of social networking sites are now only too aware of how the site owners may choose to ‘acquire’ the rights to their images in the future.

Marksta: http://marksta.com/

By Tracy O’Brien