1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

Sizing Photos To Prevent Copying

Discussion in 'Photography Issues' started by shayla, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    What's a safe size to post a photo at that will protect it from being made into prints? I'm posting photos of some of our gallery images and need to make them low enough quality that the artists can rest easy about their work being online. An example of what the size is now would be 3831 x 3326, and I know it needs to be a whole lot less, but still want it sized big enough to look decent. Thanks for any help.
  2. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    72 pixels per inch (PPI) is fine for the Internet and makes lousy prints. The other option is to watermark them. I'm sure there are more sophisticated ways to protect images, and nothing is without someone trying to figure out a way around your security.

    Your question mentioning numbers is only relevant when you also include the size of the image. At a smaller size, 8" X 10" or thereabouts, that would be ample to print, at 40 X 60, not so much. The total pixel count needs to be related to the image size. An 8" X 10" image at 72 PPI is 576 X 720.

    I remember Mike having issues with someone lifting images from Andy's web site. He imbedded a photo that he said wasn't too pleasant, so that when someone tried to copy their images, they would get this particular image.

    There's been a rash of image stealing on the Internet. There's not a lot of recourse other than to expose the offending party and publicly shame them into taking down the stolen images.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    John Ranes II CPF GCF and shayla like this.
  3. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thanks, Wally. Last year, I shared a gallery image and some innocent family friend wrote that they loved it and were going to print it off. I let them know that wasn't appropriate. It brought to mind the time a friend said she was glad I'd bought a tape and wanted me to copy it for her. She said so while standing in front of the pianist whose tape I had just bought. I said, 'I won't copy it, but I'll buy you one', and did so.
  4. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A quick and easy way of resizing pics is to use Microsoft's Picture Manager - edit pictures- compress for web pages. This will bring a 67kb image down to 18kb which is o.k. to view but useless for printing to any worthwhile size.

    It is strange how people who would never dream of stealing a physical object from someone have no qualms about stealing intellectual property. It started long ago with photocopying from text books but the internet has now taken it to a whole new level.

    If you are a bit more tech-savvy than me here are also clever ways of disabling the "right-click - save as...." way of downloading pictures on a website.
    shayla likes this.
  5. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Yes, you can disable Right Click but just about anyone who wants your pictures will be able to download it. Easy to get around. It will only dissuade the less technically savvy. Not worth the effort. Watermark any pictures you don't want stolen.
    artfolio likes this.
  6. MarkyW

    MarkyW SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm not an expert, but from what I've read looking into this for myself, this is what I've found.

    The ppi (pixels per inch or dpi dots per inch, generally interchangeable) doesn't really matter. It's the total pixels in the image that matter. If you put up a 3000 pixel image, it will display at 72ppi on a computer monitor no matter what the original ppi was. (although I don't know if there is a standard ppi for monitors anymore. I think there was at one time.)

    It doesn't really matter if you uploaded your image that was originally 72ppi or 300ppi. If someone right clicks and saves, they now have a 3000 pixel image. They can print it at whatever dpi they want. Printed at 300dpi, they will get a 10 inch print.

    When putting up images on facebook, I've usually put them at 1000 pixels max. Although I'm thinking I might do 800 pixel max as I'm starting to redo my website (which I haven't touched in over a year and some of those images are at high pixels.) 800 pixels should look plenty good on a monitor for a customer to see if they like an image and low enough if someone grabs it, if they print it big, it will be pixelated.

    Now, this is not to say that a person can't take a small pixel image and make it bigger. There is resizing software out there. I have a good one for working on my own art photos if I want to print something large.

    I also usually (not always, but I should) put a watermark on my images. Not in the corner, that can easily be photoshopped out. Something right across the image. But nothing obtrusive, just barely there so it doesn't hurt a potential customer looking at it, but would be a bother for someone to try to remove it if they did want to try to print it.

    Nothing is sure fire, but you can make it a little harder. Just like if someone really wants to break into your house, they can, but you don't make it easy for them.

    Hope that helps.
    John Ranes II CPF GCF and shayla like this.
  7. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thanks, Marky.
  8. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Grumbler

    No matter what you do and no matter how small you make the thumbnail image some folks will still copy and print them and put them on the wall. Some have no conception of what Quality is all about and others just don't care.

    The idea of a layer that either shows something they may not like or one that shows up as "buy the image - don't try illegal copying" or something similar is a good one. We know those technically savvy can steal anything.

