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want uncopyable images

Posted on 2006-07-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I'm programming a website and I want to keep the images I use from being copied.

I know there are several different ways of doing this.  I want to know how, preferrably an HTML method not an image editing method.

---------------

for people who can't answer my question but are wondering what I'm talking about, a great example is here:

http://www.denisolivier.com/p_sets?sid=26

the thumbnails are copyable, the large images aren't (if you even wanted to with the watermark)
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Question by:lovewithnoface
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by:hongjun
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I can copy the large image.
I am using firefox.
Right click and the save the image :)

To protect images
http://www.antssoft.com/htmlprotector/index.htm?ref=google&group=1&gclid=CIjEh52xgYYCFRsaJAodwShYiw

hongjun
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by:Alan Henderson
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There's information here:
http://www.cybermarker.com/q&a/copyright/copy-protect.htm
and here:
http://www.itlocation.com/en/software/prd50725,,.htm
However, all people need do is take a screen capture or use Snagit and they've got your image anyway.
To protect properly you really need to put a watermark or similar overlay on the published version of your image.
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by:lovewithnoface
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@hungjun

did you actually save it?  try opening the image back up?

-------

i know that people can screen capture the image, but as this isnt a site where i'm displaying photography to display it or sell it, the site serves a whole other purpose, i don't want visible watermarks in the way.  it would look very unprofessional.

hopefully having to take a difficult route will deter most people.

also, as i didn't mention this earlier, i'm looking for a free solution.  i'm not looking to spend money right now
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by:hongjun
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Yes.
I manage to save large pictures.
Are you using Firefox?


hongjun
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by:lovewithnoface
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yes, i am.  if you right click and hit save image though, you only get to save the web page...

we are talking about the same images here right?  the larger versions with the watermarks?  like http://www.denisolivier.com/p_sets?sid=26&pid=938 for example?
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by:hongjun
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I am using Firefox 1.5.0.4
I can save the jpg!

Right click -> Save Image As

Anyone here using Firefox? Please confirm this.

hongjun
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by:GrandSchtroumpf
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The only way to protect your images is by not publishing them.
Using watermarks is the way to go and it does not look unprofessional, it only looks bad.
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by:lovewithnoface
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<and it does not look unprofessional, it only looks bad.>

AMEN! thank you.

I know that they cant be completely protected, obviously, but its not a website with a ton of traffic, and i'm hoping that if people have to go to great lengths, people wont bother, or at least a lot wont.

@hongjun, I can hit save image as too.  (we are talking about one of the http://www.denisolivier.com/p_sets?sid=26&pid=938 are we not?)

the file name comes up as: y_copyright_denis_olivier_all_rights_reserved.php and the only option for file type is web page html only

look at the page source, you cant actually find where the image is located (the large ones, not the thumbnails)
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by:Alan Henderson
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You need to use the oncontextmenu event:
To protect a page from rightclicking is something like:
<body oncontextmenu="alert ('lovewithnoface image copyright'; return false; ">
this can really upset people, but you can use it on individual images inside an img tag:
<img src="sample.gif" alt="sample" oncontextmenu="alert ('lovewithnoface image copyright'; return false; " />
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by:aplimedia
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Save your effort... if you do not want these images copied, do not put them on the internet. There are too many ways past any method you can think of. The only saving grace is that the images will be displayed at 72 ppi, which makes them no good to print in any reasonable size. Also, watermark them.

Kind regards

Aplimedia
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by:Alan Henderson
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I agree with GrandSchtroumpf and aplimedia but you asked the question and it deserves an answer.
I was working from memory in my previous comment and may have got it wrong, here's some good oil on the web about oncontextmenu:
http://lab.artlung.com/oncontextmenu/
A search on "javascript oncontextmenu" will swamp you with info.
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by:GrandSchtroumpf
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That's not a real protection if the user only needs to disable javascript.
If your pages require javascript to be enabled, then your pages are not accessible.
That might get you in trouble if you are based in the UK or another country that properly defend the rights of people with disabilities.

This is indirectly relevant:
One thing you should probably do is to prevent hotlinking (http://altlab.com/hotlinking.html).
A common method is to have your server check for the "referer" and only return the image if the referer is in your site's domain.
This way, the image cannot be seen outside the context of one of your pages, except if a fake referer is used.
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by:aplimedia
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@GrandSchtroumpf

Sorry, I had not read , but scanned the page before answering. it seems I repeated some points you had already mentioned... sorry.

Aplimedia
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by:daz_oldham
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Could you not embed the images in flash - you could even do a watermark in there automatically too.

