How To Protect Your Blog, by Hugh Roberts



Hugh Roberts is a true blogging friend.  Not only an extremely generous and warm-hearted soul, Hugh is exceptionally clever about the nuts and bolts side of blogging.  When I discovered my posts plagiarized by an Aussie web site a few weeks ago, Hugh immediately offered support, a healthy dose of shared outrage, and then some very practical advice.

Loyal readers and I had a number of good conversations after that episode through the comments, emails, and even some phone calls.  It heightened our awareness of how vulnerable our work remains when published online.  That is when I invited Hugh to write a guest blog for Forest Garden, giving solid technical support to help all of us with things like watermarks, widgets, disclaimers, and copyrights.  February 20, 2015 hearts 004

Hugh has come through in fine style, and I hope you will enjoy his guest blog post today:


How To Protect Your Blog

 by Hugh Roberts

Many of you will have recently read the news from Woodland Gnome, here at Forest Garden, that her blog posts were being copied and used by somebody else for their own blog.  Unfortunately with the internet being such a vast and open space used by millions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility.  Whether it be photos, short stories, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.

However, there is something we can all do to try and stop this happening.  What I am about to advise you to do may not stop somebody else copying your work, but it acts as a warning to anyone thinking of copying or duplicating your work that if they do so without your permission, then they could face the possibility of prosecution and/or a fine.

First of all, I would advise anybody who has their own blog or web page to protect it by clearly displaying a “Copyright and/or Disclaimer” notice.  There are many places on the internet that offer Copyright and Disclaimer notices free of charge and which give very good instructions on how to copy and paste one of these notices to your blog or webpage.  WordPress offer some excellent advice and instructions on how to display a Copyright and/or Disclaimer notice and I have included a link below which will take you to their page.

If you use a theme on your blog which displays widgets, and I’ll come to widgets shortly, I would recommend you display your copyright and/or disclaimer notice as one of your widgets.  I use the Retro Fitted Theme on my blog and the widgets I use are displayed on the side bar, which for the theme I use, are displayed on the right hand side of my blog.  You can take a look at my blog if you like by clicking the link below so you can see what I am referring to.

My Copyright notice is the very last widget at the bottom of my sidebar, while my disclaimer notice can be found under the “About Me’ icon on the menu bar at the top of my blog.  You are very welcome to use these as the Copyright and Disclaimer notices for your own blog if you wish.  All you need to do is to copy and paste them to your own blog and, where necessary, change some of the words to reflect your own name and the name of your blog.  Here’s the link to the free Copyright notice I use on my blog.  Full instructions on how to copy and paste the notice on to your blog are included.

If you are not sure what WordPress widgets are, then click on this link for full details:

One of my very good blogging buddies, Serins, recently wrote an excellent post about Copyright and Disclaimer.

Click the link  to read her post:

Many of us also include photos in a post and whilst you may display a copyright and/or disclaimer notice on your blog, I would recommend that you also watermark any photos you use.

Most computers these days come with plenty of software that will help you alter photos you have loaded on to your hard drive, but there are other not so complicated ways to watermark your photos.

I use an Apple iMac and use an app called ‘Photobulk’ to watermark all my photos.  It’s a very easy app to use and normally costs $9.99 to download, but can often be found either on offer or free of charge to download from the developer’s website.  I simply drag any photos I want to watermark to Photobulk, type in the text for the watermark I use (in my case I always use ©, press ‘start,’ and my photos are then watermarked with my details, and ready to be inserted into a post.

Below I have included a link for a free photo watermarking app for android users.  I’ve never used the app as I use an Apple iMac, but the reviews for this particular app are very good.

I would like to thank Woodland Gnome very much for asking me to write a guest post on this subject for her blog.  Of course if you do have any questions about displaying a Copyright and/or Disclaimer notice on your blog, then please leave me a comment and I will get back to you as quickly as possible with the answers.February 20, 2015 hearts 014


Thank you, Hugh, for this very helpful post!


