Protection for Online Images

Discussion in 'Photography' started by BJ, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. BJ

    BJ Guest

    Hello,

    I am new in maintaining the online album. I have few questions in same
    context.

    1. Is there any free service comparable to Digimarc?

    2. If I will put some watermark on images, will I be able to track who
    all are using it (at least online)?

    3. Any other methods of copyright protection beside Watermark.

    Any links will help.
    Thanks in advance.

    With Rgds,
    BJ
     
    BJ, Jan 2, 2007
    #1
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  2. BJ

    Dave Guest

    There is excellent website encryption software that will stop anyone from
    being able to save images displayed on a website.
    It's called HTML Guardian.
    Of course, you can't stop someone from taking a photo of a computer screen !
     
    Dave, Jan 3, 2007
    #2
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  3. BJ

    Mark Guest

    If they can view the image, they have the image. All items downloaded
    from the web are stored in a browsers cahce. If some one wants the
    image bad enough, they'll look there.

    They best way to protect them then is to display the images in a flash
    photoalbum, where they can view the images, but since it's all flash,
    there is seperate files.
     
    Mark, Jan 3, 2007
    #3
  4. I hope they've updated it so it doesn't break IE7 then :) This was
    exhaustively discussed elsewhere when someone wondered why his website
    had stopped working. I seem to remember that in solving his problem,
    we also found easy ways of defeating HTML Guardian. (And it wasn't a
    screen-shot :)
     
    Laurence Payne, Jan 3, 2007
    #4
  5. If these HTML Guardian people claim that it will stop anone from
    saving images, then they're guilty of fraud/scam/false-advertising
    or whatever you want to call it.

    A web browser is a piece of software that asks the web server
    software to transmit data, then reads that data, *once it arrives
    to your computer* and displays it.

    *Nothing* can prevent a person with moderate skills on how HTML
    and Internet communication protocols work, from saving those
    images. (and I used fancy words, which really weakens my argument
    a bit --- but really, we're talking just *moderate* skills that
    *a lot* of people do have).

    Just the term "website encryption" is a complete oxymoron: the
    HTML is intended to be shown on the receipient's screen, not to
    be encrypted or kept secret! The notion of encryption can not
    go with that (obfuscation, if anything --- but it is soooooo
    limited what can be done to prevent anyone from saving the
    images)

    Of course, when you talk about taking a photo of a computer
    screen, you're disclosing your absolute lack of knowledge about
    how computers et. al work (and I really don't mean this with
    the tiniest bit of offensive tone --- no-one was born with the
    knowledge of how computers work internally, and not everyone
    needs to acquire that knowledge). It is so much simpler to
    just hit the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard (that is,
    if we're talking about a PC running Windows --- or Linux,
    actually; it works similarly... Hmmm, no, wait, on Linux it
    works *much* better: you hit that key and you get a dialog
    box to save the file, with a preview and all).

    HTH,

    Carlos
    --
     
    Carlos Moreno, Jan 3, 2007
    #5
  6. BJ

    AustinMN Guest

    The only truly undefeatable copyright protection mechanism is to not
    publish your photos. How secure do you want them, and how badly do you
    want them on the web?

    Austin
     
    AustinMN, Jan 3, 2007
    #6
  7. About the only thing you can do is reduce the image to something
    that can be viewed on a computer monitor, barely. Basically
    convert it to 800x600 or even less if possible, and save it as a
    JPEG file with a relatively large amount of compression.

    That will not prevent it being stolen and used for exactly
    that... a web site display. But it will make the image useless
    as far as any attempt at a decent print goes, or any other use
    that requires higher definition. Trying to crop it or making
    contrast/brightness adjustments will not work well either, so
    it is just less likely to be of any value.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 3, 2007
    #7
  8. BJ

    Dave Guest

    HTML Gaurdian disables print screen don't cha know ?
     
    Dave, Jan 3, 2007
    #8
  9. BJ

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    Plant a big copyright or trademark logo across your images.
     
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 3, 2007
    #9
  10. That would be an impressive trick. Do they explain how it would be done?

    Unmitigated quackery. I've just printed their demo page and have a PDF copy of it.
     
