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How can I prevent my images from being copied?

Aug 14, 2009 7:55 AM

This is a perennial question, but the simple answer is that you can't. It's impossible.

 

Don't believe snake oil adverts for products that claim to prevent images from being copied. Once an image is displayed on a computer, there are numerous ways of copying it. "Solutions" that prevent users from right-clicking or pressing Print Screen can be disabled by turning off JavaScript in the browser; and screen grabbing software can easily make a copy of an image.

 

If you want to show your photography on the web, but don't want others to steal your images, consider the following options:

  • Add a watermark to your images.
  • Embed copyright information in the metadata of your images.
  • Save images at low resolution (72dpi is standard on the web, but useless for printing).

 

The following image uses all three techniques:

 

lasvegas.jpg

You can create a Photoshop action to watermark images. Use the File Info dialog box in Bridge CS4 to add copyright metadata to your images.

 

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