You won't stop people print-screening, but you will stop them from downloading it directly.

Daz
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by:aplimedia
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Actually. If I see a site and go to File > save as > html and save it to my local drive... I get all the archives which make up that page... HTM, Javascript, images, flash... you name it.

And for that matter, downloading it directly, is not the issue. How you get it is not the issue, the isuue is , You get it!

There is not security that will protect your images...

Aplimedia
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by:GrandSchtroumpf
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no problemo aplimedia.  your input is valuable, even though it repeats some things that have already been said.
this question has already been asked several times on EE (i have seen it at least a dozen times) and it always takes the input of a lot of different experts saying the same exact thing before "don't bother" gets accepted as an answer.
:)
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by:sam85281
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Cool little trick I came up with:

Make a 1 x 1 pixel transparent gif called blank.gif

Your image code will look like this:
<img id='pic1' src='blank.gif' width='200' height='200'>
Change id/width/height to match what you're doing.

Now assign your images in your external stylesheet like this:
#pic1 {
background-image: url(yourImage.jpg);
width: 200px;
height: 200px;
}

Again change the above to suit your image.  Each image needs it's own ID and it's own CSS block like the above.

If a user right clicks and saves now, all they're getting is the blank transparent gif.

Someone who knows what they're doing can still get the image, but the average user won't have a clue.  They would have to view the source, find the image, and once they see it's just blank.gif most people will be confused and just give up at that point.  IF they are CSS experts, they will know to download your stylesheet, look up the ID, get the image name, type it in the browser, then steal it.

99% of anyone wanting to steal your image will never get that far.

-Sam
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by:monstrodopantano
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I did what you ask. Sorta. I did  the following (use what you feel right to use)
1) put your images on a flash file - so it prevents right click saving.
2) load the flash on a popup - so it prevents the toolbar from opening - a simple ctrl-n in IE can override this, but...
3) There's a way to prevent people to print screen your images... and in the same script, prevents right click:

==============================================
<script language="javascript">
<!--
function clearData(){
window.clipboardData.setData('text','')
}
function ccb(){
if(clipboardData){
clipboardData.clearData();
}
}
setInterval("ccb();", 1000);

browserName         = navigator.appName
browserVersion      = parseInt(navigator.appVersion)

document.onmousedown = checkforRightMouseButtonClick;
if (browserVersion<5 && browserName=="Netscape")
  {
    window.onmousedown = checkforRightMouseButtonClick;
  }

function rightClickPressed()
{
   alert("For Security reasons, Right-click has\nbeen disabled for this Web Page\n\nSorry for any inconvenience.");
}

function checkforRightMouseButtonClick(mouseEvent)
{
  if ( ((browserName != "Microsoft Internet Explorer") && (mouseEvent.which >1)) ||
       ((browserName=="Netscape") && (mouseEvent.which > 1)) )
    {
      rightClickPressed()
      return false;
    }
  else
   return true;
}
</script>
=================================================

on the body tag:

<body onload="ccb();" ondragstart="return false;" onselectstart="return false;" oncontextmenu="return false;" onblur="ccb();">

4) Remembe to put this script on both load and popup pages...

5) If you have to use any images aside the flash, put them on a table - but in background. In the cell, on top of the image, put a transparent 1x1 pixel gif and resize it to be the same size of the background image. That way, ppl who try to save the image by right clicking it or pausing the mouser over it on IE6 to use the toolbar will save an transparent 1x1 pixel! hehehehhehe... rename this image - dont let it calls pixel... put a name like image.gif, loader.gif or anything else like this... so they won't be suspicious until they try to open it!

6) know problems:
a) view source option
b) ctrl-n for IE
c) flash saving plugin
d) for the background table images, they still are available on the source code.

Well, not a 100% solution, but it is as close as it gets!

Thats my first contribution to this site. There's anything else I have to do? Thanks!
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by:sam85281
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I wouldn't personally suggest using an interval for anything, slows the site down in alot of cases.

To disable print screen you just need this in the head:

<script language='javascript'>
function killImage(){
window.clipboardData.setData('text','')
}
</script>

and your body tag to:
<body onBlur='killImage()'>

Making site a popup, images to flash, etc. really aren't necessary.  Anyone that knows enough to get past the above and the CSS image post I did earlier will be able to get your images no matter what you do.

Once you get to a certain level of protection, everything else you do is just slowing down your site.

I guarantee you that I can get your image no matter what.  I don't care if you put it in a 100 level flash movie with every protection trick there is, I can still get it and so can ANY programmer.  Most people that want to steal your images, aren't programmers.

