Alacrify Ltd

Taking Care of Copyright


23rd November 2008

Taking Care of Copyright

We are currently working on a new website for a group of visual artists and have been sorting out the best ways to prevent their artwork being misused on the internet. We've encountered these issues a number of times before with other artists' websites that we've created over the years. In each case the starting point has to be a reality check. There's no simple failsafe method to prevent images being copied or stolen from the internet. Whatever clever scripts or solutions that we come up with, they can all be circumvented in one way or another. But that doesn't stop us trying! In this new site we're employing 3 different techniques:

1. Using Javascript code to disable the right click option which is normally used to reach the 'save image as' option. Instead of the normal menu the script displays a copyright notice.

2. Disabling the image toolbar in the of the website thus: 

3. Including an .htaccess file in the site to prevent images from being called from other sites on the internet. The file only allows images to be served to the local website and shows a file-not-found empty image box if it called from a non-permitted site.

We hope that these approaches used in combination with reducing the image sizes and resultion we can make the potential image copier think twice about using the image.

When we were discussing this with some other local artists recently we heard an entirely different attitude to this issue of copyright on the internet. One of the group said he was happy for any and all of his images to be circulated as widely as possible; after all it was part of the purpose of his art to be out in the public domain. His kind of attitude would certainly make it less complicated to work with images on the web!

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