Image protection and copyrights are a rather sensitive topic for photographers. Nobody wants their images to be stolen, especially when that’s how you make a living. In a perfect world we wouldn’t even have to talk about this, unfortunately that’s not the case.
So lets start with the obvious,
Image protection is an illusion
The internet is a big copy machine.
From the most basic techniques ( Like a simple right click and “Save As…” ) to iCloud Leaks, images get stolen online all the time, it’s likely that someone may even profit off of it. And even if all your efforts were to be successful, if someone really liked your pictures, they would just plagiarize them.
Sure, you can bend over backwards searching the internet for your images and send DMCA notices everywhere, without a guarantee that they’ll go through. You can use services that do this for you if you want some help. There are even services that claim to make your images “un-downloadable”, but in reality they probably will only slow down the thief, that’s about it.
How to protect your images ?
Start with the understanding that “pirates are gonna pirate“. This holds true for everyone online – photographers, software and game developers, content writers, musicians, movie makers, the list is endless. I’m not saying it’s okay or that you should just ignore it. I’m saying that you should prepare yourself and realize that it’s not the end of the world if someone happens to steal/copy your images.
Because in reality there is only 1 thing you can do for your image protection:
Discourage image theft
I think that this proverb really applies to this topic. It’s not we can’t get in somewhere because of a lock on door, it’s that most of us have an understanding that we aren’t supposed to trespass a locked door.
In other words – you can’t prevent people from stealing your images, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discourage it either.
Maybe a past client wants to share an image from your portfolio on his website or Facebook feed without even knowing that you care about your copyrights. Or maybe a blogger who isn’t technically advanced enough to work-around preventative measures wants to download an image form your site.
By now I think you understand my position on image protection, to be perfectly honest – there is no real way to protect your images, as I said earlier – you can only discourage image theft.
So when I decided to make a plugin to help with image protection – Phteven was instant inspiration to me. So Photection was born. It’s like image protection, but a little awkward and not really. It’s Image Photection.
Photection is a very simple WordPress plugin that will disable right click on images. When someone tries to right-click on an image – the plugin will display a custom message where the visitor clicked. That way you can let your visitors know that either they shouldn’t copy your images, or that if they want your image – they should get in touch with you.
So when someone right clicks on your image, this is what it looks like (message customizable, of course):
You can download the plugin on WordPress.org for free to help keep honest people honest 🙂