If an image shows up in Google Images without a watermark I can use it, right?
This is such a common misconception and one that can be really frustrating for business owners. It’s so easy and quick to download and copy images from the internet that it doesn’t even dawn on most people that they are using someone else’s property without permission. There is no way to stop people from using your images but you can make it more difficult and inconvenient for them.
Here are 4 ways that can help deter image theft from your website:
1. Disabling Right-Click
If you have a wordpress site the easiest way to do is by installing the plugin: No Right Click Images. This plugin disables right click context menu on images to help deter leeches from glomming images.
To protect your images fully, you’ll also need to disable the default image linking that occurs when you insert an image in WordPress. To do this just choose “none” in the “link to” dropdown box when you’re uploading your image.
2. Add A Copyright Notice On Your Website Pages
Most WordPress themes come with a built in copyright notice section in the footer.
Putting a copyright notice on your website is not the same as registering copyright but it can act as enough of a deterrent to prevent casual downloads.
A footer copyright notice is not normally very noticeable, so you may want to have a more prominent and detailed one. WordPress suggests putting the following text in your sidebar so it is visible at all times:
3. Watermark Your Images
Adding a textual copyright watermark to the bottom of your images may deter image downloaders but they can be easily cropped out and won’t stop people who really want your images. Our suggestion is to use a semi-transparent image to watermark over your entire image.
Watermarks like this are typically extremely difficult to remove so they can be quite effective, but they are rather distracting for people looking at your photos so it’s a personal decision whether to use them or not and how large and transparent to make the watermark.
4. Add A DMCA Badge To Your Site
The DMCA offers free protection for your website which includes a takedown service if you find someone using your images or other content without permission. The DMCA will threaten legal action on your behalf with usually scares infringers into taking down your content right away.
Putting a DMCA badge on your site can act as a deterrent for serial image stealers and they also offer a free image watermarking service.
There is also a DMCA plugin available for WordPress that inserts the badge on all your website pages automatically.
As always we are here to help you with any and all of your website needs, drop us a line!