note the watermark…


This is a fuming mad post about photo-stealing. I’ve known what a problem it is and I thought I’d protected my stuff well enough. Well, this weekend someone informed me that they’d seen photos of Sarah on someone’s Orkut site. I checked it out and, sadly, it’s true. Some of them are from before I started watermarking, others are from when I used the itty-bitty corner mark that’s been cropped out, and one of them still says “photography by erin” in the corner. It makes my stomach turn.

If you are a photographer or are posting photos of your children on the web then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put a large watermark over your photos.

The photos I’ve seen of Sarah were stolen from this blog by someone in Brazil. So, Ms. Brazil, here’s my message for you: YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE. I AM LOOKING FOR YOU AND I WILL MAKE SURE THOSE PHOTOS ARE TAKEN DOWN AND YOU ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

For any others that are reading this that might need a reminder: Right-clicking photos and saving them to your hard drive is ILLEGAL. It doesn’t matter if you’re a friend, a relative, or a stranger. If you want a photo I’ve posted here, email me and I’ll consider it. Otherwise, knock it off. It’s wrong.

MeganApril 24, 2007 - 9:47 am

Ugh, this makes me sick. I’m sorry to hear that this has happened to you. I don’t understand why on earth someone would do this, but then I have to remind myself that not everyone is nice. You really can’t trust anyone anymore.

JenniferApril 24, 2007 - 10:28 am

This world is full of sickos!! It just makes my stomach turn. I hope you catch them!

StephanieApril 24, 2007 - 11:21 am

That totally stinks! Seems like we’re hearing more and more about this happening and it’s a shame. I hope you nail the ones that did it.

MeganApril 24, 2007 - 11:27 am

I didn’t realize it was such a problem. I’m sorry you are going through all this. Good luck catching them!

J.J. KillinsApril 24, 2007 - 11:34 am

ugh. that’s awful. how on earth did you find the site???

KatherineApril 24, 2007 - 12:40 pm

Erin, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I’m having a similar situation… I just realized that one of my sermons was plagarized by two different people, in one case word for word, and in one case word for word with a different ending. I found it out because they actually posted the sermons on their church web sites as their own. It makes me so frustrated and angry. You can’t watermark text, though the plagarized sermon did contain my occasional “trademark” – a light allusion to a favorite Over the Rhine lyric. I’m in the process now of requesting they remove the sermons from their web site and to refrain from future plagarism. It’s wrong in so many ways- for one thing, someone could accuse me of being the plagarist. Grrrrr.

kristinaApril 24, 2007 - 12:41 pm

That just plain sucks, Erin! So sorry someone is doing that! Go get ’em! 🙂

ShannonApril 24, 2007 - 12:59 pm

Erin, love your blog but have never posted a comment….actually you inspired me to start my own blog. Anyway, I’m very sorry this happened and I really hope you get this moron!

MarciApril 24, 2007 - 1:27 pm

I’m so sorry that has happened to you. That is terrible!

A.K.April 24, 2007 - 1:27 pm

scares me to post pictures anymore! how did you find out there were pics of sarah somewhere?!

Susie PSUApril 24, 2007 - 2:10 pm

What in the world is an Orkut site?

Kristin HohenadelApril 24, 2007 - 2:17 pm

so sorry to hear that!

Shana-LynnApril 24, 2007 - 2:33 pm

Erin- I am so sorry, people are sick! I hope you can stop them (her)!

ShelleyApril 24, 2007 - 2:51 pm

I hadn’t thought of using such a large watermark until you changed yours a while back. I now have a whopper of a watermark, so hopefully people get the point and don’t copy the images. God bless photoshop!

Thanks for the tip. I can’t believe people would do that.

Kelly KuntzApril 24, 2007 - 3:30 pm

Sorry! this happens to way to many people! If you need help with the Brazilians let me know. It is all over flickr and I can point you to someone who has a Brazilian e-mail that tells them to take your photos down. I don’t get why they think it is fun to create fake lives, WTH.

Good for you on speaking out! My friends and family steal my photos constantly and I have no idea how to tell them no without being rude. You put it perfectly!

