Theft and piracy are two of the nightmares of anybody who deals with intellectual products, no matter if it is images, software, movies, songs or books. While there are many ways to protect your intellectual property from theft and unauthorized use, there is hardly a solution that works for sure. Still, there are many ways in which you can protect your intellectual property or at least make it more difficult for abusers to get it.
Security experts sometimes joke that the ultimate security measure against viruses, spyware, hackers and the like is no connection to the Internet. While this is true, in many cases it is not possible to do it – especially with images and Web content that is published online. It is important to note that online image theft is not the only type of theft and if you really want to protect your images, you should consider steps for protecting them offline as well. This article discusses steps both for online and offline protection and if a step is applicable only to one of these, it is mentioned explicitly. So, here are some suggestions how to apply professional image protection:
- Put the copyright protection symbol. This is the first step you should make to protect your images. It is stretching the truth to say that people haven’t heard of copyrights and have no idea that they are stealing someone else’s property but having in mind that there are many images, which are are freely accessible and free from copyrights, it does not hurt to say explicitly that your images aren’t in this group and if that somebody wants to use them, he or she must contact you for permission.
- Disable right click. One of the techniques, which some Web masters use for online protection of images is to disable right click. When right click is disabled, the Save Image option is not accessible but for anybody who has some technical knowledge, the right click barrier is very easy one.
- Add a watermark. Adding a watermark to the image is one of the major ways to prevent unauthorized use of your photos. You use special software, like ImageConverterPlus to add a watermark. When you add a watermark, you need to consider where on the image to place it. If you place it in the center, over important details of the photo, you are actually destroying the image. You can place the watermark in a corner but make sure that it is positioned in a way that does not allow cutting this part of the image and using the rest.
- Blur the image. If you don’t need your photos to be crisp, you can blur them a little. Yes, you are actually killing the quality of the image but if theft is more important than quality, you can do it. Blurring is often used for pictures where detail is not important or when you would like to disguise a little the objects in the photo.
- Low-resolution images. Blurring is not always an option. For instance, you are a professional designer or photographer and you need to send samples of your work. In this case it is better to send low-resolution images that still show what your professional skills are but can’t be used for commercial purposes without editing them first. And if you have ever had the chance to edit a low-resolution image in order to make it fit for printing, you know that this is next to impossible, so asking the author for permission to use the images is a cheaper alternative.
Author: Ada Ivanova