How To Copyright Your Photos With Metadata

Learn how to easily add copyright information to your digital photos and protect them from unauthorised use online.

In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to add copyright information to your photos.

This copyright information is known as Metadata (or EXIF data).


What Is Metadata?

The term can be a little confusing, but metadata is defined as “data that provides information about other data”.

In photography, the ‘other data’ is your images and the data stored normally includes which camera took the picture, exposure information and other details related to the shot.

With most DSLR cameras, you also have the option to append copyright information to each image.


Why should you copyright your images?

Well, when you share your photos online then there is a good chance they will be picked up by other sites – perhaps without credit. Adding your personal information to your photos proves that you are the original creator. Although it should be noted that there are ways to strip out this information if someone was absolutely determined to do so.

Nevertheless, adding copyright data is your first line of defence and something that’s simple to do.


Steps for copyright your images

Here’s the process for a Canon EOS 1200D.

  • Step 1: Set your camera to a creative mode

The auto settings have simplified settings and the copyright option may not be available from the menu. In this case I have set my camera to ‘P’.

Creative Mode of Camera

  • Step 2: Locate the ‘Copyright information’ setting

On the Canon, it’s on the third settings menu (spanner icons).

Locate the Copyright information

  • Step 3: Enter author’s name

Select the ‘Enter author’s name’ option from the Copyright Information sub menu.

Enter author name

Enter your name using the on-screen keyboard. On the EOS 1200D you press Q to get into the on-screen keyboard.

on-screen Authors name

When you’re done, hit ‘Menu’ to save the details.

  • Step 4: Enter copyright details

From the Copyright Information sub menu select ‘Copyright details’.

Enter copyright information using the on-screen keyboard, then hit Menu to save.

on-screen copyright details

  • Step 5: Verify copyright information

From now on your DSLR camera should automatically apend copyright information to your images.

To verify this, take a photo, open it up in photoshop and select ‘File info’ from the File menu.

copyright information verified

You should see the information you entered in steps 3 and 4 is now stored with your images.

The whole process takes around a minute and is something that’s well worth doing if you intend sharing your photos online.

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