TaraApril 24, 2007 - 5:36 pm

oh, I’m so sorry! Besides, I could never take a pic of your pigbear because all I woud want to do is stare at her cuteness of it all day long. 😉

On another note – I would love to have a watermark, but so far haven’t been able to figure it out. Wendy gave us info, but I like to several to see ‘what works for me’. So if you have a link to any tutorias or such, please post them! 🙂

DeniseApril 24, 2007 - 7:01 pm

Man, that stinks! I hate thinking of jerks and sickos looking at our blogs. Keep informing the rest of us about this nasty stuff. I’m fuming mad with you!!!!! That is awful!!

cephotosApril 24, 2007 - 8:26 pm


I hadn’t been by to visit in so long and here I come to read this. AUGH, it makes me so incredibly angry that this happened to you! I hope you nail the culprits hiney to a wall!!!

As a side note, hubby loved, loved, loved his photos!!!! Thanks Again. Tanja

bobbijo_gApril 24, 2007 - 8:31 pm

So sorry to hear that happened. I hope you catch that sucker!

StacyApril 24, 2007 - 8:57 pm

Yuck- You have every right to be absolutely steaming mad! It is such a shame that people aren’t trustworthy. Make your watermark as big as you can get it. It is soooo not fair and really creepy and hurts even more when it is your own child. I try to make my watermark “out of the way” but still on the picture- but now I think I’m going to put it smack in the middle of the subjects body. I hope you catch and call out these CREEPS!

lyndsayApril 24, 2007 - 10:49 pm

makes me sick erin….you get em! how dare people do that?!?!

RaeApril 25, 2007 - 6:17 am

Oh yes, Orkut is chock full of stolen pictures. A lot of them with the watermark still on them, they don’t care.There are whole groups dedicated to some of the top photogs kids or the ebay models. Supposedly it’s just kids playing games but whatever it’s still freaky and wrong.
What irritates me is that they are associated with google. Google should do something! Good Luck!

Lori P.April 25, 2007 - 6:32 am

I’m so sorry! I can’t believe that people would do this.

AnnaApril 25, 2007 - 7:01 am

i can’t believe that! you knew it would happen to you, didn’t you?!?! i just can’t believe it did, that is so crazy!

AnonymousApril 25, 2007 - 7:14 am

OH Erin! That makes me so mad! I went and looked around and I’ll keep going back… I’ll keep on the look out for stolen pictures. I just don’t get it. My head is spinning. I am so mad for you!


AudreyApril 26, 2007 - 9:03 am

Wow, that is horrible Erin! I read about this on ILP and saw your post. Absolutely horrible.

MargaretMay 1, 2007 - 4:30 pm

hey erin
i am so sorry that happened to you – Thank you for helping us with protecting our kiddos!
Take Care

Liz HardwickNovember 8, 2011 - 9:20 am


This is quite shocking! And to steal a sermon – and call it your own – well it kind of defeats the whole purpose, person and reason behind the sermon in the first place!! Good grief.

Liz H

SandyNovember 8, 2011 - 3:10 pm

I can related to that very much. I was an big user of Webshots and put all of my (then) middle school daughters cheerleading pictures, pool party pictures, fun pictures I took on my site. I did this for about 3 years, and about that time, I was very fortunate to have quite a few persons that would notify me when my pictures would show up in different places. I had people stealing my pictures (of my daughters). Two things happened that made me take the pictures down. I shutter when I think of them. 1st. Some one took my daughters cheeerteam pictures and used them as a banner for a site called teenagegirls(dotcom) or something like that. I sent him a letter from my lawyer brother and the banner was down within a week. But the worst was a lady from Brazil sent me a long note that she found many, many pictures of one of my daughters on his hard drive. She wanted to know if it was possible that he knew my daughter. Right then and there, I took ALL my pictures off of Webshots. Very, very scarry.

Renaldo CreativeNovember 14, 2011 - 5:53 pm

You should try Tin Eye and search for your images.

[…] My husband often says I put too much of our life out into the internet world. I know many people are fearful of the Orkut world and what they do to photos. Have you read the posts by Erin Cobb about finding her family’s photos on the internet? You can read about it here and here. […]

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