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Guardian2003
Site Admin


Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 6793
Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:22 am Reply with quote

I have just been looking into ways of preventing image theft from html coded sites.
There seems to be some fairly standard techniques such as embedding copyright watermarks within the image but this does not work for small images such as icons.
Disabling right clicking with js but this does not prevent viewing of the source code and thus viewing the image file path etc etc.

Has anyone come across any other techniques to prevent image theft, perhaps by preventing images being access from anything other than the domain it is residing in?
 
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Raven
Site Admin/Owner


Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 17086

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:53 am Reply with quote

Quote:
preventing images being access from anything other than the domain it is residing in

That seems to be the safest way. Using .htaccess there are several examples of this if you Google.
 
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Guardian2003
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:03 am Reply with quote

Thanks Raven. One of the things that popped into my head was htacess so I'll try some diferent search criteria.


<waiting for comments like "well theres plenty of room in there">
 
djmaze
Subject Matter Expert


Joined: May 15, 2004
Posts: 719
Location: http://tinyurl.com/5z8dmv

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:59 am Reply with quote

You can't prevent image theft since the browser "cache" already stores the images.

However you could force images to be "no-cache" but that generates a lot more traffic/bandwidth on your site. This technique is still not foolproof since anyone can spoof the HTTP_REFERER and use any coded script to fetch images the hard way if they realy want to OR use Firefox which has a "page properties" window which allows anyone to save any multimedia from a page (image, flash, movie, etc.)

The only legal way is to attach a copyright notice inside the images themselves (not a optical one) which increases the file size slightly. This way if anyone uses your images you could legaly force them to remove the image and bring it to court if necesary.
Do put a notice about multimedia copyrights in your footer or a "copyrights" page.
 
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Guardian2003
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:29 am Reply with quote

Thanks for the extra input djmaze.
I think I have just about come to the conclusion that if someone wants your graphics, there is not an awful lot one can do about it except perhaps make it more trouble than its worth and hopefully they will find an easier target.

I had not given it much thought before but a friend of mine just invested almost $2,000 for some custom graphics and with not so much as a blank index.html file in the images directory he realised his mistake when I emailed him a zipped copy of all his images and flash files.
This got me thinking about just how easy it is to have graphics file stolen.

I appreciate everyones input.
 
VinDSL
Life Cycles Becoming CPU Cycles


Joined: Jul 11, 2004
Posts: 614
Location: Arizona (USA) Admin: NukeCops.com Admin: Disipal Designs Admin: Lenon.com

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:39 pm Reply with quote

This is always an odd topic, filled with subtleties...

Usually, when someone talks about 'image theft', they are referring to 'bandwidth theft', e.g. hotlinking. Or, they are talking about protecting copyrighted material. However, in your friend's case, it sounds like you are talking about simply locking down his server, so ppl cannot gallivant around the subdirectories, downloading his files at will - whether or not he publishes them on his web site, i.e. 'stealing' images that aren't even meant to be displayed on his web site.

If that's the case, empty 'index.html' files, as you indicated, seem to work as good as anything at keeping snoopy ppl from poking around your server. I've got them all over the place, whether I need them or not. Wink

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Steptoe
Involved
Involved


Joined: Oct 09, 2004
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:27 pm Reply with quote

I little Diff piont of veiw..
We put a copyright water mark on our pics in the gallery, havnt figured out how to do it with those in the forums.
If a pic is uploaded with a lot of background I will crop it so the subject is the main part of the pic, this then makes it difficult to remove the watemark at the bottom without 'killing' the pic
Thu the water marks are " Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! " we do make it clear the actual copyright remains with the poster.
We do get our pics being found in other sites, forums and such...and still have the watermark. We are not to worried about this, checking refers loggs/ips of visitors we then get these browsing our site, and in most cases new members, that are active. In most cases since the pic is water marked there is also a link to our site.
So
Theft of watermarked pics =
1/increased links to our site...good for Google and us
2/increased visitors/ members good for us

I do have on question thu, If the meta info of the pics has the site url in it, do search engines read this at all?
 
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Guardian2003
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:22 pm Reply with quote

Vin, appreciate the input (as always).
I was referring to images in a web directory which are not used on the site and images stored in the same directory which are used on the site.
Obviously the images on the web server are not the original vector images but images resized for use on the site and converted to gif format but never the less, it raised some curiosity on my part on how they could be protected to a degree where it would be easier for a 'thief' to go elsewhere.
There does not seem any concern on hotlinking, merely that anyone can grab the images and use them elsewhere.

