Copy protect images and web pages

Planning web page security for images and media


Creating the most secure environment

The first step in securing your project has already commenced because CopySafe is the only solution that can effectively protect your web content from all threats. Under constant development and scrutiny since 1998, CopySafe Web is not only the solution for developers seeking real copy protection, but it can be used on any web site delivered from any web server type at your disposal.

Care needed

The CopySafe Web software includes all the tools that you need for copy protection of almost any content that can be displayed on a web page. The default examples and templates enable you to copy protect images on normal html web pages, however care is needed when customizing the code or you may expose your content. The things to consider:

  • Should protected pages be linked to your main pages?
    Here you need to decide as to whether you want search engines to access the content on these pages, and if you want to allow direct access from the web without first visiting your introductory or menu pages.
  • Should you allow direct access from the web?
    We strongly recommend the benefits of not allowing direct access to protected web pages. By ensuring that your visitors progress to a protected page from an index beforehand, their web browser can be checked for the CopySafe plugin, checked that JavaScript is enabled and that they have the minimum required version of java installed (and enabled).
  • Do not allow folder view!
    Folders on Windows servers are protected by default from folder view where a list of the folder' contents are given if a default index page is missing or wrongly assigned. Only Linux servers if the index page is missing or wrongly assigned, the folder's contents are listed instead. Folders and sites may be set to use index.html, default.htm, default.asp, and so on. To protect from folder view, ensure that you have the appropriately named index file in that folder.
  • The pros and cons of using robots.txt
    While the purpose of the robots.txt file is to prevent search engines from spidering a specific folder, the rule only applies to friendly search engines and most of them are not. Also, anyone on the web can type the link into your robots.txt file and download it or view it in their web browser... getting a list of all the folders that they are not supposed to see.
  • Using a codebase
    JavaScript cannot be served from below the root level of your web site, but all your Java and image class files can be. For more info on using codebases.

Compromises

By employing Copysafe security levels at full strength you can have a truly secure site at your disposal for deployment to any web site. By using server side scripting such as ASP, CFM, PHP, CGI, etc., or when deployed within a corporate network, you can have the most secure site imaginable!

Depending on your target market, full strength security may not be needed. However if you really want to copy protect anything, please be aware that any trade-off to appease your site visitors, no matter how innocent that you think them, will only expose your content to those who will be the greatest threat... your competitors, plagiarisers, copyright thieves and others who use the web for a source of images and page copy to use in their own projects.

Lesser options

Firstly, digital watermarking is not protective. The digital watermark is merely a tag added to the image file for a note about the author. It is not embedded and not visible when viewing an image. The tag is easily displaced by opening the image in an editor and re-saving. Digital watermarks do have a use by photographers as a means of recognition when when submitting images to ad agencies.

Visible watermarking is an effective means of branding an image but creates an eye sore... the image is visibly impaired and ugly to view, often blocking the focal point of the article being presented. Visible watermarks and copyright notices placed towards the edge of an image can easily be cropped or removed in editing.

Image splicing is futile. While it may hinder mouse saving of the entire image, a save of the page with contents or a simple Printscreen can grab the complete image (same as with screen capture).

Web page and script encryption not only slow down the page download, but is likely to not be supported in all web browsers causing crashes. The simple encryption is easily circumvented as it is based on a well known JavaScript function. A web search will provide the links to many pages where all you have to do is copy'n'paste the code into a web form and click the button for the content to be seen in plain text.

Any solution based entirely on client side scripting cannot be secure. Web content is downloaded to the client browser and it is only with the use of a client side plugin such as Copysafe Web that content can be properly protected. CopySafe Web encrypted images cannot be decrypted away from your web site.

Obstacles

Those with anything worth protecting are a very minute minority. Those who comprise the front against copy protection are the vast majority who selfishly and greedily want everything for free... with no concern for copyright, privacy or the ends endured to produce the content that they steal.

Back in 1998 all developers considered the possibility of copy protection for the internet impossible. Some couldn't even see a use for it, possibly because they didn't posses anything worth protecting. We proved them wrong and also seen competition in this field... a couple of public funded start ups cashing in our developments that soon fell on their face due to the limited marketability of copy protection and the fact that they could only secure sites on a dedicated server, plus several "monkey brains" peddling ineffective and unoriginal solutions to what must be a very naive audience.

Today a web search on copy protection will reveal hundreds of entities promoting image splicing, watermarking, simple image applets, disable right-click and web site encryption scripts as a means of preventing theft. These methods and solutions are not only easily circumvented by anyone who has a little html experience (anyone who has built their own web site and edited html) but they are all plagiarized from each other.

Threats

As mentioned previously, the masses do not want copy protection and software publishers are only to willing to cater for their need and make sales. There are currently hundreds of screen capture programs that do little more than one can easily do by using the Printscreen key, a multitude of programs available for downloading other people's web sites in entirety and search engines dedicated to spidering sites for images.

But the worst threat and our greatest challenge has always been the providers of web browsers! To appease the masses and make their browser popular, they have developed tools and functions for stealing and saving anything on the web, which is why every time a new browser version has been released, a new CopySafe Web version has been released.

CopySafe Web licensees pay a one time registration fee and get free software and plugin upgrades for life.

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