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Please do not do this as it makes the blogger look really insecure about their images on the site. Besides that vanity-style issue, there are three others to consider:

  • It's easy to circumvent and only takes seconds to do so.

  • It acts as a "do not do this" warning, which, to humans, is irresistible and may in fact cause more people to try to take the images

  • It breaks the expected user experience that every other website uses, causing your site to not function properly in the eyes of your visitors. They likely will not be back.

If you're looking to block downloading of your images entirely, the easy answer is: you can't. Record companies spend billions to solve this problem and they can't either. The simple act of viewing something on the Internet means that you've already been shipped the file.

The best way to make sure no one takes your stuff on a large scale is to

  • Put high-resolution images behind a paywall, leaving only low resolution teasers to entice people to pay
  • Watermark your images (make sure this is done tastefully and not gross)
  • Enforce your copyrights on the images by following through on people who take your stuff
  • Best method: take the "buy me a beer" approach that free software advocates do where they offer an easy way to send in 2 or 3 dollars through Paypal. For example: http://www.themoxiemomblog.com/wordpress/buy-me-a-beer-coffee-paypal-tip-widget
Dean Saliba

I was expecting you to list a plugin to to this. I'm pleased you didn't as we don't need another plugin cluttering up our blogs when a simple bit of HTML code will do the job just as well. :)


Great post for bloggers. I use a WordPress plugin and I crafted mine to read "Just ask me, I'm usually generous." :) This is not just for my images but also for the text too.

Denise Wakeman

@docomreport - which wordpress plugin do you use?


Image copying and copyrights are such a weird subject on the internet. most of the time, I've got to assume that the person doing the copying/lifting doesn't realize what that does to the artist. you see it on Facebook a lot where someone likes a picture, and uploads it as their own. Its hard for me to really weigh in too heavily on this for one side or the other since I'm not a creative who comes up with great pieces of art. I take my own pictures for my blog, but seeing them someplace else wouldn't negatively effect me. If those pictures were my livelihood though, ya, this plugin may be what I'd be forced to use.

Laurie Kingdon

Great post... thanks for sharing! I'm in line with the above readers who are interested with how to disable this using WordPress.

Alyson B. Stanfield

I stand by what I wrote and said before.

MaAnna Stephenson

I attended a webinar last night hosted by a gallery owner and the topic was artist websites. I was shocked to here him advise that there was no need to be concerned about image theft and to simply not use super high rez photos. I'm a woodcarver and there's a lot of money in selling patterns, which is why I never publically display them on my site and always take photos with the piece a little off angle. It's on a static site I hand coded before I learned WordPress, and I employed no-click code for the finished pieces.

Pati Springmeyer

That's the kind of conversation I was hoping would ensue! I like the message dotcomreport describes and may change mine to that.

Logo design services

that is a good thing to do. People can copy and paste your photos or images and then others will not give you credit for them, especially if you are a photographer.

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