08 January 2010

Image protection scheme fail

I was reading this post at Bruce Schneier's blog and following the link to this cartoon. When you mouse over the image, it changes to a "CopyNo.com" logo. This is a scheme designed to "dramatically reduce the illegal re-use of Internet images." Indeed, reduce is in fact in bold, perhaps because they realize that these image protection schemes do not work, but just prevents the familiar right click-save method of copying the image. And even this fails very soon.

A quick view of the page source reveals the appropriate section where the image is displayed:
/properties/luckovich/art_images/cg4b3bdd73412f20.jpg
Next, some simple URL manipulation with the actual domain:
http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/properties/luckovich/art_images/cg4b3bdd73412f20.jpg (or here for the direct link)
And this is in fact the direct URL to the image which is quite obviously saveable via right click. These image protection schemes are somewhat amusing; I had no desire to actually save the image until I the mouse-over revealed the CopyNo.com logo; it's mere existence was the challenge to defeat the scheme (although it was a pretty weak challenge).

Have you come across image protection schemes that actually work?
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