For as long as the web has been in existence, image theft has been rampant. It’s so quick and easy to download and copy images from the internet that it doesn’t even occur to most people that they are using someone else’s property without permission. Here are some ways to protect your website from image theft.
Adding A Copyright Notice
Putting a copyright notice on your website can act as enough of a deterrent to prevent casual downloads and may cause people to stop and realize they’re not actually allowed to download your pictures to do with as they please.
The easiest way to download images is by right-clicking on them and selecting “save image”. While it’s still easy enough to download images in other ways, if you disable this capability, you’ll put off less web-savvy image thieves and people who can’t be bothered with the hassle of looking at your HTML or searching the browser cache.
Watermark Your Images
Adding a textual copyright watermark may deter image downloaders but as previously mentioned, they are easily cropped out and won’t stop people who really want your images. Another solution is to use a semi-transparent image to watermark over the whole of your image.
Disabling hotlinking does not stop people from downloading your images, but rather it will stop them from embedding them in their own site by linking out directly to your website. You can prevent hotlinking by creating URL rewrite rules that look at the “HTTP REFERER” HTTP header.