-Sam

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by:Alan Henderson
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Well Sam, don't know whether or not you've satisfied lovewithnoface, but you've given me some useful knowhow.
Thanks, :o)
Alan.
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by:monstrodopantano
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i got what you told sam... i was just explaining what i did... in my comment i even added the "holes" in the programming... i just suggested one way. i did all these steps just to show some web templates to a client

cool kiilimage script . if it works like you said, i'll be usying it ok?

oh, lovewithnoface, one more thing - it would be good to not let your pages go to cache... make them expire! i don't remeber now how to do it, but it is really easy using meta tags.
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by:OliWarner
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Just to enter into this conversation late in the game, I've got to agree that watermarking or other image degredation is the only method that you're going to achieve a decent enough deterrant.

Scripts just wont work. That one above will especially not work... All you have to do to beat it is click the desktop first, take a full screen screenshot and then paste it into your graphics application. Or I could just use ScreenGrab! which is built right into firefox. Or Hypersnap... There are a million more ways to take the screenshot than there are ways to block it.

Context menu's wont work for anyone that's smart enough to disable that segment of JS (Firefox allows you to -- see: http://www.thepcspy.com/articles/networking/stop_annoying_javascript )
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by:OliWarner
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And the current method of URL Rewriting (or whatever you're doing there) isnt working. Right click >> Save Image As... is still working in firefox.
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by:lovewithnoface
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wow.  thats a lot of answers.  and your answers have raised a lot of questions.

ok, let me try and figure things out.

i think a good place to start is back here: http://www.denisolivier.com/p_sets?sid=26&pid=940

1.  this image is very well protected right?

I can't save it, not by right clicking and trying to save it conventionally, not by saving the webpage (you get an X), not by capturing the page with scrapbook
I can't seem to find the location of the image
I can't take a screenshot because of the visible watermark

---------------

2.  those are the three basic ways people can get your image, correct?

they can save it.  if thwarted they can find the image location (from the source).  if thwarted they can take a screenshot, open it in an image editing program and go to work.

and, unless i'm mistaken, there isnt one mode of defense that works for all of these things, except for putting a visible watermark on the image because its always on the image no matter how they save it so it doesn't really matter if they do.

3.  there isnt more than one mode of defense that works for all these things is there?
--------------

I AM NOT GOING TO PUT A VISIBLE WATERMARK ON THESE IMAGES

-------------

4.  how do I keep my image from being save (conventionally)?  denis oliver's page left you with the only option of taking a screenshot, because no method of saving it worked.  I read the idea of the background watermark, and i liked it, but i'd like it explained more, and i'd like other ideas.  i'm not sure its secure enough also, because had i tried to save the webpage for example (with images) or capture it (firefox scrapbook, same thing really) the picture would have still been saved to the hard drive and then its just a matter or going through the files for that page

5.  how do i protect my source code?

6.  can anything protect an image from screenshots other than a visible watermark?

7.  whats the deal with this invisible tracking watermark?  whats the point?

------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to everyone for all of the responses.  I know that some of you think that this is a moot point, but just because there's a broken window, doesn't mean that I shouldn't lock the doors.
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by:dandeliondream
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Dear Lovewithnoface,

I know it can be done via HTML code but it does not help much. User can easily copy an image just be clicking on print screen key. Once the print screen stored in clipboard, it can be pasted into a word document or even image editing project. User just need to crop the unwanted away to obtain your picture. The best way is to use watermark on your photos.

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by:lovewithnoface
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I repeat yet again:

I AM NOT GOING TO PUT A VISIBLE WATERMARK ON THESE IMAGES

for my own photography site, yes I would watermark images so that people couldn't rip me off.  that makes sense.  most artists who have their own site where they are trying to SELL something, watermark images so that people don't rip them off.  often they make a few of their images public domain, or if not public domain, they at least don't protect them so that they have a great homepage with a few large images.  but other than that, if you're going to rip these people off, all you'll get are thumbnails

but, thats not the kind of site I'm creating.  I'm not selling art.  in fact, none of the art used on the site is the persons own.  its all been purchased for the site or created for the site or we've obtained permission or its public domain

unless people are trying to sell you something, watermarking looks bad.  it looks unprofessional and tacky.  and it looks like it was ripped off from a site that was trying to sell something.

which is why i'm not going to have a visible watermark for these images.  i am well aware, as i've said before that people can take a screenshot and get the image that way.

unless there is some way to prevent this, to protect against taking a screenshot without using a visible watermark, than that's going to be the one thing that isn't protected against.

lets try a different metaphor this time.  just becuase i cant lock the door doesnt mean i shouldn't close it.

yes, if someone wants to take a screenshot and go to the trouble of editing it, they will be able to.  (some of the pictures. most are layered)  that doesn't mean i'm going to make it easy.
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by:dandeliondream
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ok..just my comments. If you look at  one of the largest stock photogrpahy and digital pictures on the internet,, watermark is a must-have. http://pro.corbis.com/ and it can be tastefully done.