So far I have found that a simple js script will disable right click to view source - but this only seems to works in IE. Watermarks seem easy enough to add to larger images but resources I have looked at say that watermarking doesnt work too well with small images such as the many 50x50 and 80x80 icons he has.
Something like
Code:
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^http://www.yourdomain.com/" locally_linked=1

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^http://www.yourdomain.com$" locally_linked=1
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^http://yourdomain.com/" locally_linked=1
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^http://yourdomain.com$" locally_linked=1
<FilesMatch "\.(gif|swf|png|jpe?g)">
Order Allow, Deny
Allow from env-locally_linked
</FilesMatch>
in htaccess is reported to work well but I have not tried that yet.

Had his site been in PHP I have no doubt a more effective solution might be found but it is in plain html.

Still, it is interesting to see how all the site grabber scripts work etc and just how difficult it really is to employ even basic protection.
 
VinDSL
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:04 pm Reply with quote

If there is something I really care about, I store it outside the web path. For instance, I don't really care about the images that I have in Coppermine Photo Gallery, so I leave them in the 'modules' subdirectory, with hotlinking defeated. I don't care about the images in PHP-Nuke either, so I run them in the 'images' subdirectory[ies]. I don't defeat hotlinking in the main 'images' subdirectory because I actually hotlink to some of these images in my own posts, et cetera. However, I have some images in Menalto Gallery that I DO care about, so I store them outside the web path. The only way you can get to them is by using the Menalto Gallery 2 web interface, which has built-in 'security' features up the ying-yang, such as watermarking, password protector, yada, yada, yada.

Differing situations require different solutions. I make heavy use of '.htaccess'. The one in my root web directory is 43k right now, and growing. In my situation, though, I cannot do the whole 'image thing', strictly using '.htaccess' files. So, you might have to incorporate several different 'tricks' to protect the images on your friends' web site, depending on exactly what you want to accomplish.
 
Steptoe
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:30 am Reply with quote

How do u tell if someone is hot linking?
What do u put in the .htaccess file so they are only acceesable to your site?
If u have a ww w.yoursite.dom/junk/folder where u throw the odd zip file u may want to access from elsewhere occassionaly, will it effect that to?
 
64bitguy
The Mouse Is Extension Of Arm


Joined: Mar 06, 2004
Posts: 1159
Location: Sanbornton, NH USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:39 am Reply with quote

I really hate right click disabled sites. First, I use firefox, so it is really nothing more than annoying since anything I can't do with right click, I CAN DO with the menu, so it serves no real benefit other than being bothersome.

The reason why I hate it is that I do a lot of cutting and pasting in forums, and no right click means that it is a pain in the you know what to work in the forums.

If I wanted images, I don't need a right click to get them either as DJ mentioned.

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Steptoe
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:40 pm Reply with quote

I meant this sort of thing
Image
 
manunkind
Client


Joined: Apr 26, 2004
Posts: 368
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:12 pm Reply with quote

Only one true way: Don't upload them. Smile
 
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Susann
Moderator


Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 3191
Location: Germany:Moderator German NukeSentinel Support

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:23 pm Reply with quote

I ´m using sometimes another solution for special pictures but of course this method takes a lot of time and thieves can still download but what the get isn´t a nice picture.
Check it out: 1 pic from H.B.
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Steptoe
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:34 pm Reply with quote

Im not worried about ppl using our pics/downloading for the reasons I meantioned above.
Its just the hot linking to our server...bw stuff like that...We are getting more and more mentions in related forums, links to us etc, there are a couple hotlinking.
I found these thru CP/referers where they come from another site a link in a post and a pic off our site...the pic is watermarked etc.
I want to start to deal with this now, before it becomes a major problem to clean up.
Our Site is in for the long term.
 
djmaze
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:02 am Reply with quote

Susann wrote:
I ´m using sometimes another solution for special pictures but of course this method takes a lot of time and thieves can still download but what the get isn´t a nice picture.


Image
Image
Not a nice pic ?
It's just split in 2.
 
Susann
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:04 pm Reply with quote

Yes that´s the trick. I can split it also in 6 and thats better.
 
Guardian2003
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:22 am Reply with quote

Well thats new on me, I wasnt aware you could add meta data to images so I'll investigate that.
Susann - how did you acheive that? Just basic image slicing?
 
Susann
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 4:16 am Reply with quote

Yes, it´s just basic slicing.The google image bot found also both pieces of H.B.Very funny.The meta data alt and title tag are for each piece, but maybe one title is enough.
 
Guardian2003
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 4:42 am Reply with quote

I see, yes, I use alt and title tags I thought you were referring to some method of actually embedding data within the image file itself like you can with flash.

I havent actually done any image slicing yet in photoshop so I'll have a look at that - it would prevent the theft and use of the image but it might certainly make it time consuming for someone else to put it back together as a whole image for re-use.
 
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