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    Photosharing website with disabled downloading

    I want to create a website to share my photos with friends but disallow them from copying it.


    I want the photos are just for viewing purposes. Is there any way I can share my photos with friends but restrict and do not allow them from copying/downloading my photos? Can I create such a website for myself?


    4 REPLIES 4
    Super User II Super User II
    Super User II

    This is actually a somewhat common question @rk4 and the common answer is "No*", The asterisk is because there are several things you can do to make picture downloading and copying a bit more difficult. Some of the most common practices are:

    • disable right click
    • use a CSS background-image instead of HTML <img>
    • scramble source code
    • watermark images
    • put a transparent layer or a low opaque mask over image
    • use Flash for image galleries

    In the end you can engineer code that works for normal users but you can't stop downloading of images? As far as I am aware, nothing will prevent a simple glance at a network traffic monitor or the "Network" tab of your browser's developer tools. At the end of the day even very large stock photography websites have the same problem you are having and they have whole dev teams dedicated to it. Instagram sold for billions and they as far as I can tell never even tried to protect pictures from being downloaded or copied?


    If you are using a CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal...) there is no doubt a plugin that will handle some of the common copy/download tecniques. I have also seen some CMS templates with copy/download protection built in. If someone is really trying to deter the downloading of images they might deploy several techniques at on time. 


    The only sure way to stop something from being downloaded from a website is to not put it on a website. Even the best code can't stop a screen grab. No pictures online are safe! I don't know what your intention is but perhaps what you should do is look at a website that has a similar method as the one you are trying to create and look what they are doing? I know that probably isn't the answer you were looking for but that's my answer. Hope that helps?

    ...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.

    roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head

    Thanks roy darling for the detailed explanation.

    My requirement is for normal users with non computer background.

    I know it is not completely possible to avoid  photos from being copied, but still normal users who are not from computer background will not easily be able to copy photos themselves.


    Any idea if godaddy can be helpful in this?


    Super User II Super User II
    Super User II

    If that's the case @rk4 you can just use your favorite search engine and find instructions on how to accomplish any of those in the bullets above. If you have additional information on what platform you are using perhaps there is more specific instructions I can give? Please come back and let us know how it worked out for you.

    ...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.

    roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head

    How does one disable right click in Godaddy?  PW