    Richard Polhill, Jan 3, 2007
    #10
  11. BJ

    faune8 Guest

    What tou can do to limot the use of your pics is to pass in photoshop and
    save them at low quality and smaller size (good enough for the web but not
    good at all for printing) I made a website for a friend and he tried to
    print the pics from the web it was a disaster believe me, finaly I gave
    hemie the originals and naturaly was better.
    Jean
     
    faune8, Jan 3, 2007
    #11
  12. BJ

    jeremy Guest

    Plant a big copyright or trademark logo across your images.
    That will have the same effect as the sign on your vacant property that says
    "Keep Out."

    Great suggestion . . .
     
    jeremy, Jan 3, 2007
    #12
  13. No. But I do know that disabling print screen is not possible for
    HTML code to do through a browser (a *real* browser, at least).

    Of course, maybe they simply use the severely broken functionality
    of the Internet Explorer, and through ActiveX monster they take
    control over the machine --- much the same way viruses, spyware
    and malware do --- then I guess they could disable the system-
    level functionality of the print-screen. I guess the system
    could work such that if the client's browser does not have, or
    have disabled, the "broken" features that HTML guardian requires,
    then it would refuse transmitting the document. That would be
    severely wrong, though perhaps functionally ok.

    A browser is by definition something that makes the HTML run inside
    a sandbox, in an artificial universe created and controled by the
    browser, without access to the *real* system facilities.

    My bet is that any minimally decent anti-virus would catch and
    report (and nullify) this attempt of an HTML document to assume
    control over system-level facilities.


    Do you have a pointer to some page protected by this HTML guardian
    that includes this supposed disabling of print screen? I'm now
    curious (and eager to break it ;-) --- though no, I'm not a
    particularly skilled hacker)

    Carlos
    --
     
    Carlos Moreno, Jan 3, 2007
    #13
  14. Never mind my previous request --- I did a quick search and got to the
    HTML Guardian page.

    It is even a more idiotic scam than I thought!!!

    I just went to the sample protected page that they have:

    http://www.antssoft.com/htmlprotector/protected_sample.htm

    Here's a copy-n-paste of part of the list of things that that page
    presumably does to protect the HTML:
    And YES, I *did* use the mouse right-click to copy-n-paste to this
    message compose window.

    I got a niiiiiiice screen shot of it --- which I will not post, or
    publish in any way, just out of (very undesserved) respect for their
    ownership/authorship/copyright of that page.

    It's so truly idiotic!!! I just displayed the page; next I went
    to my browser options, disabled JavaScript, and that's all: *each
    and every* of the features they advertise are instantly nullified.

    Actually, for the screen shot, as I suspected, it is a complete
    and unconditional false claim: the screen shot button works with
    or without JavaScript enabled, with the focus inside or outside
    the browser window, on Linux *and* on Windows. (and NO, I'm NOT
    going to run the broken Internet Explorer on my machine just to
    see if with that one it works)

    Again, my bet is that it works only based on the broken functionality
    of the Internet Explorer, and only if you are inside the browser
    window --- if you move the mouse to some other window (a small
    window that does not hide the browser), I'm sure it would work
    anyway.


    But never mind the print screen functionality: the thing is,
    HTML code and encryption are really contradictory!! They just
    encode things in a way that JavaScript can decode it to show it,
    they break the images into several pieces (that are placed
    together so that it looks like the original image), and use a
    bag of really stupid tricks that only achieve the objective
    against users that are utterly computer-illiterate. (as Bruce
    Schneier --- a recognized Computer Security specialist --- puts
    it, a "kid sister encryption"; that is, a scheme that protects
    you against your little sister that knows nothing about computers,
    but not against much more than that).

    As others have pointed out: there is *nothing* that you can
    do to protect your photos online, other than not publishing
    them online (read: publish a reduced/compressed version of
    the photos, and not the photos)

    Carlos
    --
     
    Carlos Moreno, Jan 3, 2007
    #14
  15. BJ

    Dave Guest

    I tried to do screen prints of web pages I encrypted with HTML Guardian and
    I was unable to.
     
    Dave, Jan 3, 2007
    #15
  16. BJ

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    Thank you. I do it all the time and it doesn't keep people from enjoying the
    images.
     
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 3, 2007
    #16
  17. BJ

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    I forgot to mention, big copyright or trademark logos on images may look
    ugly to photographers and models and look ugly to most of all, rip-off
    artists. But, most everyone knows that when an image is marked up like that,
    it's for online purposes. It's not on the printed or published (to
    commercial rag) images.

