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Need to disable right-click

to protect pictures



2:55 pm on Jul 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a house for sale and a website with a bunch of pictures on it. I was just informed that a Craigslist scammer took my pictures and has been getting rental deposits ON MY HOUSE!

How can I protect myself by keeping the pictures from being right-clicked and stolen?

Seems like enough people do this that is should be easy to accomplish.

Thanks for all your help folks.


4:45 pm on Jul 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

This has been asked a million times and the answer is always the same: this will never deter the truly determined, if I can SEE your pictures, I can steal them.

The right-click disable is done using Active Scripting or Javascript. Turn it off in the browser, doesn't work.

Or leave it on, view the source of the page, go directly to the src= of the image, download the picture.

One workaround is to but a blank div over the images. No Javascript needed. But it's still the same: go to the image URL, download the picture.

Preventing the picture theft is not a solution, and it would only be temporary. Report it, what they are doing is illegal.


5:32 pm on Jul 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks it certainly has been reported. Just looking for a bit of insulation in the future, that's all.


5:42 pm on Jul 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Put the pictures in Flash, makes it a bit harder to copy, except someone can still take a screen shot by pressing 2 keys and slice the image out in Paint, all of 1 minute or less.


3:08 am on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This has been asked a million times and the answer is always the same: this will never deter the truly determined, if I can SEE your pictures, I can steal them.

If it can be seen, it can be taken. Concentrate on monitoring for copyright infringement. We monitor mostly for text because that is the greatest threat and potentially does the most damage. It is irritating to have images ripped. Depending upon the image you will never find it. However, if concentrated in niche markets, as we are, it is a small world, and I will find them, and I don't even pretend to be polite anymore. We can almost always definitively prove that the images are ours. The last time we 'had the goods' on ripped images we did a search of their entire site, and then did a search for websites that would have images related to her other big product lines. We found two other lines where this person had clearly ripped images and content. We contacted the other victims, and, without making specific accusation beyond our own situation (and that we were taking action to ensure the prompt removal of our property) - suggested that they might want to visit site X and have a look around. This person has been a PITA ever since. These people scream the loudest, even when you've got them standing over the body with the smoking gun in their hand. If it is a 'small world' niche, and they steal from you - they are stealing from others as well. Some good targeted searching can make what they thought was a bad situation a whole lot worse.

Flash crackers will give up your images as well.


9:48 am on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

watermark the image with a diagonal ( right through the middle ) not too obtrusive watermark of your phone number and "for rent" or whatever ..save as jpeg ..and only let that version off your hompe machine and onto the net or your own ad or website ..


10:35 am on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I've had less trouble with images being stolen by doing a number of things all at one:
  • put the images in a path with one of the directories being "copyright".
    E.g.: http://www.example.com/images/copyright/2009/green-widget.jpg
  • Put a comment in the image file claiming copyright. I do this with libpnm's pnmtojpeg. E.g.:
    pnmtojpeg --comment="'Copyright (c) 2009 Fist Last - http://www.example.com/'"
  • Put a watermark in the image itself
  • Prevent hotlinking using a .htaccess file that uses mod_rewrite to check the referrer and display a "stolen image" image instead of the image when the referrer is filled out and not from an allowed site

Significant drop in stolen images after these measures were implemented, and as a side-effect dropped out of the image SERPs on google too (Used to have #1 there, not anymore, small price to pay).


3:18 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm not a watermark fan; feeling that they do more to detract from the quality of our site presentations. If it is prominent, it is more of a distraction on your site, but harder to remove by a thief. If it is unobtrusive, then a quick run through Photoshop will remove it. Not a lot of skill is required.

Embedding copyright in the image data works, but is not bullet proof. Embedded data is 'visually invisible', and depending upon the software used can sometimes be difficult to remove. I have tried several paths to embedded data. This is hidden, and so one still has to find the stolen image, and embedded data (for us) is usually just 'extra proof'. Embedded data can also bloat the file size quite a lot and is not worthwhile for me. We do occasionally 'honey pot' one or two images out of a selection. If adding our own images for a new line that we plan to carry, it is a virtual certainty that at least one competitor will take our images over 'manufacturer provided' images because MANY manufacturers provide pitiful product promotion support, not even providing a decent set of images of their products.

For sites where we own/distribute the product, we offer all wholesale customers access to a zipped directory with a complete set of all available images in multiple sizes. A folder of thumbnails, a folder of 'mediums', a folder of 'large', a folder of our company/product logos in a variety of sizes.....