    Formal registration of Copyright is a first step that can pay off. Without it you can't pursue legal action in court. Maybe the current discussions on Copyright Small Claims court will solve this for amounts under $10,000 or so? I hope it does.
    DMCA takedown notices are worth it. So is getting law enforcement involved when a so-called artist steals your image as Jeff Koons does. Having the legal filing makes it so you can actually get payment and some satisfaction.
    shayla likes this.
  9. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I recall that when the Internet first got going Playboy was notorious for setting its lawyers onto anyone who posted one of their copyright images online. Nowadays, they don't bother and you can find their stuff, and that of most other (ahem) "naughty" magazines everywhere.

    This is not a victimless crime as it has impacted heavily on their magazine sales to the extent that Playboy is now circling the drain with circulation a fraction of what it enjoyed in its heyday. That is obviously not the only factor involved but the impact must be significant.

    Like movie and music piracy it denies the rightful owner sales of their product and in an extreme scenario, this bleeding of revenue could cause businesses to fail. Why would you bother creating new work in any field if you weren't going to be paid for it?
  10. Garret Moore

    Garret Moore Grumbler in Training

    I've been a computer graphics expert since before Photoshop. You are right to be concerned, but the best policy in displaying graphics (in this case copyrighted photographic imagery) on a public website is to, as others have said, and if not watermarked which can interfere with an image's integrity among other effects, should be just as big as it need be on the page you are posting. In Photoshop you can use the legacy export (File/Export/Save For Web) and add the exact size you want for the page with the art at 75dpi (standard web ppi) If you do not have Photoshop there is a powerful free open source image program GIMP that is like Photoshop in its tools but obviously less expensive. There is a learning curve for such applications, but play with it by practicing and once you know the routine its a useful way of sizing all your image postings.

    You can also watermark your image in the aforementioned applications and add copyrights to the image metafile, but all these cannot defend against an expert or someone specializing in image theft. Especially if the image is as large as you say. So reduce it down or find someone who can possibly do that for you.

    For all here, there is no way to protect an image other than sizing it to a disappointing small size. A competent digital artist can retouch out a signature, copyright or watermark. any subsequent change of the image wipes any embedded data from meta tags, Copyrights or Exif (camera technical data). The best rule is don't post it if you don't want to give it away. But that is not very practical for many of us.

    There are many HTML and Java-based scripts to add to a web page, but they will only turn away 80% of the attempts. Also apost to a forum like this you simply can't protect that. Discouraging at best, you need to know what an image thief can do in order to prevent such behavior.

    Here is what anyone can do to get an image online. The rule is: If you can see it, you can get it.

    If other listed methods stop a would-be thief, on a PC they simply can do a (shift/Print Screen) and it is in their paste memory to place or process. Photoshop makes this easy. If you do a Print Screen, then open Photoshop, you can open a new image exactly sized for your screen at 72dpi where when opened you simply Paste into the new file and you can crop to the image. Once saved to another or same process it's wiped of any underlying embedded data or copyrights.
    The good thing is, that if the image is small on the page (not a larger screen sized) that is all they can get. If the image is on the site and script is used to dynamically size the image, it can easily be taken if you know what you're doing.

    Anyone doing an image search on Google knows that sometimes you get an image that is bigger than what you see on the page. It might even be sized in the page script but be behind the click-accessible image, but Google, when it records a website, can see most of the original images and will even let you take it from the searched image. A good example is Wikipedia, who thankfully uses public domain images, but sizes for its pages.
    Also, a good hacker can get into most any site if not protected by good site protection page programming, but how many of those will want your specific image? 0.0001% So just take the precautions of sizing your image, watermarking or copyright notices embedding with a right-click discourage and you will stop 99.9% of image theft. The other less educated theives will be obvious.

    I have many published friends who try and live for their art, and I will either contact the site owner to say something or pass on the site to the artist/photographer to decide if there is an issue. My wife does searches for my own work every once in a while. I give some permissions if they add a link to my site or my personal promotion, but we have found many of our images used without permissions and have sent notices. I tell them that Copyright law has many more teeth than even Patent law. They then can decide to remove or pay.

    So, like many have suggested, don't post a large image. Try to use the suggested ideas, but don't post another artists/photographers image if you want to not be an et al in a copyright infringement case.
    shayla likes this.
  11. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thanks for your note, Garret. I appreciate the time and thought. Wishing you a good holiday season.

Share This Page