Keeping a photo from being saved

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by allisonv7, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    Hey guys,

    A website I frequent was given an exclusive photo, problem is TPTB don't want it to be saved by *anyone*. In the past I've just disabled the right click function in cases like this, but does anyone know of a better, fool-proof option?


  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Unfortunately, if it can be displayed at all (which it must be, else it's worthless as a photo), someone could at least grab a screen capture of it.

    So, no, there's no way I can think of to stop a photo from being copied. You could always add a watermark to it to make it obvious where it came from, but I think that's all you can do.
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    even disabling the right click doesn't help - you could just look at the code and load it up in a window all by itself. You can modify it, but that might detract from the image.

    What are you using it for?

  4. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    slightly more secure would be using flash. you cant find where the photo is stored when using flash.

    but you can still save the image by taking a screenshot. I agree with the watermarking, but if you are truely worried about someone using the picture, then dont put it on your site. you cant stop people copying it.

    if you do decide to do the watermark option, it really needs to be visible - written across an important part of the image to discourage cropping to get rid of the watermark.

    once again to stress my point - a determined thief will get your image by any means necessary.
  5. MontyZ macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2005
    The only fool-proof option is to not put the photo online. Otherwise, if the photo can be displayed, it can be captured.
  6. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    dont put it online or totally edit it, like make it smaller, crop certain parts, change colors...

    nothing else really works.
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    Doesn't make it unsaveable but...

    On what they do if they make a table and put the photo as the background image for the table. Then they place a stretched 1x1 transparent image in the cell of the table as the tables data.

    You can see an example of it here:

    Or anywhere on their site for that matter.

    Here is the code. The photo in the TABLE tag is the real photo and the photo in the IMG tag is the transparent gif. I thought it was pretty clever... but of course, not clever enough.

    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" background="" class="photosrc">
    <img src="" border="0" width="450" height="288">
  8. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Quote by SilentPanda:
    Yes - I've heard that this way is good, as right-clicking/saving results in a saved transparent gif, which would fool most picture thieves.
    However, you can still look at the code (view source) and pick out the image that way - as I've just done with the image in the example quoted.
    I'm not a Flash expert, but maybe its possible to use the transparent overlay technique in Flash as well.
    Taking screenshots is difficult to counter, though of course the resultant image is only the same res as the screen, so no good for print work.
  9. allisonv7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    Hmmm...I think the option that uses is going to be the best bet, and maybe adding a watermark too. I didn't even think about screen grabs :(

    Thanks for all the help. :)

  10. reh macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2003
    You could hide the image further by specifying it as the background in an external CSS file. Then they'd have to know to find the reference to that file in the html and then go get the css file to find the location of the image.
  11. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I know you can get the image still and have done it... I just think it's a clever way of doing it for the non-html reader...
  12. MontyZ macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2005
    Rarely are photos published online at print-resolution quality anyway, so, this probably isn't an issue for those wanting to steal images. They usually just want to use them on another website, not print them.
  13. MontyZ macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2005
    This might work fine if you have just a few photos, but, won't work if you have galleries of photos that are built on dynamically-built pages (like PHP or ASP).

    Best solution is to put a copyright notice directly on the photo image itself and then use one of the techniques mentioned above to make it a bit more inconvenient for people to just drag photos off your web page onto their computer. There really isn't much more you can do beyond that.

    As I mentioned above, if the photo is valuable and you don't want anyone taking it, then just don't publish it online or anywhere. Even photos published in a print magazine are subject to the same pilfering as a website photo. You have to rely on Copyright laws to truly protect your ownership and use of the work, and that's why putting a copyright notice directly on the photo is probably the best thing you can do.
  14. Stratification macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    I'll second the Flash idea. As far as screen captures, depending on the application the zooming and panning option used by iStockPhoto is good (you have to log on to see it). That will depend a lot on the application of the photo though.

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