Contrary to this post’s title, there isn’t a foolproof way to prevent a determined thief from copying pictures from your website or blog to theirs. If you put a picture out there for all to see, someone may want to take it for themselves. For the most part, you have to respect your readers and expect them to show you the same respect in return.
Still, you can take steps to protect your pictures from being inadvertently misused. I have started placing watermarks on my photos and also appending a copyright message at the end of the filename. To do this, I use a program called waterMark v2 from PMlabs.
It is a very powerful program that can batch process several pictures or even folders at once. It even puts a menu choice in your Explorer context menu so that you can just select pictures in Explorer, right-click, and launch waterMark. I have my settings saved as a profile so all I need to do is open the profile and then click Start. Voila!
Best thing of all is, this program is free. One downside I noticed is that it adds 100KB to the filesize but that is something I can live with.
The food pics you see here in my blog are also posted to the Usenet newsgroup alt.binaries.food. Recently, Fosco discovered a website that was reposting all the content from ABF and presenting it in a discussion forum format. To make matters worse, that website inserted ads from Google Adsense into the forums. If anyone clicked on those ads, the website owner would get a kickback from Google.
Essentially, the website was making money off of my and other people’s copyrighted content.
Reposting of copyrighted content is rampant on the Internet, but that doesn’t make it right. If you or I post something on a website, blog or Usenet newsgroup, we do not automatically give up our rights to that content. No one can just take our content and use it as they please, especially if they benefit financially from that use.
I used the information found from a timely post on Food Blog S’cool to contact the website’s author, the site’s hosting provider, and Google Adsense support and asked them to remove my content. Fortunately, the site’s admin complied after I informed him that what he was doing is illegal.
I’ve now added a copyright notice to the sidebar to make it clear that my permission is needed before my content can be republished elsewhere. I’m also taking steps to protect my pictures from being misused as well. Those I will detail in a future post.