"yes, if someone wants to take a screenshot and go to the trouble of editing it, they will be able to.  (some of the pictures. most are layered)  that doesn't mean i'm going to make it easy." you underestimate the millions professional graphic designers out there.
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by:lovewithnoface
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@dandeliondream

can you give an example of what you mean when you're talking tastefully done watermarks?

<you underestimate the millions professional graphic designers out there.>

i know that there are lots.  but this is not that kind of website.  its not any kind of photography or picture website at all.  

its the website for a consulting firm (which has various subsections) and it needs to look really clean and professional

when theres an image on the homepage or on a table of contents page a watermark would look bad.

also, i'm not entirely sure its necessary.  so far all of the images that we're using have been designed for us, and are therefore credited or for some reason or another design wise have other links on them.  the way we've been doing this is by creating an image of the text we want to link, and layering the images.  so that the one that we're trying to protect has one or two other images on it, and so a screenshot doesn't work.  saving it does however still.

also, this may not be the case for all of the images we use, it just has happened to be with the first few, so if its possible to prevent a screenshot without watermarking, that would brill (though its not right?)

and if you have some visible watermark that you think is subtle enough, id be happy to look--i just dont think that it will work
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by:sam85281
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----------------------------------------------------------
 think a good place to start is back here: http://www.denisolivier.com/p_sets?sid=26&pid=940

1.  this image is very well protected right?

I can't save it, not by right clicking and trying to save it conventionally, not by saving the webpage (you get an X), not by capturing the page with scrapbook
I can't seem to find the location of the image
I can't take a screenshot because of the visible watermark
-----------------------------------------------------------
Huh?

I can save that image using ANY of those methods

I have no problem right-click=>Save image - Works fine

View source, find image, you can easily tell that this link: http://www.denisolivier.com/please_do_not_copy_copyright_denis_olivier_all_rights_reserved.php?id=ZG9faW1nXzIwMDYwNDEwXzAyMTk=

will take you directly to the image

From page went to File=>Save and had no problem saving the webpage including folder with all images in it.

All conventional methods worked fine.  The only "protection" on that site IS the watermark.

--------------------------
Example:

Go here and try to steal the image
http://www.webnapkin.com/stealThis

That's the best you're gonna do and I already showed you how in my previous posts.

-Sam
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by:Alan Henderson
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All the relevant info was covered in the first 6 or 7 posts. We're flogging a dead horse.
1.  Copy protection will keep out the "honest thieves".
2.  Watermarking will stop the graphically challenged.
Anything else is fair game.
Alan.
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by:monstrodopantano
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I still must insist. My script works really well in cleaning the clipboard. You can't print screen anything with any software, because it repetly cleans the clipboard every X milliseconds.

Unless you are The Flash, you can't paste it anywhere.

Just give it a try.
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by:Alan Henderson
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OK monstro, what you say is undoubtedly true, but I can copy anything I like with the totally excellent Snagit, and anyone who doesn't want to pay for that can find a zillion free programs like this: http://www.wisdom-soft.com/products/screenhunter_free.htm
My lips are sealed - I'm outa here!
:o)
Alan.
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by:lovewithnoface
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i really like your idea.  let me see if I have this right:

the image comes up in a pop-up
it disables rightclick saving
it disables screencapture vis cleaning the clipboard

------------------------

i have a few concerns though

is there a way to do this without it coming up in a pop-up?
i still need to protect the source code right?
if the person doesn't try to screencapture it (and therefore still had whatever they previously saved on there clipboard) their clipboard wont get cleared right? (its an if, so it should be but i just wanted to check)
will this work for multiple browsers? (i.e., netscape, firefox, etc. including older version)
what happens if a person doesn't have java or has disabled java?
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by:lovewithnoface
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is snagit like scrapbook?
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by:Mark_FreeSoftware
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snagit is a screen capture utility with very much options,
like capturing a moving webpage, capturing part of the screen....

