How to add copyright to photos

Here is a visual guide on how to manually add copyright information to the EXIF data of your images.

How to add copyright to photos in Lightroom

In the Library module of Lightroom under Metadata, you’ll be able to add your copyright, copyright status, a caption, and more.

Lightroom-Copyright-Exif

When you go to export your image, make sure you’re showing All Metadata.

exporting-with-copyright-lightroom

How to add copyright to photos in Photoshop

After opening your image, go to New and File Info. This demonstration is via a Mac and might be slightly different on Windows.

Photoshop-File-Info-Adding-CopyrightPhotoshop-Copyright-Exif

How to add copyright to photos in GIMP

We only have an older version of GIMP, so this might be slightly different from your version. Start by opening your image in GIMP, open Image, then select Image Properties.

gimp-adding-copyright-exif

Add your copyright information under the “Comment” tab.

gimp-copyright

How to add copyright to photos without editing software

It is possible to add text to images directly. For a Mac, right + click your image file, select Get Info and add it to the Comments.

adding-copyright-to-file-directly

This operates similarly in Windows but the problem is that people have found they do not read each other’s “comments”. For example, if I sent this file to a Windows machine, my comment may be stripped out. So this is not a super reliable method for adding copyright.

Third party options for adding copyright to photos

People who scan their older film images to digital face the problem of manually adding in their copyright (as well as their gear serials and settings, if they saved that data).  Fortunately, there are folks trying to solve the metadata problem.

Resources to try (warning – we have not fully experimented with these):

ExifTool by Phil Harvey

exif-tool-command-line-example

ExifTool is a command-line-based EXIF editor. Though the how-to is well documented on the site, this might be better for users comfortable with working in a CLI. This site links to a number of other EXIF resources HERE.

Photos Exif Editor

photos-exif-editor-example

For Mac only and available through the app store.

The eXifer

exifer-example-adding-copyright

An example of a file we uploaded to the eXifer, which is a web-based metadata editor. It doesn’t appear to accept RAWS and is slow to use but this could be handy in a pinch where you need to quickly add copyright to your image and don’t have access to your normal tools. The images are only saved temporarily to give you time to edit then download. We tried it out with a smartphone photo, too, and we can see it being very handy for that.

Exif Pilot

exif-pilot-windows

For Windows only.

Adding copyright with your camera

This works a little differently for every camera, so log into your Lenstag account to get access to your camera’s user manual (not every item has a manual attached to it but for the ones that do, it will already be available in your account).

Camera-Manuals-in-Lenstag

It is a good idea to put your copyright directly into your camera to write to files automatically. Do this even when just renting a camera – the rental house will delete it before sending it to the next user anyway and at least all your images taken while it was in your possession will have your name attached.

copyright-menu-nikon

Find the copyright menu in your camera.

manually-add-copyright-to-images

If you have a touchscreen, adding your name will be easy. Otherwise, toggle using your camera’s joystick or control buttons. Make sure one it is in that copyright is set to “On”. This process will vary – refer to your camera’s manual.

We hope this gets you started on the right path to manually adding in your copyright information to all of your work – whether from a DSLR or other digital camera, scanned slides, or smartphone photos.

Having your copyright tied to your imagery helps Lenstag Rescue more easily hunt down not only stolen gear but misused imagery. Find out more about this free Chrome extension HERE. Register your photography equipment for free on Lenstag today. The more gear that is accounted for, the safer the gear-owning community.

We will add more resources to this post as we discover them and if you’ve found a good method for adding copyright to your metadata, please share them in the comments below!