I have been running into this a lot more lately both for work and for this site, and that is people watermarking images they have no copyright claim to. Take the G.I. Joe Cast Pictures (which have now been removed by request of Paramount) I posted the other day. It took me quite a while to find copies of those images that didn’t have website names written all over them or being locked from anyone being able to save them. As far as I am concerned, these images belong to the film studio (hence why I took them down when they requested I do so), and not to any individual website, so why they feel they have a right/necessity to put their name on it is beyond me.
What irks me even more is in my work side of things. When it is obviously a studio-shot, meant for product promotion, manufacturer released photo… why put your company name all over it? It looks garish and unprofessional to me. If someone steals a picture I got from the toy company in the first place, why should I care? Now, yes, hotlinking is an issue, true, but it’s not such a large issue that companies should be paying employees to put watermark after watermark on an image. If it’s an original photo, something you shot yourself, than by all means you should mark it. We do it to any eBay photo we put up that we took the picture of personally.
My absolute favorite has to be people who mark up screenshots of a website for when I’m writing up an article about a site. Come on! It’s a screenshot for crying out loud! This is something anyone can make by hitting the “Print Screen” key, so you went through some labor intensive process? I think not.
Moral of the story? Stop writing on images… unless it is for humorous purposes, of course.