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Thread: Tips for watermarking video

  1. #1

    Default Tips for watermarking video

    Just wondering if anyone has ideas for watermarking a video to ensure it doesn't get downloaded by a client before they approve it?

    I have been working on a project for about 300 hours, that's a fair deal of effort. The video has to be approved by the band. They could easily say no thank you, and download that video from youtube and I would be the mug.

    I wouldn't normally believe in doing this kind of thing, but would feel aggrieved if it were to happen. The band have shown certain tendencies for me to think it might!

    I had thought of placing my logo onto the approval video, and also to animate it a little, so that it couldn't be reverse engineered, (the band are a little unusual, and it wouldn't be unheard of for them to block out the watermark and still use the video as a performance backdrop).

    Is there a simple solution that anyone knows of?

  2. #2


    If you're concerned, it would be simple to put a semi-transparent logo at the center of the video (and coverage a large proportion of the frame). You could also mark it as private on Vimeo and set it not to allow downloads. As with most things, this can be circumvented, but it makes it harder!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    A scroll across the middle might be in order so that every ten seconds or so a short phrase such as "Proof copy Not for distribution (c) 2013 Stripe" scrolls across the centre of the screen. It can be in grey or a neutral colour so that it doesn't affect the image too much but would be a real pain to erase.

    You are definitely right to do this, especially with bands. I don't know what it is about musicians but they go ballistic if they find their tune on a video yet consider taking moving images "fair game". (And yes, I have played in a band so am not anti-muso per se).

  4. #4


    Lol, well thanks for letting me feel a little less paranoid. Yes bands certainly want to share that love, as long as it all comes their way (my experience anyway)

    This will be the last time I deal with 'city bands', it's probably not their fault, but they don't seem to know what 'trust' or 'gentleman's agreement' means, although I can fully understand the reasons for their money grubbing ways, (did I say that out loud?)

    I was thinking Vimeo may have a no-download feature, which would help. The trick with the logo thing is to not ruin the presentation, but still make it unusable - it will be fun to try.

    However, really you would think there was something these days to help with this problem. Snapchat has self destruct photo's, I hoped maybe there was something similar for videos.

  5. #5


    I can also get around that self destruct for photos with screen capture software....piracy is rampant across all forms of media, A clever person develops a tool to do it, posts it on the internet then suddenly everyone is downloading that hollywood movie, software package, CD album.

    Unless I've been paid for the work up front in full I always will water-mark the content brutally...covers my backside and I have rarely had anyone complain about the water-mark.

  6. #6


    I like the brutal bit

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    In most editors you can have a Text frame stretched along the full length of the vid (ie a dedicated track) and this has yr message - if you can move it about for Keyframing over the first 30 sec, then that will repeat making any masking somewhat more difficult. I have seen Preview Copy not for broadcasting...copyright John Smith YYYY. If the text is fairly feint it does little damage but is difficult to avoid . you might like to add another copy whenever the film goes to blank/black . . . which would be removed in the final copy. e.g Filmed by John Smith, preview Copy etc. Any such "protection" could be removed, but if they like your stuff, why would they? The alternative is to make the vid very short, with plenty of "opening Titles (ie yours)" so they get used to the idea they need to be talking. . . . If you present nearly the whole thing, there is the risk they will show it to ANOther who can say "I can do that for less/nothing" - only later do they discover Free is not Good.
    bpotter: - Yes good idea, then no-one can trim the vid frame... thanks.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 05-28-2013 at 11:44 AM.

  8. #8


    I use giant text over the whole film saying "evaluation copy" so they can't even cut the bits without that and keep the rest.

    Every 30 seconds is not quite enough. Watermark the entire video, be bold in that...your time and expertise is too valuable to risk someone stealing from you.

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