Website Art Protection
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 22:33:10 +0000
Subject: illustration: Watermarking - an alternative that holds up better
I checked into Digimark watermarking and talked to their technical people and Adobe's. The problem is that anyone capable of doing even a little graphic manipulation can lose the watermark from the image. And let's face it, if they're grabbing your image off the web, chances are they have some graphics software capable of doing just that. So it doesn't protect you for long!! Save your money!
There IS an alternative and it's the one the big museums who are putting up their archives online are using to protect their thousands of works. Oh, and stock photo companies too. It's called DIGITAL FINGERPRINTING. You purchase a license for $60 and you are then given your ID Code, and their software (uses a plugin in photoshop , etc. to operate it). And what it does is insert your licensed fingerprint code into the image, but what's different is it's done a zillion times throughout the image but on a code level. It's invisible. It remains detectable despite someone manipulating the image. And it can be detected in a printed image later too.
Yes, I got it and use it and have tested it out. Even if you totally kill the image with changes, sizes and rotations, etc., you can still detect that it's been fingerprinted.
Check it out at Signum Technologies -
The company is now working on a system that will constantly browse the web detecting these fingerprinted images and report back to you.
But ultimately, I think of it as an added deterent to theft. (ie. Why run more of a risk stealing somebody's stuff that is traceable?) That's why I put warnings up by all my images that they have been digitally fingerprinted and are traceable in reproduction despite graphic manipulation.
Mel White and Glen Wooten have set up a website with more information, samples, copyright statements, etc. Go to www.geocities.com/soho/gallery/2121
No one is safe from theft. If you don't want someone to steal your graphics, slice/dice them. That way whoever went after your hard work will have to peice it together. When slicing/dicing your graphics, give each sliced/diced an unrelated name. This way it would be very hard to put "humpty dumpty" back together again.
Here are some programs that can do this.
Picture Dicer - http://www.ziplink.net/~shoestring/dicer01.htm
Fireworks - http://www.macromedia.com/
Painter 5.5 - http://metacreations.com/
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