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Author Topic: "watermarking" for GIFs...?  (Read 7248 times)

Offline stapel

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« on: April 28, 2003, 05:24:08 AM »
There was a discussion earlier regarding image protection which discussed hotlink protection, right-click disabling, and watermarking of JPEGs, among other things.  The problem I've been having is that people steal my GIFs, and watermarking really doesn't work for this file format.

I've come up with something which may or may not turn out eventually to be helpful in proving my ownership of my images.  I would appreciate feedback.

My images go on a white background.  Rather than have a white background on my more substantial images, I have started putting my copyright notice on the images in white, and making the image background transparent.  That way, when somebody steals the image (with right-click or whatever) and pastes it into his own page, he probably will never notice the copyright notice.  But as soon as you do a "View image..." on a default gray (or whatever non-white) background (or, in Internet Explorer, highlight the image), you can see the notice.

Obviously, this won't stop anybody from stealing my stuff (that's impossible), but I'm thinking that it will assist in proving ownership.   (For an example of what I mean, look at this:

http://www.purplemath.com/modules/rational/mult17.gif

...on a non-white background.)  Most of the people stealing my stuff aren't rocket scientists (which is part of why they need to steal somebody else's work to start with), so I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to work.  But I would still appreciate hearing other ideas.

Thank you.

Eliz.

stephan

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2003, 06:06:06 AM »
That's a good idea :-)

It will really annoy them for a start!

Offline Yaxley

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2003, 07:27:13 AM »
I thought I understood, but can't follow what you did on your page. I went there and all I saw was your logo, clicked on it, opened it up in Photoshop and then put it on different backgrounds. Never saw anything except the logo...

What am I not understanding??
Thanks
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Offline Rhys

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2003, 08:38:08 AM »
yeah. i see what he means. Go onto his page then highlight his picture, you will see the copyright notice on the right.
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Offline stapel

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2003, 09:34:27 AM »
"Yaxley":  Just click on the link.  The image should open up in a new browser window.  If your browser's default background is set to gray (or something else non-white), then you should be able to see a copyright notice running up the left side of the image.

Here; I'll try to insert the image in this message:



See?  Since the background here is non-white, the copyright notice (barely) shows up.  (It's more obvious on a silver/gray background.)  Since most thieves just cut-n-paste an entire lesson (grabbing the whole table, including the background color), they don't notice this.

Viewing the image in Paint Shop Pro, the background of the image should appear to be gray.  I don't know about viewing in Photoshop.  But anyway, the point it that I want to be able to point out the the server host and/or the thief's employer that the image is clearly my property.

Eliz.

Offline charle97

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2003, 09:39:28 AM »
wow. nice graphic.  i understand why theives would take them.

Offline Yaxley

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2003, 10:13:54 AM »
OK. For some reason the link now displays something different, but now my problem is that my browser background is set to white :(  I do see from the example posted. However, when I cut and paste into PS, the copyright doesn't appear on several colors I've tried. I have to think about things, but it seems like your idea might be a good one. I'll experiment some more later.

Thanks
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Offline MikeBoger

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2003, 10:14:40 AM »
Heh...That's actually a pretty good idea.  You have to lets us know if you catch someone using your images and confront them about it.

You:  That's my image!
Them:  Nuh uh, I made it all by myself.
You:  Highlight it.
Them:  Ahh, crap.
You: Busted!

Offline Boris

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2003, 04:06:06 PM »
It works fine. I never thought about doing it that way :P


But the thing is that..where you put the image..you just have to cut the part with the copyright and youre done (if of course they realize they have that. Just open up photoshop and you see it..::nods:: )

But good idea.
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Offline Rhys

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2003, 11:11:39 PM »
Another thing people usually do when they steal an image, is edit a bit. So it could easily be taken out.
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Offline stapel

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2003, 05:04:49 AM »
As you can see from the image (in a previous posting above), changing the image substantially would probably require changing the problem, which would require rewriting the lesson, which.... which would require that the thieves have a clue, which they don't, or these math teachers/professors wouldn't need to steal my lessons.

Yes, it would be simplicity itself to take out the copyright notice from the image.  That's why I've hidden it.  These people aren't rocket scientists; they're just educators.  They often remain unaware of the copyright notice hidden as a comment in a lesson's HTML, or the one hidden as white text on the white background (which was pretty funny when one thief posted my lesson on a yellow background and another posted on a silver background; you could plainly see the big white copyright notice on there, but the little geniuses missed it).   One guy stole my whole site, stripped out the (visible) copyright notice, replaced my e-mail link with his own, claimed that he'd written all the lessons himself, and was trying to charge people for access.  But he hadn't noticed the tracking code on some of the pages, so I found him the morning after he'd uploaded "his" lessons because I was now getting different tracking results.  But even with my tracking code within the HTML, he still tried to claim that they weren't my lessons.

If the person is smart enough to be able to figure out a simple graphics program, then I would like to think (though I could be wrong) that he wouldn't be nicking my stuff:  someone merely moderately intelligent would be capable of writing his own lessons.  I'm trying to catch all the other guys.

Eliz.

Offline Yaxley

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2003, 06:19:50 AM »
I'm puzzled a bit about why when I cut the image and then paste it into Photoshop..even on a colored background, the notice doesn't show up. Point being if what I am experiencing is correct, then it would be a simple process to put it into Photoshop, then use it. I understand that some might not know/or do it that way and then the notice works fine. FYI: I also pasted it into Publisher and the notice didn't show up either.

Anyone else notice this??
Yaxley

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Offline stapel

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2003, 06:36:00 AM »
It sounds as though you are doing a screenshot cut-n-paste, which only makes a copy of what is visible.  Since the copyright notice is normally invisible, this would not display anything.  Putting a different background layer below the screenshot would not change anything.  Please note that I am referring to the actual image file from my web site, not a new file created by taking a screen capture.

You need to click on the link above and view the image in your browser (after changing the default background color to something other than white).  To view the image (not the screenshot) in your graphics program, you need to save the actual image file (not a screen capture of the image) and open it in your graphics program.

Yes, a screenshot of my images would work for the thieves, but this has not been how they have operated.  They have not taken screenshots of my lessons (the lessons being too long and editing screenshots requiring too much work); they have copied all the files.  So I'm not too worried about screen captures.

Eliz.

stephan

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2003, 08:04:22 AM »
No one has stolen anything off my websites, I wonder why that is??!!!

http://www.fishycam.com
http://www.uglypeople.co.uk

hmm...!

Offline Yaxley

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"watermarking" for GIFs...?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2003, 11:57:24 AM »
Well, Eliz I didn't use a screenshot, but did a right click, copy and then pasted it into PS. Also I saved it to a file and then opened it up in PS and still no CR notice. So I suspect I am taking the image as a composite, therefore it doesn't show up:) I'm always curious about protecting images because it seems as if anything is fair game out there..........still thinking:)
Yaxley

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