Adding copyright protection for certain photos

How do I protect my images by Copyright?
They seem to be copyrighted to a certain degree, but I’m looking for full copyright for my best images.
Is this possible?


Scroll down and choose “No License (all rights reserved)” when editing your licensing. But why would you want to do that? :)


lol I thought I had scrolled down all the way but just found it before reading your reply.
I want to do that just to protect the ‘odd’ photo I deem as special. Is this not reasonable or the right thing to do.
I’m open to suggestions.


Perfectly reasonable. How you want your IP used is your prerogative.


I just think it is better to keep our observations free to be shared with scientists and other people :) more for everyone to enjoy.


It’s entirely up to you to do if you want to do this, there’s nothing wrong at all.

Things to keep in mind:

  • it won’t stop bad people from copying your image and using it against your wishes (posting it on their website, claiming it’s their image, including it in a commercial product); you’d need to search for it regularly in order to find copyright violations, and then take appropriate legal action.

  • it will stop good people from using your image. I regularly search through iNaturalist for images to use in public talks. If the image has an open license, I can use it immediately. If it doesn’t have an open license, I need to find the owner and ask their permission first. If I find two images of similar quality, I’ll use the open image and ignore the copyright image. So far, I’ve always received permission when I asked. This will get harder over time, as people stop using iNaturalist, or change their email, or, eventually, die. Once you can no longer contact a copyright holder, or determine if they’re still alive, it becomes impossible to use their image (legally)

  • if you don’t mind people using your images, you just want to protect your commercial rights, you can choose an open license that explicitly forbids commercial use, but allows non-commercial use. That would mean I could use your image in my talks, but I couldn’t sell t-shirts or calendars that include your image. Again, this wouldn’t stop bad people from just stealing your image, but it would maybe balance your potential loss of income against the value of your image for people using it in personal/non-profit projects.

In the end, they’re your images, and it’s your decision. And, you can change your mind later, although depending on the circumstances that can be confusing.


Your photos are fully protected automatically if you don’t set another copyright, but it makes good sense to use one of strict licences that still allow using of the data.


Completely reasonable, especially if you only want full copyright protection for “the ‘odd’ photo.” Better to share it on a limited basis than not share at all.

There are a few professional photographers here and I’d be curious to know what they do.


a low resolution photo on iNat.

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