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

122 responses to “How To Protect Your Blog, by Hugh Roberts

  1. Very helpful information. Thanks very much.

  2. Thanks High. I have downloaded that watermark app for my photos. Very useful info

    • Good to hear, Edwina. Please do use it as otherwise somebody else can claim ownership on your photos and all your hard work.

      • I just need to put it on the pics I have on here now! 🙂

        • I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Edwina. Providing you do have a copyright notice already on your blog then those photos already on there are protected. However, going forward, add watermarks to all future photos you add.

          • Yes, I will as I can’t get the app on my laptop! I am pretty rubbish with technology as you might have guessed!

            • Which app are you trying to download and what system do you have, Edwina? Windows or Apple Mac?
              Some apps are only built for Windows, some for Apple, and then some are only built for use on tablets such as iPad, and phones such as iPhone. They don’t always make it easy for us I’m afraid, but I’ll try and help if I can.

              • I downloaded the Watermark App for my tablet and phone. It seems ok on the phone but an error on the tablet (that doesn’t matter so much really). I have Windows 8 on my laptop, It is supposed to double as a tablet as well but the app won’t download onto it.

                • What’s the name of app you are trying to download? Is it just called “Watermark”?

                  • It was just called add watermark. I managed to do one pic yesterday from my phone with the app then I sent it to my laptop

                    • Some apps that work on phones and tablets don’t always work on laptops and desktops.

                      Another easy way to copyright your photo is to detail your copyright details in the caption text box in the media library of your blog. You will find this box over on the righthand side of the screen of the media library page. Add your copyright details in the box and they will then appear under your photo when you publish it on a post on your blog. I know many bloggers who already do this and I to do it sometimes, although not as often since I started using the watermark app I use with my iMac.

                    • Thanks so much Hugh for all of your help and advice. Thanks to you, I have already been able to copyright my photos from my phone with the Watermark App, and now i know how to use the caption box to do it from my laptop as well. 🙂

                    • Wonderfull. Please don’t hesitate to ask with any further questions on this. I’m always happy to try and help.

  3. alienorajt

    Very useful, Thank you.

  4. Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:

  5. Quite some informative post on protection, indeed (and the comments as well) 🙂

  6. Pingback: How To Protect Your Blog, by Hugh Roberts | robinsnest212

  7. Reblogged this on Shirley McLain and commented:
    Good info to know.

  8. WG & Hugh,

    Thanks so much for this very insightful and useful post. While we have a much smaller audience, I do notice that some of our pictures are looked at from time-to-time. We even had one gentleman from the Netherlands respectfully request the use of one of our photos for a book he is writing, which we gladly granted.

    WG – So sorry to hear this has happened to you. Your blog is a beautiful work of art, and we enjoy it very much. If someone liked you work, why couldn’t they have simply reblogged it, instead of stealing and taking credit? I guess there are some attitudes I’m not capable of understanding . . .

    Hugh – A question: Is there anyway to easily watermark photos that have already been uploaded to your blog??

    Thanks to you both!

    • Thank you for your very generous comments. It makes me so happy that you enjoy Forest Garden. And I do hope you can use some of Hugh’s ideas and suggestions to protect your beautiful site. Re-blogging is such a compliment when someone likes a post enough to share it with their readers. So long as the original author and photographer receive credit, sharing is very much in the spirit of our WordPress community. Best wishes to you all. I hope your bees are making it OK through this weather. WG

    • Hello, eph521.

      Thank you so much for reading my guest post here on Forest Garden.

      In answer to your question about watermarking existing photos on your blog, there are two options I know of and which I use.

      1. Delete the photo from your post and upload the same photo (only this time the watermarked version) to your media library. Then insert it into the post. Remember to click on the update button when doing this so that it loads onto the post.

      2. If you don’t want to watermark the photo, then add your copyright details to it. To do this, find the photo in your media library, click on it and add your copyright details in the ‘caption box’. You will then need to delete the original photo on your post and insert the new photo, with the copyright details, to it.

