I'm going to be distributing some of my images as TIFF files and want to put my copyright and contact information into the metadata for the images in a way that prevents it being stripped or altered by third parties. At the moment I'm using Photoshop CS5 and inserting the information using Bridge. Is there a method for locking the metadata that anyone can recommend?


2 Answers 2


Anyone with an editor can open a TIFF and save it again without the metadata. I don't think there is any way to lock the metadata from being stripped out.

You could look at digital watermarking, such as Digimarc

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ +1; succinct and right. In the end, the image is just bits. Ones and zeroes. If they have the file, they can do pretty much anything with it. There are basically no technological "solutions" to this. But, making use of your copyrighted works in a way that you have not permitted is a copyright violation, for which you already have remedies. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2012 at 16:32

The only method I've found is to use a very old technique. It was used during the American Revolution by none other than George Washington himself, as well as his compatriots. It's known as STEGANOGRAPHY. There are many free programs available through a Google search. Pick one that suits you.

These programs add small files to the image itself. It can be text, QR code, another image such as a copyright, or whatever else you want to put into it. These tiny files are "embedded" into the image, not attached as Metadata is added as a sidecar. It cannot be seen or removed unless you have the same program and password which YOU add when YOU create it.

I've tested it on many Photo-Hosting sites and Google Plus Photos.

Create, upload, then download from the uploaded image site. Open and run your steganography program to locate the hidden text/files and reveal the contents which were missed by website strippers & rippers! Enjoy!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Many naive implentations do not stand up to resizing or other trivial transforms, so you'd have to decide how important it is and how much image quality you're willing to sacrifice. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2017 at 4:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Using naive implementations should stop. You should really look into steganography for those truly valued images. Resize your photos during, post-processing, to the max SIZE the site allows. For example, the max size is 1600px - do it FOR THEM. Add your metadata AND steganography files. So exciting isn't it. Photography SPIES! We upload @1280px unless the site allows more. Quite simple actually. We use Fotosizer Pro. It has a FREE version as well. Both work beautifully on pixel resizing with many ways to do so. You could also STOP using sites that strip pics too...Have Fun! :) ~Alexa \$\endgroup\$
    – Alexa
    Aug 18, 2017 at 22:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.