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by:lherrou
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@GrandSchtroumpf
The only way to protect your images is by not publishing them.
 - and -
this question has already been asked several times on EE (i have seen it at least a dozen times) and it always takes the input of a lot of different experts saying the same exact thing before "don't bother" gets accepted as an answer.
- - - - -

I've stayed out of this one, while watching it... until now. I have to agree with GrandSchtroumpf, I've seen this topic many, many times here and elsewhere - the correct answer is that the only way to protect your images is to not put them online.

Lovewithnoface, I, too, can save that image (or any image from your referenced site) in many ways. A simple right-click is the easiest, I just give the resulting file a .JPG extension and I have the image and can open it in any graphics program. There are any number of screen capture programs out there that don't use the clipboard, and also it's easy enough to disable scripting - many of us do so routinely, and only turn it on as needed for a particular site. Flash may make it a bit harder, but even there you can do screen captures and/or decompile the movie (not that I am admitting to ever having done that, mind you!).

It sounds like this is client-driven, which means that the onus is on you to properly inform your client that ANYTHING they put on the web is fair game. Here's some articles which may help you in that process...

http://www.sitepoint.com/article/dont-disable-right-click
http://www.evolt.org/article/Thwarting_Image_Theft_Fact_or_Fiction/25/3094/
http://www.dwfaq.com/Tutorials/Miscellaneous/copyright_protection1.asp (be sure to read page 2)

Cheers,
LHerrou

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by:Ben McNelly
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Holy cow, theres allot to read through here...

I will only add, that for a serious profesional that isn't worried about screenshots, using flash and dynamicaly loading the pictures is a very good option.

try and steal these header images... http://joplin.com/

You would have to try and decompile it and then find the url its imorting its image list from... and this can be thwarted as well.

*Also I would note that nothing irritates users more than silly javascript hacks that annoy more than protect, and moreover I think it ads fuel to the fire, eg, more incentive to try and steal the images...
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by:Alan Henderson
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......try and steal these header images... http://joplin.com/.....

I've copied one of them, I can copy the rest.
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by:lovewithnoface
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well yes, it is a client issue to some extent, though I am half of the part of designing the site and we're both well aware that it's fair game.

I think i've said this several times on here.  I KNOW that there is no way to completely and totally protect images.  As in, if its on the web, copying occurs.  Similar to if you build it they will come, but a little less heartwarming.

But, my concern is not screencapturing.  Because if you screencapture you get the picture with other stuff on it.  It's not a watermark, but just as effective in terms of deterring people who want the picture.  But, unlike a watermark, its not directly on the picture, so if they save the picture, they get the picture without the additional stuff that the page adds.  Which means I want to protect it.  I'll probably add a javascript for screencapturing anyway, but thats really not my concern.

my concern is keeping people from saving the picture and keeping people from finding the image location.

thats all.  lets make this simple.  lets say screencapturing is taken care of.

what isnt is keeping someone from saving it, and protecting the source.  and im pretty sure that those are doable.   it might take a combination of several different methods, but I'm pretty sure its doable.

if this thread gets to difficult to manage what I will do is open up other questions where specifcs can be discussed.  several people have mentioned protecting/encrypting source code, and that seems to be necessary, so please move that discussion over there:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Q_21914329.html
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by:lherrou
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>> what isnt is keeping someone from saving it, and protecting the source.  and im pretty sure that those are doable.   it might take a combination of several different methods, but I'm pretty sure its doable.

I am not going to say it's impossible, but let's think about this: the web is all about browsers going to sites, downloading streams of data and decoding and displaying them. If the site is open to any browser, any browser can get the data and decode it for display. If you had a fool-proof way to protect the code from being downloaded and decoded, no browser could use it. If a browser can decode and display it, it's not protected.

Now, there are some plugins which allow you to re-code the data with proprietary methods, and then the site visitor MUST have the plugin to decode the data. That's a slightly different approach, but really no different than some other means to password-protect your data. If it's that important, don't put it on the web.
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by:lovewithnoface
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I'm going to try saying this again.

