What is a Watermark?

A watermark (also know as digital watermark) is a piece of textual data (an authors name or a website name) that permanently embedded on a graphic or video for copyrighting and authenticating them. A digital watermark can also be placed inside music or other types of sound files.

Why is it important?
It is very important because people steal and claim their newly stolen merchandise (graphic or textual) as their own without giving proper credit where that credit is due.

Why do you need to watermark?
People (or thieves if you want to call them that) will hotlink your graphic to show it on their site, or they will simply steal it, but in both cases, you don't get credit.

What is a hotlink or hotlinking?
A hotlink is a connection between website and file. In this case it is used as a connection from ANOTHER website (not yours) to your file. Meaning you are paying storage fees and data transfer fees for their stolen picture... without you getting credit.

If someone steals my watermarked picture, what does that mean for me?
YOU GET THE CREDIT no matter what site that picture pops up on and the thief can't take credit for it. So if you watermarked your website address on your picture and then it's stolen... your address is still there and more likely going to increase your chance of a new visitor.

What does a watermark look like?
Watermarks come in all shapes, sizes and colors so it's hard to answer this question. What I can share with you... a watermark SHOULDN'T take away from the picture. They should be legible and soft so they don't take away from the picture. Example below:

Before

and

After

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