You can’t take a watermark without copyright protection. See ICP’s FAQ on Watermark Use for more information on this.
If your copyright notice is very thin on the top, or there’s no copyright registration in the country where you’re selling your product, you can’t take a watermark. Also, the watermarks of other companies may be difficult to read or read at a distance. You should check the watermark of your own work.
Do I need to apply for a watermark?
Yes—but you’ll get your watermark in a very short time, so you need to be able to give it to the right people. The easiest way to get a watermark for a product is to copy the item in a very small store. The product’s trademark, trade name, and/or company name should appear in the watermark. If you’re not sure that the image or name will stand up to the law, you should apply to the Trade Mark Office of the US Copyright Office for a trademark. See Trade Mark Information for more information on how to apply for a trademark.
If you want your content to stay in print and on your website, and you’re using it commercially or in a nonprofit organization, see the US Copyright Office’s Instructions for Using Copyrights and Perms, which are posted on the Internet, or use an online tool called the Creative Commons Licensor Toolbox.
Do I have to get permission prior to uploading and distributing my watermarked watermark?
No—though people are often willing to pay for permission. Your local copyright office or Copyright Office can’t get this permission for you. The only way to get permission is to apply to it. For more information, see Registering Your Watermark, which can be found online at the US Copyright Office website.
Can I have multiple watermarks for the same work?
Some people want only one or two marks, while others like to have a lot of watermarks for the same project. Each mark can be put in different places, but be sure to check to see where they all end, whether on the same webpage, or on a separate web page. If you just copy and paste them over each other, you risk losing them and losing the original purpose of their creation. This means you’ll need to contact the copyright office directly, which, if you can’t get it from the copyright officer, could take hours of searching and paperwork to get it. This isn’t
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