Recollections, Part 1 – old posts that are still relevant

As I’ve said, I will probably try to find and repost some old posts that are about relevant subjects, about fractals, softwares, technology… or just plain rants. I’ll start with this one, about image theft, copyright and plagiarism. The link it mentions is from a quite old article, but it’s still useful. Here it goes, maybe with a few edits…

This post at discusses 5 methods that can prevent it. The post might seem a bit old (it’s from 2005) but these methods are, if not 100% effective, still the best and useful.

I’ve tried some of these methods, but some are quite annoying to be used, your site ends up getting a bit crippled, slower and it might not even work. Javascript for example and their pop-up messages like “COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL, DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION!!!” can scare some people off, but anyone a bit more computer knowledge knows how to bypass that and save the image/file/document anyway. The warnings in these messages are valid though. Right-click disabling scripts are the most useless. Disable Java and you can bypass that.

I’ve learned from experience that the best isn’t to build big walls and stuff, but when and if some stealing episode ever happens, try to trace whomever did that instead of punishing all your site’s visitors. It might be easier this way, sometimes a good traffic analyzer tool for your site can help a lot, even the free ones, mostly when it’s a case of bandwidth theft (hotlinking).

My method of choice now is just a plain simple watermark, placed mostly at the same places in every image, unless it somehow disappears because of the image pattern. Again, it’s not 100% effective, there are people that have used even these watermarked images from places like without even bothering about the big watermark right in the middle of the image so they might even use the image from here “as is” too, and some even cover the original watermarks with their own. Reposting your image with the watermark of the original creator isn’t too bad because people still can see who created it and/or where the image came from.

As it says in the conclusion in the article: these methods can’t fully prevent someone from stealing your work (is “stealing” a harsh word? Yes, but sometimes it’s just that: plain stealing). But it can sort of make these “amateur thieves” go away, which is the biggest part of them all. If one really wants to steal your content for whatever reason, sometimes they can do wonders to achieve that… there are tools that can download your entire site at once and you can’t do nothing about it…