Yes, i know that there is no way to keep people from stealing images.  if they want to, they will spend time, and they will do it.  but, there is a reason i asked this question.  the website is is a website for a consulting firm.  and while graphic artists probably will wander onto and possibly want to take photographs, the number of people inclinded to spend serious time taking photos off the site is probably minimal

but, i know lots of people who aren't web savy or computer savy who when they see something pretty, take it.  they have little respect for copyright or anything else, and many probably don't understand that things on the web are in fact copyrighted.  they save images and webpages and screencapture things--anything that they like and use it, sometimes way down the road, not bothering to credit anyone or find out if they can.  even if they want to, they often dont have that information anymore.

i got the photo off the site too.  but it took me awhile.  when i saved the page, the images didn't save (same with scrapbook)  i couldn't find the link in the page source.  when i tried to save the image, i couldn't.

it was only when i started learning about protecting images and the various methods used that i figured out that i could either change the extension to a jpg when saving, or that i could save the webpage, open it in something else and get the code.

im not worried about screencapture because theres another image layered on top of it, so anyone who screecaptures is going to have to crop, crop, crop

but i dont want it to be easy for people to save the images they find on the site.  i know its possible.  i know a lot of people can, and will, but i also know the kind of traffic the site gets.  and if out of every 100 people who visit the site, 90 like the images, 70 get the inclination to copy them and only 5 or 6 can, and only 1 or 2 bother to, that's better than 100/90/70/70, especially when you figure how many people save images and then what percentage use them.  if people actually use only 5% of the images they save, I'd rather it be 5% of 1%, not 5% of 70%  (yes, i'm completely making up these percentages.  i'm just trying to give you guys an idea of why i want to do this even though i know that the images will still be copyable if some spends the time trying to figure out how)

what i was hoping i'd get with the question was answers explaining various methods used so that i could understand a bit about the different methods, what they did, which ones I could use in conjuncture with each other, how easy they were to get around, how hard they were to implement, that sort of stuff, so i could say, my images can be copied in these manners, i want some defense for each, and figure out what defenses i would use

i was hoping people would say:

you can use a watermark in the background of the page.  this prevents this.  its really easy.  heres how (explanation or link or something).  it uses (html, java, whatever)

you can protect/encrypt your page source.  this prevents this.  it doesn't prevent this.  there are various ways.  heres what it is.....

you can use flash.  this prevents this.  this doesnt prevent this.

-----------------

i'm not asking for the holy grail, i never was.  what i was, and still am asking for, is a list and some understanding of the various methods used to "protect" images.  i already have a better understanding of the various methods that can be used to save them, i'm simply asking whats out there?  i'm also a little upset by the "it always takes the input of a lot of different experts saying the same exact thing before "don't bother" gets accepted as an answer," and all of the people here telling me not to bother and that images cant be protected.

i know that i didnt make my question clear enough in my initial post and for that i apologise, but i've said more than once that in understand that nothing is foolproof and that if someone wants to spend the time doing it, they will be able to get an image no matter how well protected.  i've also said, that i want to as much as i can to deter as many people.  i realize that once i'm done, all of you will probably be able to save images i put up.  but the number of people who could save the images and are motivated enough to are going to be severly less than the people capable of right clicking and saving an image.

i'm not going to spend weeks writing code for this.  and im not going to spend money on this.   but i am going to spend some time, putting together the best solutions i can find to protect the images the best that i can.  this is what i've been asked to do, and as its something i know little about, i came here and asked the experts.  you've told me that nothing is foolproof.  but please dont tell me that "i'm better off" or what decision to make.  i can here for information and your opinions on how well things do or dont work.  not to tell me what to do, or to try and pressure me into accepting "dont bother for an answer."  thats not the question i asked.  if you dont know, dont say anything.  you can tell me what you do know, your opinion of it, and that you personally wouldnt bother, because i am also asking for your opinion.  i have no experience using any of these techinques, and some of you do.  and i appreciate all the help i have gotten, but this is my website, and my decision, and my client and once given enough information about what i can or cannot do, i'll decide what i will do.

so, if anyone is still reading, please, i'd appreciate any help you can give me.  let me know what works, or half works (i'll probably use more than one thing).  let me know what doesnt.  but i'm getting a little frustrated because the people on this thread clearly know more about this than i do, but seem to be focusing on other things.  i'm not searching for a way to stop users like you from copying my pictures.  i'm looking for a way to stop users like me :)
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by:lherrou
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Lovewithnoface,

We aren't saying you can't use any of the methods which have been described. You can use any / all of them. We just want it to be clear that by doing so, in some cases you will be changing the user experience, while gaining only negligible increases in the security of what's posted. It's always still your decision. But we treat this as a teaching site, not merely as a "your questions answered" site. And, we've had this discussion enough times, we bring a little baggage to it... (mostly from those who argue that there IS a holy grail to be found).

If you intend to put material over the top of the images, essentially creating a "watermark" for screencaps, why not produce your website in a flat format, rather than layering it. Then that information will already be over the image? You can always slice the images, or change them up for different pages or content. It may not be "best practice", but then neither is some of the other approaches suggested.

