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un-downloadable pictures



1:21 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i have been approached by a photographer to build a site for them. He has, understandably, asked if we could make it so that his photos are not downloadable. Is there a good way to do this?


1:35 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You could use htaccess to block access to the entire website. But that would probably defeat the purpose of having a website.

Apart from that. No. The moment you open a webpage on the internet all html pages and pictures are downloaded to the local computer. Or how else could they be displayed in the browser?

If he is afraid of copyright infringment I would recommend only uploading low resolution pictures and adding watermarks.


1:39 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

that is what i thought. thanks!

travelin cat

11:31 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Ben, you may want to tell him to burn a very light watermark in to each image and to only post lo-rez pictures.


8:44 am on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There's various tricks you can use to slow people down but ultimately no you can't. For example you can set the image as a background image in a div and then use a transparent .gif to cover it. When the person goes to save the image through right click they save the .gif These tricks will only prevent the average person who is not determined.

A watermark helps but the issue arises that light ones can be edited out even by someone with minor skills and heavy ones really don't look that good. My advice for a watermark if you're going to use one is a gradient fill on a texture fill so it's not consistent. This will prevent someone from easily removing it if not making it impossible.

Be sure to fill in the EXIF/IPTC data but that can be edited out too.

Last but not least.... "Steganography". It won't protect the image from being copied but you could certainly prove it's yours beyond a doubt assuming it's not re-sampled to the point the invisible watermark is destroyed.

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