How to blok downloading pictures


Is there a way to blok the downloading of pictures from the site?

Thanks, Michael

Michael, if the pictures are on the site, I can download them no matter what protection scheme that you use.

Why would you object to people taking a picture?

If you want people to see an image, but still want to sell it:

… reduce the size of the image
… reduce the resolution
…add a visible watermark/signature
…add a hidden watermark
…modify the image ( Make part B&W, part colour, etc )

You can’t stop people taking the images. If someone snags an image for backdrop, it does nobody any harm.


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I agree that photos are easy to steal (screen capture takes less than a second), but I’m sympathetic to this being a problem in certain businesses, especially ones like photography where the picture IS your income. In a case like that, where you still want people to be able to see a large, clear picture without being able to steal it, a visible watermark/signature is best. Make sure it’s in a place where it can’t be cropped out without ruining the picture.

My background is in photography, so I fully understand the difficulty here. Ultimately if the image is visible it can be stolen by simple screen capture. Watermarking is something that amateurs tend to do, but for professionals it loses legitimate clients.

There are a few things you could try. First make the images smaller, since your current images are easily big enough to publish in magazines. Make sure you save them optimised for web, since this not only makes the pages faster loading, but makes it harder for the images to be used in print.

There are scripts that disable right clicking and dragging images, but I’m not sure how this can be done in Blocs. For some reason this happens automatically on the sites I have done with Rapidweaver, so I just tried dragging one and managed to grab a bit text that looks like this:

You may want to consider signing up for a service that hunts for your images on the internet and tells you when they are found. You could also register them with the US Copyright office, which at least gives you some added legal clout, but I would add that chasing after image infringements with lawyers is soul destroying and very stressful. Having chased several companies in the past who have taken my images and used them for advertising without permission I found it a nightmare, but this was mostly in Italy.

As an aside, I know a photographer who shot a bunch of images of a public protest in the UK and made them available on his website. Needless to say they were ripped off by countless news organisations without anybody asking permission and I recall he made about £20K in the space of 24 hours with the aid of some tough copyright lawyers.

Totally unrelated, but it’s impossible to add coding here like you see in the image above. I was also unable to upload the image here on the forum today. Eventually I was forced to upload to another location and link to it.

Don’t ask me where, but I’ve come across websites which prevent screenshots. One example was a an online newspaper.

Most often it’s videos which don’t capture - maybe ones using Flash? (I can’t test this as I don’t have Flash installed at the moment.) But it certainly applies to still images too.

All I know is it can be done, because I’ve experienced it!

At a guess it might even depend how the screenshot is attempted. I don’t know if apps like SnapNDrag use a different method than keyboard system shortcuts. I’ve never encountered this limitation myself though.

I remember trying right-click and getting no suitable option, so tried shift+command+4 and getting a hole where the image should have been.

Don’t know SnapNDrag but will take a look!

It’s quite easy to disable right click, though you can generally get around this by disabling java. Another old trick was to place a tiny 1 pixel transparent image over the visible image, which was a method of frustrating would be “tea leafs” as they like to say in London.

Honestly it’s impossible.

Does anything you do mean your images are safe from download [ :astonished: spoiler … ] Nope!

You can do tricks to make it harder for people, but if you can see an image on a page then the data being served can be found regardless of how it’s delivered. Honestly any safeguard you put in place can be bypassed and circumvented. Even if you make it difficult through various methods, even a non-technical visitor could always simply screen capture the image, etc.

When I find sites or services that seemingly offer deterrents in general, I always investigate and generally 100% of the time you can quickly or eventually circumvent or bypass anything regardless of the complexity or method.

In general however, for the casual site visitor, basic deterrents are all that is needed to stop them. However most avid users or even the most basic of developers can bypass what you put in place. In the end, “Where there is a will, there is a way”.

In addition to what @pauland already suggested above regarding formatting considerations for your images.

Somethings you can do:

  • Use noscript or other methods to require javascript and redirect if initially not enabled
  • Use Javascript/JQuery and CSS to disable right click, drag, copy/paste, print, and try to prevent screenshots
  • Use htaccess to avoid hot linking and provide redirects, etc.,
  • Use a PHP proxy to serve and hide image path/links, etc.,
  • Use transparent images over all images
  • Etc., etc., …
  • You can also decide to pay for digital signatures and tracking from Digimarc, or services like DMCA etc.,
  • Or you can just use Reverse Image Search and manually drive yourself nuts constantly all you want.

[NOTE:] This next statement is not personal to anyone, just general.

As just a general observation, not seeking an endless debate and regardless of legal or ethical considerations.

The other thing that is always interesting to me is, if you look at all the beautiful images across the web that can be easily downloaded without any safeguards by world renowned photographers (two basic examples [1] , [2] as reference). I always then find it interesting why people in general then think their images are more special and need protected on their sites.

In conclusion:

In the end, is it right to take peoples stuff without permission, no. Sadly however the internet as a delivery vehicle for Text, Images, Sound, Video, Source Codes, etc., easily allows this type of mischief / theft and so much more in a rather anonymous fashion. It essence it’s a sad state of affairs on the internet, the human condition in full display, both good and bad.

Hi Paul,

do you know how do you add the transparent image to a blocs photo bloc?



Create two identical image placeholders - one above the other. Add your image to the top placeholder and note its dimensions. Create a blank transparent image in your graphics application of choice to the same dimensions. Export this as a PNG and then add it to the lower placeholder. With the transparent image selected, create a custom class. In the metrics tab of the class editor, select the Top Margin and create a negative margin the same height as the images. In the example below. The image height was 188px so the top margin has been set to -188px. This will place the transparent image over the top of the image you’re attempting to protect.

Although this option may cause a degree of frustration for the casual image thief, it’s easily circumvented by simply using the browser’s developer console. In Safari, for example, You can click on “Show page resources” in the develop menu. This will open a window in the browser displaying the page resources. Click on the images folder at the left of the screen to display a list of all page images. Selecting any image will display it in the centre panel from where it can be simply dragged onto your desktop. Other browser have similar features, so I question if it’s really worth the effort of trying to protect images at all.

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These are the most common solutions for protecting your images. One thing most people do not realize is that you do not have to have complicated copyright for each image. Any photo you take is automatically copyrighted as you are the owner of the image. I add copyright to the page of images and keep the images at a smaller size.


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