There are services that embed data and then continually search the web to find that image being used. I confess to not understanding at all how that works, but the problem with these services is that they follow robots.txt protocols - which reduces their effectiveness. They may catch some, and that may be worthwhile for general non-specific use or non-specific-niche images where one can't predict who will 'the likely suspects' are, but if I were using ripped images I would cover my trail in several ways. One of them would be to Disallow access to the directory holding stolen images.

Not a fan of banning hotlinking. Firstly, the average hotlinker is NOT someone that I want to stop. It is almost always a 'fan' that is recommending the product or website, and hotlinking one or more images to provide examples of how good we are. We don't say a word. Also, for the few bad guys that are stupid enough to hotlink - they are the easiest to catch.


6:27 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Agree with you on the imbedding data ..I usually now do both light to medium watermarking and imbedding ( if they think they have solved the problem by "healing the watermarking" then they dont usually think to look for "imbedding" ..and get caught ..

You can do imbedding that doesnt increase size by more than a couple of ko but yes the tracking can be awkward / time consuming ( but one usually knows where to look for thieves in ones own niche :)

The hotlinkers that really hurt are the ebay posters that cant be bothered to photograph their own items ..the fora ( avatars )or "sig pics" ..where I have had to watermark frequently is people passing off artwork and similar as their own ..there unfortunately the watermarking has to be at the limits of unacceptable to deter some people from claiming "portfolio" items as theirs ..


10:51 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Hotlinkers I was fighting with posted virtually all the pictures they could find on one of my sites on a few well visited forums every day. It quickly became a problem I had to address as it ate bandwidth at a dramatic rate.
They posted them as if they had taken the pictures without any reference to my site except for the URL in the [img] tag. Thousands upon thousands drooling over the pictures is nice, but I'd rather have them at least visit my site.


12:33 am on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Good object lesson from Leoesghost and CSS master swa66m on hotlinking.

What one is a fan of depends very much on circumstance. I have never run into major problems with hotlinking, so it raises flags more slowly for me than for those who have fought bigger battles with no upside.

Good point on the forums. When I was running IT for a large craft supply company, we had some significant image ripping. The bandwidth drain was not a deal breaker. It burned up a lot, but we were doing that anyway - riding a high and mighty niche wave, and the leading distributor of THE brand of a particular line of products at that time. There were, and are, equivalent brands available, but the owner lucked into what became the hot brand of a hot market and made out like a bandit. We were making giant wholesale orders one after another. As soon as an order was stocked it was almost time to be watching the lead time for making the next order.

Each person was only ripping a small number of images; and it was a 'fan based' situation. Fora and free personal sites (the big 'offenders') built to show off their stuff; so to speak. Modest hotlinking at first, but then, all of sudden, my stats were showing a massive spike in accessed files and before long - / and a particular product page went from being the top accessed files to being behind about a dozen images. LOL I let it go unchecked for awhile and just kept tabs on the 'hot spots', the ones that were sending requests at a torrent pace. In this situation, everyone involved meant well, and I was happy to let them help build the wave. Some of them specifically referenced us as a source, but no link. Others would link to us as well. And many, of course, took the images to make their point, but didn't 'show the love' and give us any credit at all. A lot of them were probably our customers already, and surely recommending us by 'word of mouth', so when the hit numbers on these images went through the roof, I compromised. The bandwidth was a cheap marketing expense IMO, and the kind you can't buy for any amount of money.

I renamed all of the affected files on our website, and reworked a complete set from the masters., adding a tasteful (yet suitably prominent) www.example.com to each image, compressed the file size more than typical and let everybody keep on hotlinking. Very few images were removed due to the change, and we got a nice little visual source credit. Every couple of months, as more 'fans' hotlinked images from our site, I would again rename our files (without the source credit line), and upload a new batch of credited images to the new set of 'old' image URIs.

A very young market (high school teens), and probably very minimal technical skills among this group (whom we did not want to accidentally antagonize or offend), so I passed on the option of 'helping' them link or reference us properly and more effectively. #1 ranked for nearly every keyword and phrase on searches yielding 10 - 15 million results due to the highly generic words, we didn't exactly need to burn time on getting more links.

Business decisions from the top eventually tanked the company despite the cash flow of a roaring river - and one of the places the axe fell was on MY neck. It is still around, presumably still has a nice (but much smaller) share of that and other markets,and I do not wish them well. LOL

I'd forgotten all about that set of images. Some of the memories are still sweet.


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