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Watermarking & Image protection

Image Stealing


T Suresh Babu

9:49 am on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How professional corporate image selling sites protect their Images?
How they track whether their image is stolen or not?


5:14 pm on May 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I don't know if they have established tracking systems or not, but most of them only have small, low resolution preview files available on their websites... Anything larger than a thumbnail has a "embossed" looking watermark of the art company's logo across the middle of it. You can get watermarking plug-ins for Photoshop, which work in most professional image editing programs.

However, for a regular website (where the images are "for show" rather than "for sale"), unless you want ugly watermarks across the middle of all your images, there's really no cost/time effective way to prevent image theft that I know of.


4:24 pm on Jun 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've posted this before on another string, but check out www.digimarc.com - the watermark is invisible and they have a service called 'marcspider' that searches the web for your images and lets you know if other sites are displaying your work. You can embed the watermark using Photoshop- the digimarc filter is already included in the program.


5:50 pm on Jun 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


There are ways around watermarks, they can be taken out of the image, this thread will give you a good idea how impossible it is to protect an image. Sorry for not giving any good news.

[edited by: mahlon at 5:52 pm (utc) on June 3, 2002]


7:07 pm on Jun 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have, as we all have, seen this topic flying around and everybody says there is no way of protecting your images.

Why wouldn't this idea work. Using a java applet to display the images on your webpage. You have the option of encryption and the image doesn't exist on the users system unless you want it to. Also there is no right mouse click/save as unless you code it in. The only thing this does not cover is screen capture.

I do realize there is a really big draw back to this approach. That being the size and speed of java user interface controls. If you had a gallery page that was there to show off your pictures with a bigger view the visitors would be expecting big downloads to begin with. I have never tried this approach but would tend to believe that until a webpage can detect a screen capture this is your best bet.

I would love to hear from anybody that has actually tried this. What success of draw backs were found?


12:43 pm on Jun 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>> Why wouldn't this idea work. Using a java applet to display the images on your webpage

Because if it displays on screen, it can be pirated, regardless of the delivery method. There are lots of techniques you can use to discourage casual or less technically skilled pirates from swiping your images and/or sucking your bandwidth, but all you can really do it make it harder.

Its one of the penalties you pay for the web being based on open, free exchange of information


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