      I hope that helps, but please do come back to me if you still have any questions or are not exactly sure what I have said. I always very happy to help.

  9. Unless there are many thousands of dollars involved and and provable measurable damages copyright or anything similar is very little protection at all. A copyright lawyer probably wants a $5,000 retainer just to listen to get started and may not even take the case without the fore mentioned possibilities. Not much we can do about it. One thing we can do is lambaste the thief on social media. Another is to make a post exposing the theft and leave the person’s name as a tag.

    • Carl, I know you are correct on all counts here. One thing I learned from the WordPress help site is that you can send a Digital Millenium Copyright Act notice to the offending party, requesting that your material be taken down. You can also send the same notice to their domain’s host. This is easier said than done, as these ilk often mask their identity behind numerous shell companies, as I found out. I did get my material taken down fairly quickly after sending the DMCA notice. I did a post exposing the theft and what I learned from the experience: Since the person/company using my work is in Australia, I think they believed they would get by with it. Thank you for your very thoughtful comment, and for visiting Forest Garden today. Best wishes, WG

  10. Very helpful post. Thank you to Hugh Roberts.

  11. Thank you for these wonderful tips.

  12. Thank you for the information – I use copyright notice. As an artist I post many of my paintings and drawings – last Fall and in December I found many of my images across the internet. The search took me a long time, curiosity caused me to do an initial search, but once I started finding my stuff – well many hours later I was dismayed at what I had found. I used Google image reverse for my search.

    • Mary, I’m so very sorry that happened to you. Do you watermark all of your images now? Were you able to get any of the postings of your work removed? Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today. I hope you’ll stop by again. Best wishes, WG

      • Hi WG, thank you for asking – yes all my work is watermarked through infraview and plenty of notices. I found a large number of the images on Pinterest and have since shut that option off to people, several were on other WP blogger websites, and then other sites on the web in general. Several have taken my images down, others have ignored my request and I’m exploring other options. But this is an unending battle for all of us creative types.

        Two options left 1) turn off right-click option and 2) not to post my work any longer – that would take away the reason why I blog/post.

        Pretty sad that this occurs and folks think that it’s okay to take others work (no matter the form).

        Thanks for responding and have a great week.

        • Thank you Mary. I wasn’t aware we can turn off the ‘right click’ option. Can you explain how to do this, please? Such a shame that other WP bloggers posted your work without giving you credit. I know there are all sorts of people out there, but I expect better of members of our own community. Best wishes, WG

  13. Excellent advice! Thank you so much

  14. To be honest I confess to feeling flattered if someone wants to use any part of my work. I was amused once when a Spanish school boy wrote to me and thanked me for a post on El Cid, he told me that he had used it in his homework project. As I say, generally I don’t mind, but I was a bit annoyed when one of my images turned up in over 750 different places and not one of them gave me a credit.

    • Andrew, you have just pin-pointed the problem. It is when someone uses our work without giving us credit that is so upsetting. Someone had a secret ‘feed’ somehow from my blog, and posted every day’s post on their own web page, under their own by-line, and had the nerve to put a copyright notice on their own name on the work! I don’t earn any money from my blog, writing, or photography- but so many bloggers do depend on their work for part of their income. It is frustrating and I appreciate Hugh’s advice so much. I hope you have your work protected now. Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today. Best wishes, WG

  15. Thank you for this very helpful information.

  16. Thank you for the heads up! Will do tomorrow

  17. Thanks Hugh, this post is great, I’m always worried that someone will copy my beautiful photos, I’ll add the watermark you’ve suggested. 🙂

  18. This awesome – thanks so much Elizabeth and Hugh. Very helpful post!

  19. Reblogged this on Meredith's Musings and commented:
    Excellent advice from Hugh. The praise for him is well deserved.

  20. Wonderful and very helpful information, thank you!!! I hope you are ready for the next round of snow!! We had another 2 inches today and are suppose to get 12 to 14 inches on Wednesday evening.

