Support » Fixing WordPress » How to prevent copying/saving of images from site?

  • Is there a way to prevent an image from being copied or saved (either through drag-and-drop on a Mac or by right-clicking on a PC)?

    I have set up ‘leech protection’ and ‘hotlink protection’ through my webhost, but these still will not prevent an image from being copied or saved.

    A Tech Support guy from my webhost said that there was a way to prevent this from happening but that WP modifies the htaccess in such a way that the hotlink protection did not completely prevent an image from being copied/saved. (As I understand hotlink protection, it ONLY prevents the linking, not from copying/saving.)

    If someone knows a way to protect images from being downloaded/copied/saved would you please provide instructions on how to do so?


Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • I used to use some javascript that gave a popup when somebody used the wrong mouse-button, but I can only tell you that anything from the internet can be copied or downloaded. Just look at the source of a ‘protected’ site and copy the direct url to an image in the browser or whatever creative sollutions someone has. The only way I have seen that works pretty well (save for printscreen) is a complete flash-site.

    The only possible way of doing it is to use Flash (.flv + .swf), QuickTime (.mov) or others to separate self-contained (source) files from reference ones. In this way, you can hide the locations of source files. I wouldn’t do it because that’s time consuming. We post 3 to 4 articles daily and each of them comes with a dozen screenshots to back up stories. It is also true that you can never successfully hide the locations of source files. That’s because reference files must contain information on the locations of the source files.

    Good luck,

    Tom Bluewater from MHVT.NET

    Thanks, Tom and Glangleri.

    I thought it might be next to impossible at worst and cumbersome at best.

    Some sites have been able to protect their images, like on IMDb (The Internet Movie Database) when people post photos, so I knew there was a way. When I’m feeling brave — and don’t have a job to do — I might venture down the path that Tom described using Flash or QT.

    Of course, if anyone else might have an idea, please post it. I’d very much appreciate it.


    When it comes down to it, I don’t know if it’s worth the effort to attempt that kind of protection. The bottom line is if they can view it, they can copy it. An inclined individual could just do a print-screen to capture the image and crop it down to what they want. A screen capture is an exact pixel copy of whatever image they view, and from that point they can do whatever they want to save it back as a .jpg, .gif, or whatever.

    You can try to encapsulate the image file itself in some container like a flash file or something else, but nothing can prevent a print-screen. The only way to truly protect it is to not even let them view the image unless they are authorized.

    I’ve pretty much given up on this and hope that the copyright watermarks will be difficult to remove. I know these can be, but if I can make it difficult and possibly not worth the time, then that’s something at least to protect the images.

    Thanks to everyone for your input and suggestions. Perhaps I might try the flash file feature some time in the future.


    hehehe… I thought you had given up on protecting screenshots a long time ago. So I decide not to mention it. The following page has examples of screenshots protected with QuickTime if you are interested in seeing them. It’s not a perfect way because there is no perfect way. No matter how you do it, if a screenshot is accessible with a web browser, there is a way of downloading it. Maybe, placing a watermark will be better.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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