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Making images secure

 11:39 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

What is the best way to protect images on a web page so that others can't right-click on them to copy them.



 12:02 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

There is no possible way. The way that the web works is that the image is copied to the end-user's machine, then displayed in the browser. You cannot defeat this and still have the images available in a web browser. All you can do is make it more difficult to get to the standard options in the web browser, but anyone with any technical skill can defeat that.


 12:05 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Here's a link for the standard JavaScript solution. [javascript.internet.com] note that MSIE and NN are different.

This won't really stop anything but casual theft, however. The committed thief has a lot of other options, including turning off javascript in their browser or looking in their cache.

When it comes to images, I don't know of any way to disable a simple screen capture -- that does the job and also bypasses embedded copyright messages.

sean orourke

 12:28 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Depending on the type of site/images you have, there is always the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach. By this I mean adding a small, discrete reference of your URL on the pictures. This can drive a surprising amount of traffic in the right situations.

(not that I agree with people who pilfer images, but maybe 90% of the people online don't even know what "copyright" means.... you can always have lawyers explain the term to them, but that might be better saved for issues such as pagejacking)


 2:48 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Isn't there some sort of "watermark" tracking system where you can see if others have pinched your images and displayed them on their sites? Could have sworn I've seen this somewhere before. Perhaps it's a specialized company that offers this service.

sean orourke

 3:36 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think the company in question is Digimarc [digimarc.com].

A good general resource is WDVL : Graphics : Theft [wdvl.com]

If anyone has experience using any these services, feel free to jump in.


 8:09 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

One of our partners is a professional photographer who uses a Digimarc embedded copyright on every web image. Photoshop has included the plug-in since at least v. 5.0.

In almost three years, he's had no cause to use it against theft at all. But he has had one new client who tracked him down through Digimarc, rather than directly through the website.

He feels that using Digimarc is a sign of his legitimate standing as a professional.

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