  21. Thanks so much for the information!

  22. Thanks for all the info. Very informative.

  23. It is so annoying to have content stolen. They’ll do it even with copyright notices displayed. Difficult to deter those who don’t want to follow the rules or respect intellectual properties of others.
    Thanks for the watermarking info – I needed to know how to do that for photos. We have to do what we can to stop stealing.

  24. Mr. Militant Negro

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  25. thanks for the helpful info!

  26. I have on my page a legal disclaimer and copyright info. I do wish I could water my photos though. I put a caption underneath they are copyrighted though. I use my cell phone so not sure if they can be watermarked.

    • There is most likely an App you can download if you are using an Android system. I believe the photo software loaded on most Apple phones has that capability built in. With this wonderful technology we have available the question, for me at least, is finding the time to explore all of its possibilities 😉 There is so much capability out there beyond what I choose to use on a daily basis. Thank you for your comment and for visiting Forest Garden today. Best wishes, WG

    • Hi Kanzensakura, there are lots of photo watermarking apps out there. Like you, I also use my phone to take photos, and once they have been downloaded I then get to work on watermarking them. It’s takes only a few minutes to watermark them and most apps allow you to watermark photos in bulk, so it’s a very quick process.

      • Thank you. I have found some on my phone. LOL, I need idiot proof and some of these are complicated. I’ll keep looking. Unfortunately, in spite of notices and such, some folks are just mean and will steal anyway. We have to look out for each other.

        • Yes, I agree that some folks out there will go and claim that your handwork is theirs but, the thing about watermarking a photo, is it is permanent. I’m sure some out there have software that can remove the watermark, but I always recommend that we do as much as possible to protect what is ours.

          Copyright and disclaimer notices can only ever act a warning, but I’m pretty sure that it would put most people off from duplicating your work without giving you full credit for it.

  27. I understand that copyrighting is necessary for people who want to limit the sharing of their content by requiring that a potential user ask for permission before using content. When I’m looking for an image for a post that I’m writing, and see that an image is copyrighted, I have to want it REALLY badly to be willing to contact the copyright holder and ask for permission. I usually get no response unless I have a personal connection with the owner.

    I prefer using Creative Commons Licenses. You can choose one that is almost as secure as copyrighting — the user can share your work instantly, but must do so within the restrictions that you set.

    I display my Creative Commons license statement at the bottom of my blog page, since that is the customary place where copyrights are usually found. If I ever have a problem, I will probably display it on a widget up front and center 🙂

  28. Thanks for this have reblogged this great advice. 🙂

  29. Reblogged this on kyrosmagica and commented:
    A very helpful post from Forestgarden blog about Protecting your blog.

  30. Reblogged this on How the Cookie Crumbles and commented:
    Excellent advice.

  31. Les Bush Poet

    Reblogged this on ldbush21.

  32. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Excellent advice from Hugh Roberts guest posting on Forest Garden – How to protect your blog.. also thanks to The Story Reading Ape for highlighting the post..

  33. Allan G. Smorra

    Reblogged this on Ohm Sweet Ohm and commented:
    An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of Cure. Here is some valuable information for all of us.

  34. Allan G. Smorra

    Thank you so much for this information. I am going to re-blog it for the readers of my blog.

  35. Or Mac users can download photomarkr for free. Perfectly adequate.

    • Thank you. There are so many photo watermarking apps out there, and I was very lucky to have downloaded Photobulk for free when it was on offer, after it was recommended to me. I haven’t tried photomarkr, but thank you for highlighting it and informing everyone here that it is a free app.

  36. Great and useful advice. Thank you!

  37. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    AUTHORS, WRITERS, POETS AND BLOGGERS – TAKE NOTE – Hugh Roberts and Woodland Gnome of Forest Garden fame have combined to give this excellent article – Please take time to read it, follow the links provided and then take appropriate action to protect YOUR work online 😀

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