Securing Online Photographs

Richard King

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As a website designer and a photographer, I am working on methods to prevent image and bandwidth theft

On that subject - is there a great need in this community for such a technique? or is everyone happy to let their images loose, only posting the ones they are not that bothered about?

I was mainly basing my ideas at a problem posed to me from the fine art market, but there could be the posibility of securing whole online galleries. Before I waste a lot of time.. any one care to comment on the potential, and what they think (per image) such a service would be worth. An alternate pricing structure could be "per photographer" or "per site". Either way, the intention was to make the price pence, rather than pounds

In other words.. What do you want, and how much or how would you be prepared to pay for it?
 

PlasticSpanner

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Richard King said:
As a website designer and a photographer, I am working on methods to prevent image and bandwidth theft

On that subject - is there a great need in this community for such a technique? or is everyone happy to let their images loose, only posting the ones they are not that bothered about?

I was mainly basing my ideas at a problem posed to me from the fine art market, but there could be the posibility of securing whole online galleries. Before I waste a lot of time.. any one care to comment on the potential, and what they think (per image) such a service would be worth. An alternate pricing structure could be "per photographer" or "per site". Either way, the intention was to make the price pence, rather than pounds

In other words.. What do you want, and how much or how would you be prepared to pay for it?

I'd like a little pop up when someone tries to use my photo (other than viewing it on some website) saying they shouldn't use it & breach copyright laws, but can buy it for their own private use for an amount I set per image.

Oh & I'd also like this as a simple web gallery builder, as a free download! :lol:
 

Alpha

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There are already a lot of strategies for dealing with this problem, the most common one being a htaccess, probably followed by transparent images. This sort of "service" is really quite easy, even for people who aren't extremely web-savvy. The only time it becomes difficult is when you need to do it dynamically for specific images.

As far as what you should charge, that's up to you. Setting up the engine rules to prevent things like hotlinking take all of 5 minutes, so I think it's a little unethical to charge a big lump sum to do that.

As far as preventing people from stealing images themselves, the amount to charge really depends on the work at hand. If you're layering tranparent images, I'd say charge per hour. If you're developing something like a GD-based system for a large, dynamic site, i'd charge a set contract amount, because it's basically web-app development.
 
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Richard King

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MaxBloom said:
There are already a lot of strategies for dealing with this problem, the most common one being a htaccess, probably followed by transparent images. This sort of "service" is really quite easy, even for people who aren't extremely web-savvy. The only time it becomes difficult is when you need to do it dynamically for specific images.

As far as what you should charge, that's up to you. Setting up the engine rules to prevent things like hotlinking take all of 5 minutes, so I think it's a little unethical to charge a big lump sum to do that.

As far as preventing people from stealing images themselves, the amount to charge really depends on the work at hand. If you're layering tranparent images, I'd say charge per hour. If you're developing something like a GD-based system for a large, dynamic site, i'd charge a set contract amount, because it's basically web-app development.
I was thinking in terms of a flash (type) plugin, that communicates with your server, and shares encryption keys. in that way you can share an image, and switch of the ability for it to be viewed by removing a key from the server
 

Alpha

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That's an interesting coding challenge...being able to turn off a particular image. Would you be removing viewing priveleges for that image, for a particular visitor or type of visitor, or for everyone who visits the site?
 
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Richard King

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MaxBloom said:
That's an interesting coding challenge...being able to turn off a particular image. Would you be removing viewing priveleges for that image, for a particular visitor or type of visitor, or for everyone who visits the site?
nope. the site holds one key, a server controled by the photographer holds the second

the image needs both keys to be displayed

if you move the image from the server, it only has 1/2 the keys required, so it doesnt show

if you send the image to someone else, you embed the first key, but the image still relies on the second key to be decoded. in that way, you can send an image, and specify its usage using the key on the server you control

with this system, you can do what you want. If I can code the ability to know the address of 2 keys, one relative and one asoloute - you can do what you want, so long as you control the absoloute key

what I cant beat is:
Print screen
and
photographing the screen

but.. for a full res image sent to someone as an executable, I could possibly disable print screen, or frame grab

....................

back to the question - is it worth the effort developing it?
 

tranceplant

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first rule: if you dont want people stelling your picture, don't post it on the internet. there is ALWAYS a way to copy them. PRINT SCREEN is one of them.

now, if you want some sort of protection, use flash and load those pictures into your main SWF file. that is one of the safest way imo.
 

2framesbelowzero

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swfs would defeat casual pilfering but they can be decompiled and broken open.

make a swf.

deliver with realplayer via UDP and using SMIL coding to prevent local caching.

embed the player in an html page. (printscreen is unable to capture the players content).

encrypt your page source (using scripts at somewhere like javascriptsource.com.
 

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