Perhaps the most bang for your buck is use a script which disables right-click for images only. This won't be as annoying as a full right-click disable, while keeping the everyday user from easily taking the image. Here's a nice script: http://javascript.internet.com/page-details/disable-images-click.html

Flash has it's own set of issues, I don't recommend it for an entire site. It has it's place as an element of a site. But, it definately is a couple of steps above the right-click for protection of images.

Hope that helps,
LHerrou
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by:lovewithnoface
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yah, I gathered that the question had been asked before, and as I said, I really should have made exactly what I was looking for clear.  I think I didn't in part because I really wasn't sure what I was looking for, but I should have expanded anyway.

the one reason I've avoided using flash on the site so far (and I hate sites where everything is flash, do people think I have all day to look at their site?) is that I'm always downloading the latest version of flash so that I can view something which really annoys me.  i know its different when used just for an element, but how many web users don't have flash?

the sites accessabilty is something I'm trying to make top priority, which has meant rewriting things after trying and finding out that they really don't work in this browser or this version of this, but while I can have a zillion browsers and versions on my computer, it would be a little harder to figure out ehat percentage of users have flash...
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by:lherrou
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>> what percentage of users have flash...

97.7 percent is estimated (see http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/npd/) so long as you use a version a couple versions down from the latest. But I'm with you, I don't like all Flash sites either (and they are low-accessability, too). A prospective new client yesterday told me that she wanted a synthesis beween two sites she liked, one was a simple 1999-era brochureware, and the other was an all-Flash cross between Josie and the Pussycats and Scoobydoo on whatever was in Scooby-snacks.

Are you familiar with the accessability tester formerly known as Bobby? http://webxact.watchfire.com/ScanForm.aspx
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by:cre8tive
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Although you can't copy and paste the images, it doesn't stop people from using screen capture software or print screen. If someone wants the photo they will get it. There is always a possibilty of someone steaingl the photo.    You can't keep people from copying your photos online.
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by:lherrou
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@ cre8tive

You're a little late to the party, we already went through that in some detail :)
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by:lovewithnoface
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@cre8tive

for the images in question, screen capture can't be used because there is a second image overlayed on top of the image I'm trying to protect.  not a watermark, but the credit for the photo is colored text (a png file) that is then placed on top of the image, so screen capturing doesn't work.  watermarking can be edited out pretty easily, but not this

so the only way to really copy it, is by saving the actual image, which involves locating where the image is on the internet and saving it.  if  you can keep people from saving the web page or the actual image or the source through conventional means then you can protect it

non of these means are fail proof, but they certainly block the average user and mean that if you want the image, you have to work for it.

unfortunatly, i didn't quite make it clear exactly what i was asking for at the beginning because most of the answers i got were like yours, which I already knew and wasn't concerned about.
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by:cre8tive
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I was able to capture it on my mac using screen capture.
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by:cre8tive
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All I did was choose capture and I got the image.
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by:cre8tive
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I used a progam called capture me. Just size it the size of the photo and you got it.
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by:cre8tive
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I apologize. I now see what you where looking for. Unfortunately some people dont even care if there is writing on the image. I'd also place the text a place that would take even more work to get rid of  in photoshop.
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by:GrandSchtroumpf
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> screen capture can't be used because there is a second image overlayed on top of the image I'm trying to protect.
Why don't you merge the 2 images on the server-side using something like PHP?  That's very easy to do and does not require any additional maintenance.
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by:monstrodopantano
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sorry, i was away for some time.

answering your questions:
is there a way to do this without it coming up in a pop-up?
> well, the popup is only to hide the toolbar, so it gets harder to steal. but it's not mandatory.

i still need to protect the source code right?
> always.

if the person doesn't try to screencapture it (and therefore still had whatever they previously saved on there clipboard) their clipboard wont get cleared right? (its an if, so it should be but i just wanted to check)
> wrong. when the person gets to your page, the clipboard is cleaned. i didn't try to copy&paste files, but i'll test it and let you know ok?

will this work for multiple browsers? (i.e., netscape, firefox, etc. including older version)
> yes!  although i didn't tried netscape.

what happens if a person doesn't have java or has disabled java?
> well... i really don't know. maybe we can implement the loading of the images through javascript, so if javascript is disabled, the images won't load. if it is what you want to do, ok?
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by:lherrou
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I'm going to have to say, it's exceptionally poor practice to use a script on your site that tinkers with a user's environment in such a way. I don't know who Lovewithnoface's client is, but whoever they are, they will not be happy when (not if) they start getting complaints about their website from site visitors who've lost something off their clipboard because they've triggered an OnBlur - which is going to happen every time that browser window loses focus (it's not like you are distinguishing in some way those who are actively trying to steal content).
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by:lovewithnoface
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@cre8tive

the links in this thing aren't mine.  they were examples of various stuff, not what i was talking about at all

and, yes, some people may want an image with writing on it, but they really can't do anything with the image, at least not in this case, so good luck to them

