Is there an easy way of making an image viewable but not copyable on a publicly accesible site e.g.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Caseem, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. In order to see the image they need to download first it, don't they? So the
    first part of the answer is an obvious no.

    As to the save part: You could encrypt you photos and require user
    authentication to decrypt them and then use DRM to disable saving. But at
    most that makes is somewhat more difficult. There is no way to completley
    block it.

    Jürgen Exner, Apr 23, 2007
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  2. Caseem

    Robin Guest


    You can do the following however:
    1) Make the image small, so that it isn't much use.
    2) Add a copyright notice across the image.
    3) Put it into something like Flash.

    Of course, anyone can capture the screen, even though it is too low res to
    be of any real use.
    Robin, Apr 23, 2007
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  3. Caseem

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    There is no way to do this. Even if you do something like a flash-based
    slideshow or whatever, the user can do a screen capture and have the

    Don't make enemies of people who like your photography. Make it easy for
    them to license your images, so they'll deal with you instead of just
    Paul Mitchum, Apr 23, 2007
  4. Caseem

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    If you do this, I will not like you. I will hold a grudge because you
    broke the normal functioning of my web browser. 'Right click' means a
    lot of different things to different web browsers.

    The web is open. That's just how it is. If you don't want people to
    download your image, don't make your image available for download. Which
    is to say: Don't put it on the web. If you need to provide a sample to
    people, then put a big ol' watermark on it so they can't use it without
    talking to you.
    Paul Mitchum, Apr 23, 2007
  5. Caseem

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    A 'watermark' is the digital photography version of crippleware. You
    can't use it for much of anything, if the watermark is annoying enough.
    The point is to give the user an idea what the photo is like, without
    giving them the photo.

    A tiny copyright notice on the image in the corner, however, is
    practically useless, because it can just be cropped away. But! It has a
    great deal of legal significance, because if the case ends up in court,
    you can show that you put it there, and show that it was cropped away.
    Paul Mitchum, Apr 23, 2007
  6. I've got a Firefox extension called Exif Viewer V1.4, by Alan Raskin
    that does what its name suggests. I appear not to have anything
    installed right now that gives me IPTC; I vaguely remember losing it in
    a version upgrade, but don't currently remember what it was.

    Huh; I see Exif Viewer has just updated to V1.15.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 23, 2007
  7. I'm not aware of well-constructed studies of actual effectiveness. I
    would think that many people would be less interested in stealing a copy
    of a picture that's defaced with a notice. But then, many people would
    also be less interested in looking at it.

    It does pretty much make it impossible for them to use it commercially
    -- or at least costs them a LOT of restoration time in Photoshop.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 23, 2007
  8. Sure, but that has nothing at all to do with my comment.
    It has exactly *no* legal significance. The fact that it was
    cropped out has no legal significance either.
    Floyd Davidson, Apr 23, 2007
  9. Caseem

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    Sure it does. Putting a copyright notice on your image shows who owns
    the copyright. It is, most fundamentally, a *legal statement.* Removing
    the copyright statement in this example would be an attempt to
    circumvent the legal rights of the photo's real owner.
    Paul Mitchum, Apr 24, 2007
  10. Caseem

    Mark Guest

    SmugMug has some pretty good protection for their Pro package:
    Mark, Apr 24, 2007
  11. Which means it has no legal value at all. I can put copyright
    notices on all sorts of things, but that does not mean that I
    own the copyright.

    Actual copyright ownership is fixed when the document/image or
    whatever is created, and has nothing to do with any copyright
    Wrong. Removing it is no different than removing any other part
    of the photo. If you have the legal right to crop the left
    corner out, you also have the right to remove the copyright
    Floyd Davidson, Apr 24, 2007
  12. Even if you could, it's easy enough to use a screen capture facility
    such as Hypersnap. I used this myself recently to capture some images
    from a Canadian newspaper.
    Mike O'Sullivan, Apr 24, 2007
  13. Doesn't matter. just right-click and hold the button down, then move the
    mouse to the close button and left click it. Then save as normal
    Mike O'Sullivan, Apr 24, 2007
  14. Caseem

    Alan Guest

    Lately I have taken to chopping images into 3 pieces via a photoshop
    action and then placing them directly next to each other on the page. It
    looks like a single image but in actuality it is 3. Again, this not a
    perfect solution but at least they would have to be reassembled to be used
    Alan, Apr 24, 2007
  15. Correct.
    Also correct.

    However, the notice serves as a /reminder/ that the photo is
    copyrighted, and if you include an URL or contact details, it
    also shows who to contact to obtain copyright clearance, making
    it easier for honest users to obtain permission.

    Its presence rules out the offender claiming fair use of
    "abandaned work" or some such. In fact, the act of removing
    it shows bad faith on part of the offender.

    As you say, its absence or presence has no legal significance
    when it comes down to determine if there is a copyright infringment
    or not.

    However: When it comes down to settle the /amount/ the offender has
    to pay for an infringment, you can sue for tort (in addition to
    compensation) if you are able to prove that the offender acted in
    bad faith.
    Gisle Hannemyr, Apr 24, 2007
  16. Caseem

    John Ortt Guest

    But at least you have attempted to alert the user that you own the copyright
    and therefore any attempts they make to remove the copyright notice are a
    deliberate act and not done in ignorance.
    They are also useful if your image does get stolen as people can read the
    url or name on the picture and try to get in touch with you if they do want
    to buy it.

    While it might have no legal relevance (I have no experience so I can't
    comment) I don't see any way it can harm the legal copyright owner to add a
    visual tag and many ways they could benefit.

    John Ortt, Apr 24, 2007
  17. Caseem

    dwight Guest

    Bad analogy, since the clipper (or someone) paid for the magazine. The
    clippee got his money from the deal he made with said magazine.

    The problem is, you put it on the 'net, you give it away for free. That's
    the general expectation, legal or not.

    dwight, Apr 25, 2007
  18. It also helps people who want to be honest and give credit.

    I once shot a picture of a funny billboard ad. A day or two later,
    someone pointed out my picture being used in a different context,
    credited to someone else. As nearly as I was able to reconstruct, the
    sequence was something like this:

    1. I take photo, post it to an internal "humour" bulletin board group.

    2. Person A, whose identity I never found out, liked it and sent the
    photo, but probably not my accompanying text, to person B in another

    3. Person B likes it, and uploads the photo to his Flickr or Pbase (I
    can't remember which, now) album. It doesn't have any specific
    credit for the photographer, but every page of his album says "copyright
    Person B". At this point he's effectively stolen my image, though
    he probably never knew who the original photographer was.

    4. Person C sees the photo in this album, and posts a pointer to it on a
    news site, so now thousands of people are seeing the image - credited to
    person B via Person C.

    5. Person D reads this news site, sees the familiar photo credited to
    some stranger, and brings it to my attention.

    Person B added a note to his album page crediting me once I contacted
    him. But I never would have known about the existence of that page
    without the loop formed by all of the people above.

    Now, if I had overlaid my name somewhere in the photo, all of these
    people would have known who the photographer was. It's easy to lose
    ownership info unless it's embedded in the image, even when nobody is
    trying to "steal" it.

    Dave Martindale, Apr 26, 2007
  19. Or they could use PrintScreen to grab the image, already reassembled,
    from their screen.

    Dave Martindale, Apr 26, 2007
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