For a straightforward example, I would like to add a watermark on all the pictures hosted on my website, but at the same time, some images have other companies' logos and other text.

Sure I don't own any other companies' logos, BUT still would like to add mysite.com as a watermark on those pictures since I would like to prevent other people just cloning my content easily.

How can we properly add creator information when the artwork is done with other companies' logos? We just treat all those pictures which have other companies' logos and text as creative "artwork" (maybe a better word)?

Below is an example, where my picture has google logo, but I added some other text on it(mysite.com as watermark, and other text give more information)

enter image description here

  • 1
    You mean a line like "Image hosted on XYZ" or something? or "ABC Stock Photo" or something?
    – Trish
    Sep 26, 2022 at 9:11
  • Not really, an Watermark of mysite.com on those pictures. and claim mysite.com has the ownership of those artwork. but since those pictures also have the logo of other companies, I need to make those the creater like "mysite.com and google.com" if my site uses the google logo in one of my tutorial where I text in the search box of google page, showing what to search into the google search box.
    – Maxfield
    Sep 26, 2022 at 9:20
  • 1
    If you don't own all the artwork, you can't claim to own it. Using another company's name on your material is legally problematic as you must avoid representing yourself as being someone else. Trish's solution seems to be the best solution in terms of not violating anybody's rights or falsely claiming to have their permission/endorsement.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 26, 2022 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


From the image in this question, it seems that your "arteork" in tht case was essentially the Google logo. Using this, or a derivative work of it without permission from Google (which is unlikely to be granted) is quite likely to be copyright infringement. If the "artwork" accompanies comment on or criticism of Google, or some of Google's actions or servies, and serves to identify the subject of the discussion, it might be considered fair use under US law, if it is very clear to any reasonable viewer that the site makes no claim of ownership. The trade mark issues could perhaps be handled by a discalimer, perhaps something like:

The Google name and logo are trademarks of Google inc. Mysite is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google, and does not own these trademarks. They are used only to identify the topic of discussion.

Even then, watermarking such an image in a way that suggests ownership would ber dubious in my view. If there was artwork that was primarily your own original creation, but included as company logo as a subsidiary feature, that might be difference.

It might be wise to consult a lawyer with copyright and trademark expertise before continuing to use such "artwork", with or without a watermark.


Doing so is illegal


You don’t own the copyright in the logo. Modifying another person’s copyrighted art, such as by adding a watermark, requires their permission or a fair use defence. Based on your plan , I don’t believe you have either.


Logos are almost always protected by trademark (Google’s certainly is). You are not allowed to use a trademark in such a way that confuses their goods and services with yours. Putting your mark over theirs does this.

  • That is why I asked the question. I don't put any text over its logo, but my screenshot has additional text for explanation purposes for tutorial.
    – Maxfield
    Sep 27, 2022 at 0:21

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