I recommend adding copyright and contact information to your photos and videos so that when you share them with the outside world, the 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. Unfortunately the cloud-based Lightroom CC (as opposed to Lightroom Classic CC) only enables you to add your copyright, but that’s most important and better than nothing. Note that the copyright won’t appear on your images – that functionality is called “watermarking” and is not (yet?) available in Lightroom CC .
The U.S. Copyright Office states that your copyright should take the form of “© YYYY Your Name” (e.g. © 2019 Laura Shoe), so at the beginning of each year I recommend updating the import preference that I discuss below with the new year, and making sure that you have added your copyright to all of your previously-imported photos. U.S. photographers: you should also register your photos with the U.S. Copyright Office – having added your copyright information to the photo metadata might not be sufficient to pursue a claim against someone who has stolen your photo.
Lightroom CC Desktop
Copyright can be added manually to photos already in Lightroom CC, and automatically to newly imported photos going forward.
Adding Copyright to Photos Already in Lightroom CC
I recommend doing one year of photos at a time so that you can use the proper year in the copyright notice.
- Go to Grid view (G).
- Open the My Photos panel, if it’s not open already, by clicking on the books icon.
- Expand the By Date section to show years by clicking on the sideways triangle to the right of By Date.
- Select a year.
- Select all photos in the grid – go to Edit>Select All or use Ctl-A on PC or Cmd-A on Mac.
- Click on the i in the bottom right to open the Info panel. When you place your cursor in the Copyright field the © symbol will be added automatically. Type in year your-name in the Copyright field (e.g. Laura Shoe 2019) and then hit Enter/Return. This copyright has been added to all photos that you selected.
- Deselect all photos: Edit>Select None, or Ctl/Cmd-D. Don’t forget this step!
- Repeat the process with all other years.
Adding Copyright to Newly Imported Images Going Forward
It’s easy to set up Lightroom CC to add your copyright to newly imported images:
- Go to Edit>Preferences (PC) or Adobe Lightroom CC>Preferences on Mac
- Click on General
- In the Import section, type year your-name (2019 Laura Shoe). © is added automatically.
- Click on Done.
This will only apply your copyright to photos you import from now on.
Lightroom CC on Mobile Devices
In Lightroom CC on mobile devices you can add your copyright to newly imported images, and you can add it one at a time to images already imported. (I don’t recommend the latter if you also use Lightroom CC desktop or Lightroom Classic CC desktop, since in these applications you can add it to many or all photos at once.) Hopefully the ability to add information to multiple photos at once will come to Lightroom CC mobile sometime soon.
Adding Copyright to All Newly Imported Images Going Forward
- On the main Lightroom CC screen (Albums view), tap on the gear symbol in the top right to access Settings. Select General:
- Turn on the Add Copyright switch. When you place the cursor in the Copyright field, © is not automatically added. At least on my iPhone there’s also no way to add it – it’s not in keyboard symbols and it can’t be pasted in from elsewhere. Instead use parenthesis – type “(c) year your-name”.
- Once you’re done, hit the Back button and then the X in the top right to exit Settings.
Adding Copyright to Photos Already Imported
Add your copyright to images one at a time:
- In single-photo (loupe) view, tap on the dropdown at the top of the screen and choose Info. When you place the cursor in the Copyright field, © is not automatically added. At least on my iPhone there’s no way to add it – it’s not in keyboard symbols and it can’t be pasted in from elsewhere. Instead, type “(c) year your-name” (c) 2019 Laura Shoe.
Add your copyright to all images already imported:
Wait until your images have synced to Lightroom CC desktop and follow the instructions in that section above, or until they sync to Lightroom Classic CC, and follow the instructions in my Classic CC copyright article.
Happy New Year, everyone – I hope you have a happy, healthy and photographically-inspired 2019!