    Here's an example of such a stamp on my work. It's an example of one of my
    "messier" stamps.
    http://files.tagworld.com/202c29deb3ee4821b6fd00ad3252cd4e.jpeg

    Here's an example of a cleaner stamp which required just a little bit of
    work in a graphics design tool to put "behind" the photo.
    http://files.tagworld.com/9a972e173819492d9628a16d5cf7ad07.jpeg

    No one has to follow my suggestion of placing a stamp on their images.
    Frankly, I don't really care what others decide to do. All I know is, most
    all of my images is gonna have a stamp on them because, like what most
    everyone has already said, you really can't prevent the most determined from
    stealing images off your web page, but you can make it harder for them to
    use illegally.
     
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 3, 2007
    #17
  18. Let me guess... You're using the Internet Explorer, right?

    Try with a *real* browser (where the definition of *real* is one
    that does work correctly, has compliance with the standards that
    govern Internet communications, as per the W3 Consortium, without
    myriads of bugs, etc. etc.)

    As an alternative test --- which I'm sure will work: try opening
    another window (a small window such that it doesn't cover, or
    doesn't cover completely at least, the browser window); whatever
    window; could be the notepad, could be Paint (that way you'll be
    ready to Paste the "printed screen" into the graphical application).
    Then, click on that window (so that the browser window is no longer
    in control), and then try pressing "Print Screen" again.

    My guess is that if it doesn't work, it's because for some reason
    your print-screen is not working (try printscreening something
    else to verify).

    As I said, I could take a sceren shot, with or without JavaScript
    enabled, inside or outside the browser window, and both on Linux
    *and* on Windows --- now, in both cases, using a *real* browser.


    Now, for the *real solution*: do yourself the biggest favor that
    any PC user could do themselves and download a *real* browser such
    as Firefox 2.0: It's really so easy, and the transition is sooo
    transparent --- you won't even notice that you're running another
    browser.... ehm, I'm sorry, did I just say that? :) I mean, of
    course you will notice, when you notice that web pages do actually
    work as they should, and fast, and you stop getting spyware and
    other nasties, etc. etc. etc.

    Really, it's that easy: http://getfirefox.com

    HTH,

    Carlos
    --
     
    Carlos Moreno, Jan 3, 2007
    #18
  19. I think there should be a FAQ on this topic...

    First up, I think you need to ask yourself some questions:

    1. What will the 'thieves' do with your images? Print them? - an image
    at say 800x600 will look mighty ordinary printed at anything beyond
    6"x4"... Yet 800x600 is plenty big enough to display a good guide to
    the quality of all but the finest large detailed scenes. I keep all my
    displayed images below 700 pixels on the longest side, fwiw.

    2. Will it in some way hurt you if they did? Do you think these people
    would have bought your images, or that they could sell prints of them
    (see point one), or sell them online where you couldn't? And think of
    the good publicity you'll get if you actually catch someone doing it!

    3. What will be the best way to display your images to the most
    productive audience? With watermarks or other inhibitors that
    effectively reduce their quality?

    4. Note carefully - many visitors, myself included, will get annoyed
    when they visit a site that tries to muck with right-click functions,
    or uses other methods to protect images. I may well want to save your
    image to play with it, adjust contrast to bring up details, etc, and if
    you have used some sort of trickery to make it more difficult to do so,
    I shall depart rapidly and go elsewhere - there are plenty of other
    nice sites out there.

    Check out some of the better sites, and see what they do - usually,
    they just keep the image sizes down below 800x600. Here's a quick
    f'rinstance, one of my favorites:

    http://www.charliebrownphotos.com

    Beautiful, just big enough to tell you what the quality will be like,
    and not a hint of protection. Like the other posters have said, if it
    is displayed on screen, it can be taken. But you can't *print* a
    screen image at anything more than about half screen size with any
    level of quality - so you already have quite a nice form of protection.
    If it really worries you, beat them at their own game - offer a few
    freebies at higher resolution, so as to tease the audience/thieves into
    wanting the better ones, which, of course, you show at smaller sizes
    only....
     
    mark.thomas.7, Jan 4, 2007
    #19
  20. BJ

    Dave Guest

    You're right ! Installed Firefox and had no problem doing a screenprint of a
    supposedly HTML Guardian encrypted page.
    It's good that some have the knowledge and/or time and/or desire to acquire
    the knowledge to speak of.
    Not very many internet users are so inclined.
     
    Dave, Jan 5, 2007
    #20
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