[thelist] securing images

Jeff jeff at lists.evolt.org
Thu Sep 7 09:44:23 CDT 2000


: From: tjfaloon1 <tjfaloon1 at msn.com>
: I am fairly new to web building and trying to learn
: this on my own.  I am looking for a simple code to
: use on my web site.  I need to secure a image so
: that it can't be copied by anyone visiting the site.
: Can someone help me with this one?

lots of people are going to want to pipe in with their opinions on this one,
but in the end they'll all basically boil down to one succinct thought that
goes something like this:

"if you don't want people copying your images off your site, don't put them
online to begin with."

unfortunately that's the only sure way to make sure they can't be copied.

oh sure, you'll have people suggest all sorts of crazy ideas to protect
images that in the end just make it more difficult for your innocent users
to view your images while at the same time making those that would steal
them just alittle more curious about all the loopholes to the point of
actually taking them to see if they can.  you'll get suggestions like "cut
up the image into a bunch of little pieces and then reassemble the whole
thing in a table" or "just add this no-right-click script to your page"
(i'll personally put a hit out on anyone that suggests that on this list) or
"make the image a rollover so when they right-click they'll trigger the
image to swap to something you don't mind them stealing" or "what about
password protecting the image directory?" or "position a layer over the
image so they can't right click on it" or "there's this nifty plug-in from
clever content that makes it impossible to take the images" (yeah right, and
you're system stability goes down the crapper too not to mention most people
aren't going to install the damn thing to begin with) and on and on and on
and on.

however, the suggestion will either not work at all, will criminalize
innocent users (no right-click script - ie, taking away functionality for
the sake of the minority), will only work if javascript is enabled, will
only work in v4 browsers, or only make it more work for you to do but no
less work to take.

this all takes me back to that concise comment quoted above.  i sincerely
hope i haven't missed anything.

i hope this helps,


mailto:jeff at members.evolt.org

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