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Invisible Water Mark

Posted on 2007-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
we have a website that we work with artists and they are concerned about their prints being ripped off.  We also have people that commonly link our images to their website.  we thought about disabling right click and employing java tricks to prevent copying or linking to our website but most of those would probably fail.  What i would like to know is if its possible to use some code or tool to add an invisible watermark to the images on our site and if someone links to it, have the watermark show or if someone copy it have the water mark visibly show.  Any ideas.
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Question by:vannyx
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 18877829
vannyx,

This is a topic which has been extensively discussed here and elsewhere (ask if you want me to give you some of the PAQs on this site to read over).

The bottom line is that there is no way to keep images on a website from being scooped up by someone who is determined to do so. You can make it harder, but... anyway, you already get that point.

You can learn more about digital watermarking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_watermarking

The best known of the digital watermarking approaches is from Digimarc (http://www.digimarc.com/mypicturemarc/). A list of other companies is here: http://www.watermarkingworld.org/companies.html

Cheers,
LHerrou

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Expert Comment

by:David Brugge
ID: 18880018
Amen, That's all there is to say on the subject.
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Author Comment

by:vannyx
ID: 18883711
thanks for the info but it wasnt very helpful, i had already looked at the wiki article and the companies you provided didnt say much.  I wish i remember the website  that did it but i know it has been done.  Basically i am looking for a company or tool that will add a watermark to out website images, if it is copied, downloaded, or linked to (link to would be nice but not necessary) it will show either a water mark or even an invisible image above the real image so when they print it its blank or has our logo over it. I am having a hard time finding one through google so i thought someone hear might have done it already.
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Accepted Solution

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lherrou earned 2000 total points
ID: 18884049
vannyx,

Perhaps you are thinking about another approach - placing the main images as background images and placing transparent GIFs over the top of them. If a site visitor right-clicks and saves the image, they only get the transparent GIF, not the background image. If when you create the transparent GIF, you include your copyright statement or logo but make all colors transparent, some browsers have difficulty printing transparent GIFs, so they print them in color, thereby printing the logo or copyright statement.

The problem with this approach is that the original image is there, and in order to be viewed, it must be downloaded to the local computer. Because that's so, it's not difficult to find and save/print/modify it. Also, a simple screen-capture will save it and be printable.

You can also do something like encrypting the image and decrypting it on the fly in the browser. This requires your site visitors to allow the decryption plugin. An example of this approach is http://www.artistscope.com/copysafe/index.html

Again, the bottom line is that all methods of protecting your images have drawbacks - they aren't secure, they are annoying to the visitor, etc, etc. The bottom line is that only you and your artists can decide what's an acceptable tradeoff.

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 18884073
If you want visible watermarks, here's a low-price solution. Be sure to read their article on protecting images.... http://www.watermarker.com/
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