Copyright Shown in Photoshop

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Today’s Question: In some of your videos covering Photoshop I noticed that the filename for the image includes a copyright symbol in front of it. How do you get that copyright symbol to show up?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The copyright symbol displayed in front of the filename for an image you’ve opened in Photoshop appears automatically if the Copyright Status in metadata is set to “Copyrighted” rather than “Unknown” or “Public Domain”.

More Detail: It is important to note that the Copyright Status field that is available within Adobe applications (including Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom) is an Adobe-specific feature. In other words, other software tools for managing photographic images may not support this metadata field.

That said, if you’re using Adobe software products to manage your photos, you can apply a “Copyrighted” status to your photos. That, in turn, will cause the copyright symbol to appear within Photoshop if the image is opened. This might not exactly prevent someone from using a copy of your photo without permission, but it couldn’t hurt to have this additional information in Metadata.

In Lightroom you can find the Copyright Status field by choosing the Default set of metadata fields from the header of the Metadata section of the right panel in the Library module. In Adobe Bridge or Photoshop you can find the Copyright Status field by for the selected image by choosing File > File Info from the menu.

While this particular field is specific to Adobe software products, I do feel it is worth updating the Copyright Status to “Copyrighted” for all of your photos. It is worth pointing out, by the way, that an image is technically copyrighted by you the moment you capture the photo. So even if you don’t submit your images to the Library of Congress to register your copyright, you can still apply the “Copyrighted” status to the image.

Of course, if you do submit images to the Library of Congress to register your copyright, then you may want to use the Copyright Status metadata field to identify images that have been submitted for copyright registration versus those that have not yet been submitted.