October 6, 2006
Dear CNET members,
Well, folks, I'm back from spending a whole week dedicated to my kids. And let me tell you, it was a tiring week with a four-year-old and a seven-month-old, but it was so darn rewarding. I wish I could do it more often, but their future education doesn't come free, so I'm back at work. :) Before I start on this week's topic, I realized (through your feedback in the previous Community Help and How-to newsletter on the solution for sending MP3s through a wireless network to a stereo) that I had made a mistake and left a paragraph in the answer that threw many of you off. I want to apologize to you folks for putting misleading text in the winning answer. So I corrected the winning answer in the archived version of the newsletter to avoid any future reader confusion. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, and again I apologize for this mistake. Now let's tackle Rita's question on how she can deter theft of her digital images by using a digital signature or a watermark.
With so many of us using personal digital images online, ranging from Web site use to e-commerce purposes, it can be heart-wrenching to find your hard work being used without your permission. So I'm glad Rita brought up this question for us to address. I've personally experienced this theft a few times on an auction site where someone used my photos for their transactions without my permission. I felt violated! While digital image theft is inevitable online, this week's winning answer by Darren will help you either deter theft or prove that you are the rightful owner of your work. There are many great submissions from our members, so give them all a read. If you have any other advice or recommendations, please share them with us in this week's discussion. Take care and have a great weekend!
Member Question of the Week
I love taking pictures, but I want to sign my work before
putting it out into the public. As painters of old signed
their names to their work, is there a way of digitally signing
digital photographs so as to embed your name in the piece
prior to putting it up on the Web? Is there a program that
does this? Should I put something in the picture that only I
will know that's there so that the image can't be stolen by
someone else? Could a copyright sign also be digitally
embedded within a work? Thanks for all
Dear Rita, it is a very good idea to sign your work when publishing anything online, unless you want to distribute it as copyleft (opposite of copyright) or have it ripped off.
There are a number of ways to digitally sign the artwork you produce and numerous software apps that will allow you to do this.
First, you could watermark your image, this is where you put a mark somewhere on the image (usually in the background), so that if anyone tries to pinch it from your site, you'll be able to prove that it did originate from you. To watermark something, you could do anything that will make your work obviously yours, and you can have it either obvious or hidden.
Darren F. of the United Kingdom
efforts, we're sending him his choice of any
Help.com Learning CD.
Check out next week's question:
Hi, CNET, I need to get serious about doing backups. I don't currently back up any of my data, mostly because I don't know where to start. My system has a 160GB HD, so I'm storing a lot of files. It would be awful to lose them, and I'd be pretty embarrassed as well. So where do I start? What's the best method and best practices? Which files need to be backed up, and which can be ignored? Are there some common pitfalls to avoid? I'm running Windows XP (SP2), and I have a DVD burner and USB ports. Thanks!
Natalie L. of Madison, Wisconsin
If you have the answer,
e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we choose your response, you'll get a
free Help.com CD.
Have a question?
Simple question, simple answer
Help your fellow members
This week on CNET
Calling all gear heads!
Do you like staying on the cutting edge of consumer electronics; do you enjoy impersonating your favorite tech reporter in the mirror? CNET has the opportunity of a lifetime waiting for you! Click here to find out how you can get inside CES - the biggest consumer electronics show.