Do your sites have right-click protection for images?

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    Crystal Reynolds
    Is there any way to add this protection using CSS? I would think that this would be a personal preference...why not give us the option to choose for ourselves if it is a negative or a positive for our blogsite? Thanks :)
  • Avatar
    Marty Thornley

    Hi Crystal,

    This function can't be done with CSS, it uses Javascript which can simply be turned off by any user. But that is just the technical stuff and doesn't really effect why we would or wouldn't use this.

    While the idea of allowing users to decide for themselves sounds like a good argument for adding a feature, this is one of several website "features" that has become accepted ( especially in the photography community ) due mainly to sales tactics of web designers and developers.

    The right click function does nothing to protect images and in fact causes several negative effects as I described above. But it sounds good. So it has become a sales pitch from web companies as if it is a feature. It is comparable to the mystery 'undercoating' sold by used car salesmen or the extended warranties offered by electronics companies. They sound good and make a purchaser feel better at the point of purchase but really do nothing.

    Sharing Can Generate Leads

    The other side of this is that with the expansion of social media and content sharing, you should want your content and even your images to be shared. But shared in a way that connects them to you and your website, generates new leads for you, etc... In order to do this images should be sharable and watermarked somehow with a company name and/or website address. Then if people do use them, they become marketing tools for you. You might even consider offering them up with something like the Creative Commons license which requires that they be credited and encourages sharing at the same time. The huge majority of people are more than willing to follow the terms of these licenses. The additional marketing and links that you get from this would FAR out weigh the one or two that takes your image. At the end of the day though, there is truly NO way to prevent a thief from taking your image. So it becomes very hard to justify developing a feature like this.

    "HTML Mirror Sites" sold with Flash sites.

    There are a few more website "features" being constantly sold to photographers. Some are meaningless or worthless, like the right-click function. Others are down-right bad for your site but are sold as 'features". As an example, you can look at "HTML Mirror Sites" sold with Flash sites.

    When you see a site selling Flash sites, they will usually mention "HTML Mirror Sites". Search engines struggle with flash, so these web developers create HTML copies of the sites. Typical users see the Flash site, while search engines are re-directed to the HTML site. The problem is that Google explicitly says this is considered "cloaking" and is a spam technique that can actually get your site completely removed from search results.

    http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66355

    Keeping in line with Best Practices

    These are just two examples. We are often asked about using techniques that are not up to standards or are even bad for you: adding plugins that cause performance issues or add spam, using Flash because it looks cool when there is a perfectly good HTML solution, adding "splash pages" to sites, etc... All bad techniques that have become standard "fixes" for sub-par programming.

    There will always be someone out there willing to do whatever you ask of them, even if it is bad for your site. We have always strived to offer "Best Practices" in all our websites and in any advice we give and will continue to let that guide the features that we offer to make sure they truly are the best possible solution for our sites.

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