This year, our blog has covered everything from the basics around securing your images through to the perks and possible pitfalls of new technologies. Here, we take a look back at the year’s most popular articles.

Whether you want to educate yourself on image protection and copyright, or the new Google Licensable Badge and Content Authenticity Initiative, or even just learn how to get more out of SmartFrame, our blog is the place to visit. If you don’t yet subscribe to our newsletter, you may have missed one or two articles this year – but don’t worry. Here, in no particular order, we present the ten most popular articles we’ve published over the course of 2020.


1. Google Licensable Badge: What you need to know

Today, people are using image search tools such as Google Images for shopping, recipe hunting, product reviews and many other things. But the popularity of Google Images, together with the ease with which images can be stolen from its search results, has led to plenty of criticism from photographers and image rights owners. The Licensable Badge was introduced this year as a solution to this problem, and in this article, we explain how it works and how to make your images eligible for it in image searches.

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2. How secure is watermarking?

Watermarking is one of the most established ways of protecting images online, but it’s not a failsafe solution to the problem of image theft. Watermarked images are often used with their watermarks still in place, and are often subject to removal attempts, while AI tools are particularly adept at cloning these out too. So just how secure is watermarking overall? And is there a more robust alternative?

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3. Smartphones vs cameras: Where things stand and what’s to come

Today’s smartphones are pocket powerhouses for casual photography, and they have successfully reduced the compact camera market to just a handful of credible options. But professionals and keen hobbyists still largely rely on interchangeable-lens cameras. So, do smartphones still pose a threat to dedicated camera systems? We take a look at the situation today and what the future may hold for both formats.

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4. The problem with Google’s Licensable Badge

On the surface, Google’s Licensable Badge appears to make it easy for image licensors to communicate whether images can be licensed to prospective clients. This in turn should help to curb image theft and maintain revenues for rights owners, but many image libraries are unlikely to see any difference. So why is this?

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5. Content Authenticity Initiative: What you need to know

Jointly developed by Adobe, Twitter and The New York Times, but seemingly now attracting input from many other parties, the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) aims to make it easier to understand the origins and processing history of images and other media formats. In this article, we take a closer look at what’s being proposed and how this may impact content creators and editors.

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6. We stream music and videos. So why not images too?

Streaming is at the heart of content delivery today, whether it’s music, movies, games or news broadcasts. But it’s not been widely adopted for image delivery – yet. We take a closer look at why this is the case, as well as the benefits gained by photographers, image libraries and consumers when streaming is used for these kinds of assets.

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7. What is IPTC metadata?

IPTC metadata has long been used to attach useful information to images that standard EXIF metadata can’t describe. It helps to show the provenance of an image, and even plays a part in the recent Google Licensable Badge tool. Here, we run through all the basics of IPTC metadata, and explain how the photographer or rights owner can use it to their advantage.

8. Image file formats explained

Most of the time, deciding whether to use a JPEG or a PNG file depends on whether you’re dealing with photographs or graphics, but there are many other image formats for many good reasons. So when should you be using TIFF or PSD files? Why are many images today in the HEIC format? And how do SmartFrames compare with these? We run through each format in turn, looking at their pros and cons, before explaining what you need to think about when converting from one to another.

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9. What is image resolution?

It’s easy to get confused about image resolution, but it’s important to understand this issue when publishing images online. Many photographers choose to reduce the resolution of their images, and there are good reasons for doing so, but there are equally valid reasons for maintaining the highest resolution possible. In this article, we take a look at what image resolution is and how it’s expressed, and answer the most common questions on the subject.

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10. How to protect your images online

Images published online can be stolen in a number of ways, from right-clicks and screenshots to scraping a site for its entire contents. In this two-part article, we take a look at these various threats and explain the solutions that are on hand to help to keep images safe.

Read part 1 and part 2



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