@lherrou and monstrodopantano

yes, this is why i've kinda shied away from this.  aside from the fact that since its been mentioned i've thought of a lot of workarounds (screencaptures that dont save to the clipboard, users that dont use java) and its not my main problem, it would need to be able to differentiate between someone who had just copied that page to the clipboard and someone who hadn't.  because if i lost my something that was only on my clipboard because some webpage had wiped it i would be ridiculously pissed off.  i'd take them to small claims court for damages pissed off.  and, i'm not entirely worried about screen captures.  they screen capture it, they get it with blue writing on it.

@GrandSchtroumpf

<Why don't you merge the 2 images on the server-side using something like PHP?  That's very easy to do and does not require any additional maintenance.>

could you elaborate?  as in explain what merging the 2 images means, what it would prevent and a quick run down on how to do it?

because that was really really greek to me.  most of the stuff people have suggested i've heard of before, but not that.  it sounds delightful though
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GrandSchtroumpf earned 100 total points
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If you merge the 2 images on the server-side then the image is never published without the credits and your problem is solved.
http://www.php.net/imagecopymerge
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by:lovewithnoface
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ok, i think i understand that in theory, but i dont entirely get it.

and couldn't someone still read the source and find where the picture is located?

i think that i'm kinda not entirely getting it i'm afraid
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by:GrandSchtroumpf
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I guess you don't want to merge the 2 images (real image + credits) using some image editor (photoshop, gimp) only because it's hard to maintain.  And you also consider that merging the 2 images is enough protection.  Correct me if i'm wrong.

If i'm right, then you can automate the merge on the server-side.  The client-side will only see the merged image and does not need to have access to the original images.  That's exactly the same technique as automatic watermarking except that it adds the "credits" on the image instead of adding a watermark.
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by:lovewithnoface
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<I guess you don't want to merge the 2 images (real image + credits) using some image editor (photoshop, gimp) only because it's hard to maintain.>

Well, various reasons but yes, that's the jist.  I don't want to do photo editing to add the credit every time we decide to change something.

<And you also consider that merging the 2 images is enough protection.>

yes

ok, this sounds perfect, I think where I'm confused, is that i just don't understand merging two images, the process, and the website didn't help.  i get why it would be perfect, but i don't understand the technical part.  i think
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by:lherrou
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Here's some information which may be useful:

http://php.about.com/od/advancedphp/ss/gd_library.htm (Start with this one)
http://codewalkers.com/tutorials.php?show=3&page=1
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/8799

There are also some good tidbits here on E-E, try searching for "GD image merge" for example.

You may not need to merge images, it may be enough to overlay text. But, the above should help you get started.
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by:GrandSchtroumpf
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IMHO, the technical part does not really belong to this discussion...  It's server-side, so it can be done in various ways and the end-user won't see the difference.  It all depends on what's available on your server (php, perl, jsp, asp...).  If you want to use PHP, then open a question in the PHP section, experts there will give you better answers.
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by:Alan Henderson
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A book could be written from the exhaustive information that the questioner has been given. Extensive answers from GrandSchtroumpf, lherrou, sam85281 in particular have provided all the relevant information for a problem that is fundamentally insoluble. They should be given the points IMHO.
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by:Mark_FreeSoftware
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agree with that
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by:OliWarner
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and again. this question should been closed several weeks ago.
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by:lovewithnoface
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sorry everyone....i'll close this myself, i didn't realize it was still open or that it had been this long.
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by:lovewithnoface
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Alright.  I'm sorry this took so long, but, if my math is correct and I can correctly add to 500, this will be closed momentarily.  I gave points to everyone who helped me and who's advice I might use, and to people who told me things I needed to know, and to stuff that I thought should really be in this PAQ.  Like don't clear people's clipboard's for them.

I appreciate all of the time and effort everyone took, and I hope that you'll appreciate this.

D_Brugge and I got into a conversation on a pointer to this question and this is something D_Brugge did that I think you'll all appreciate, maybe even more than the fact that this thread is finally closed.

Enjoy!
http://www.somedomain.com/tali/EE-testing/images/Protect.jpg (Link edited by CetusMOD per http:Q_22038181.html)
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