Following a regrettable incident where an article and accompanying images where copied verbatim from this site and posted to Facebook without any credit or acknowledgement to either the site or any of the photographers, I have taken the decision to watermark all images on the site. In order to post this material to Facebook, the individual circumvented all of the measures already in-place on the website to prevent copyright theft. The alternative to watermarking would be to either take the site down (something that I briefly considered given the theft of written work), which would defeat the object of establishing this website in the first place, or further reduce the resolution of the images displayed on the site.
Considerable effort is put in to not only researching the articles on this site, but also securing the permission of the copyright holders of the images prior to their publication where applicable. By copying images and reposting them without the copyright holders permission (effectively individuals passing these images off as their own), individuals are potentially reducing the number of images available for all of us to enjoy. This is an issue not just for this website, but for many photographers in this digital age. The photographers featured on this website allow their images to be shared without any payment whatsoever, and the only recognition they get for their work is that it is shared in their name. There has already been at least one case of a high profile Flickr account understandably being made "private" due to such abuse in the past, with the corresponding images also removed from this website.
I am currently looking for a way to automate the watermarking process of existing images on the site without having to re-upload every single image and replace them in the existing articles. There are over 450 photographs on this site already, many of which are not watermarked, and to have to replace them all would take a significant amount of time and impact on the number of updates able to be made to the website during the busy refit season. With this in mind, the most likely solution will be a plugin. Unfortunately this may create stability issues with the site and reduce performance for a few days whilst I tweak the configuration and find the best plugin for the site's needs. It is also my intention to find a solution which also does not have a large detrimental impact on the quality of the imagery on the site. I had been due to publish photographs from this mornings arrival of Stena Europe this evening, however due to the actions of one individual this will now be delayed until a solution is found for the existing images on the site.
Finally, I would like to remind visitors that not only is it OK to link to the articles on the site, but it is something I actually encourage (hence the Facebook and twitter feeds). After all, there wouldn't be any point in having the site if people couldn't see it!
However, if you intend to republish any of the posts or pages on the site, you must request and receive permission first via the contact form accessible from the main menu first.