My artwork is copyrighted but how can I prevent the images from being stolen from my website?-
How do I protect my images from copyright infringement?-
Can I install a right-click disabler to prevent image downloads?-
Q: My artwork is copyrighted but how can I prevent the images from being stolen from my website?
My artwork is copyrighted but how can I prevent the images from being stolen from my website?
A: Unfortunately there is really nothing that can keep an image from being stolen from your website. There are measures such as right-click alarms that may deter users but they are easily bypassed.
If you let fear of having images stolen grip you then you are defeating the whole purpose of having a website. There are hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers who have websites with their prized images displayed who are gaining exposure and selling work because they were willing to take a chance with the Internet.
In 1978 copyright laws changed greatly in favor of the artist.
If you are concerned with legal ramifications you may wish to consult the U.S. Copyright Office:
Q: How do I protect my images from copyright infringement?
How do I protect my images from copyright infringement?
A: Unfortunately the way the Internet works makes it impossible to prevent people from downloading images. In fact, when someone views an image on your website, their web browser has ALREADY downloaded the image. In short an image must be downloaded to be viewed.
So what options do we have to protect our images?
One option is to watermark the image, which must be done in a photo editing program. The term "watermark" is used loosely. You might simply add some subtle text over each image that reads "Copyright
The second option is to understand that web images do not have enough resolution to create high quality reproductions. People might download and print images, but most of the time these are people who might actually be considering purchasing the artwork.
Our system uses a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi) with the largest zoom image at 550 pixels. A high-quality reproduction requires at least 300 dpi. So an image from your site could create a decent printed image that is about 1.8 (550 / 300) inches long. Not much can really be done with an image of this size. The image print quality suffers greatly if the dpi is left at the original 72 dpi.
Q: Can I install a right-click disabler to prevent image downloads?
Can I install a right-click disabler to prevent image downloads?
A: Those right-click disable programs DO NOT protect your images. They don't work on all browsers and, more importantly, right clicking is not the only way to download an image. In fact,when you are viewing an images, they are ALREADY downloaded and on your hard drive. If you use Internet Explorer, it is in your "Temporary Internet Files" folder. We don't like them, because we think some web designers install them for clients who then have a false sense of security, thinking that their images are "protected."
We also think they make it harder for your customers to legitimately download and image while considering a possible purchase, while doing nothing to curb the real "thieves." Kinda like the old adage "If we outlaw guns...then only the outlaws will have guns."
AND more importantly right-click disablers are ANNOYING to many people.
For example, when I browse and want to go "back", I just hit the right-mouse button and click "back" from the pop up menu. It's much easier to me than navigating around the screen to click back. I find it faster, more efficient and it doesn't aggravate my carpal tunnel as much. I suspect I'm not alone.