Jan 022016
Lightroom-copyright-metadata-presetI recommend adding copyright and contact information to your photos as you import them into Lightroom, so that when you share photos with the outside world, this data automatically tags along with them and people can get in touch with you if they come across your photos and want to use them. For photos already in Lightroom, it’s not too late — you can also add this information in the Library module.

In this video tutorial, I show you how to:

  • Create and update a copyright and contact information “metadata preset”
  • Apply your preset to photos as you import them
  • View copyright and contact information for your photos using the Metadata panel in the Library module
  • Apply your preset to any selected photos in the Library module.

Note that this copyright and contact information tags along with your photos in the file properties data — it is not written across your photos. To write information onto your photos themselves, use the Watermarking functionality in the Export dialog.

(For highest resolution viewing, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel (Youtube Sprocket Wheel) in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)

For those of you who prefer written instructions rather than watching a video, here’s an article from a couple years ago explaining how to create and apply a copyright metadata preset.

Update: It still isn’t easy for all people who may come across your images to view this extensive copyright information. Anyone who has Lightroom, Bridge, or another program that can read it will be able to view it. In addition, on Mac it can be viewed in Preview (Tools>Show Inspector, “i” tab.) On Windows, in Explorer one can view the copyright field (right-click on the file and choose Properties, then the Detail tab), and one can view the Creator field by adding Creator as a column in Details view, but I haven’t found a way to view the contact information. Nevertheless, there is no cost to including it, and it does show that you made a positive effort to communicate this information. If you want to be sure that everyone will see it, then you should watermark your photos.

Note that at least in the U.S., to have a claim of copyright infringement that will hold up in court, you need to have registered your images with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Related Post: Video Tutorial on Watermarking Photos

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