Digital-Dany: Photo: Image Protection

Image Protection


Digital Watermarking

From the many questions I receive it's clear that protecting ones assets is a subject of interest and worry for many.

The following table Summarizes the different protection methods sorted by their effectiveness.

Method Pros Cons Opinion
Post only unimportant images Not much Not much either Why bother to have a Web presence if not to display your best?
Post reduced Size low quality images Better than above Worse than above Might leave wrong impression on your browsers
Visual watermark, as copyright text visible on the image. States ownership of images Time consuming, can be removed Reducing image quality for the viewers, distracting
No right mouse button None Doesn't work on non PC Waist of time, Mac users won't even know it's there
Transparent image on top of actual one Better than above None Better than all above, doesn't stop capturing your images.
Embeding the images into a Flash, Shockwave, Quicktime presentation Image quality maintained No protection at all Time consuming, offers no protection
Digital watermark Hidden, not many know it's there Not many know it's there Verification on the web needs a web spider service, to trace the images. Gives the most in proving ownership

Digital watermarking

Digimarc ImageBridge plugin for Adobe Photoshop, is a subscription based service available from Digimarc. After registration with Digimarc (up to 99 images for free) one gets a PIN and ID numbers. Using this info the plugin embeds a digital code into the image. This code is applied as a noise or grain pattern to the image. Since the code can withstand alterations to the image and still be readable. The strength of the noise - code is set in the plugin, less visible = less durable, more visible = more durable!

Since Digimarc is available for the major imaging software any one can verify the existence of a Digimarc watermark in an acquired or downloaded image.

Once the photos are on the Web and one wants to trace if and where the images were copied to, Digimarc offers a Digimarc MarcSpider an image tracking which is also subscription based. MarcSpider will spider the Web returning reports which contain details on when and where the protected images are found.

Changed Thu, Mar 7, 2002, DR