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Stolen Website Images

Question

I noticed people are stealing the images I'm putting online for my catalog.  Is there a way of stopping people from downloading my these images?  I've spent a lot of time and money on photography and don't want people freeloading.

Answer

Unfortunately there's really no good way of stopping people from taking images off your site. 

There are techniques that can be used that prevent people from right-clicking on your images; therefore, preventing people for clicking on "Save As" and copying them to their computer.  You can even display a warning message when someone tries to right-click on an image.  However, this can easily be overcome by simply doing a screen capture.  Additionally, you may confuse shoppers with this message and cause problems for legitimate "image sharing" on social media sites like Pinterest and Wanelo.

The other most common technique, and arguably more effective technique, is to put a watermark on all your images. This watermark could be a ghost of your logo or your company name.  Unfortunately this has some drawbacks as well.  Figuring out where to place the watermark can often be problematic and some people think it cheapens their brand.  Of course this also takes additional work for each product image you put on your website.

Modern Retail doesn't recommend either of these techniques.  Instead, we suggest you create a standard cease and desist letter, and immediately sent it out to everyone who violates your trademark or copyright.

 

Date Created: 04/15/13

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