Saturday, March 13, 2010


There is so much hatred in this world, it makes me want to throw up. Sometimes I just wish people really knew the extent that people discriminate against people with Down syndrome.

Just to explain, a group of people who clearly have nothing better to do with their time recently stole Down syndrome advocacy posters that were posted online and amended them to their liking by way of photoshop. Each poster contained a slogan and a picture ... and when I say they amended them to their liking ... I mean it was full of hate, bashing and disrespect.

In light of recent events, I have had several friends ask me how to watermark and protect their photos online. Technically, any photo posted online is free game and many are archived in places like Google Images.

That said, you can protect yourself by watermarking your photos and making your copyright known. You can also code your blog to disable right and left clicking, however you need to know that you also deactivate other external links by doing so.

And ... at the end of the day ... if someone really wants to steal your image, they can take a screen shot and crop it down to the image. Granted, it will only be as big as it appears on their screen, but they have the image like they wanted.

How you can protect yourself ...

*Resize your images before you upload them to the internet -- especially if you load them directly into blogger. Images that are taken straight out of a camera are hi resolution and huge. If someone clicks on your photo, they can pull up a huge, hi resolution photo to use for their liking. I recommend resizing them to the width of the space that your blog allows. For example, mine is custom set to 550 pixels wide -- so I always resize so the longest side of the image is 550 pixels. That way, if someone clicks on your image, they are getting a small photo that can't be printed much bigger with good quality.

If you try to click on any of my more recent images, you will never be able to pull it up. This is because I load the image to flickr and then transfer part of the html code into my blog post so that just the image appears and not the ability to click back to flickr. This is one way to help protect your images.

If you do not have photo software, you can easily resize your images on Picnik  -- a free online photo processing program.

*Watermarking. I do not watermark my blog photos because I think they are pro quality ... far from it. I watermark them to protect them and to make someone think twice before they try to steal them. The watermark showing copyright is right there on the image -- not to say they can't still be stolen, but you have made your mark known.

I struggle with doing this for the sake of the photo, but the best way to truly watermark your image is by doing so through the main focus of the image. That way the watermark cannot be cropped out if someone were to steal the image.

I watermark my photos using photoshop, however Picnik has a create | text feature that allows you to apply text to your photo ... great for watermarking.

One other thing ... I recommend noting your URL within your watermark, although you will see I have not yet added that. If someone were to see that your image had clearly been stolen and was being used in a way it was not intended, sometimes a watermark of just your blog name will not allow them to find you to tell you if they so wished. Neither will just having a copyright sign on your image. A URL, however, will allow them to easily find out where the image originated and more so, whether or not it is where it belongs online.

*Copyright. Add a copyright statement to your blog. If you scroll to the bottom of my blog, you will find mine. Right there, for everyone to see and to protect what is on my blog.

Those are the biggest things you can do to protect yourself, your images and the content of your blog. Hope this helps!


  1. How infuriating and sad that people have the time to waste to do this.

    Do you mind if I repost your post with a link back on my blog? Would love to share this info..

  2. Thanks so much for posting this, Bethany. It's so disheartening that people want to steal and destroy our childrens' images for their own sick pleasure. I appreciate you offering some great suggestions for protecting our kids' images and making people think twice before trying to copy the image.

  3. oh im not sure what happend, since i havent read more about it, but is so sad how something you planned for something good is twisted

    people who wants to stole pictures will do it, with a little more steps but at the end is easy. taking of watermakrs, and everything.

    once a guy in livejournal stoled an "i love ds" icon with elias picture, and he was using it, not for good. as much as i told him he didnt stopped using it, and well, as much as i disliked it, i couldnt do much. it made me uncomfortable but i didnt really tried to think much about it, i kept thinking on how much we have advocated and how many people were learning

  4. Thanks Bethany- I have done the right click thing but I'm afraid the left thing will mess things up because I'm sure I'd do it wrong. But I will use the copyright thing you have.

  5. Great info. I tried using a watermark a long time ago and it was time consuming so I didn't end up ever really doing it. I love the suggestion of one with a url. I think it's time to really make good use of a watermark. I won't let THEM force me into going private.

  6. Thanks for sharing! I was just up last night (way too late) trying to design some sort of watermark for my photos, but didn't have my URL in it -- so thanks for suggesting that! I was also thinking about loading my pics into flickr instead of uploading directly from my computer. I think with this recent situation with the NDSC posters, I will start doing that!!

    BTW, I LOVE the song! One of my favs these days, too!

  7. If anyone wants a more detailed way of doing a watermark, let me know and I will show you how using Photoshop.

  8. Great info, Bethany! Thank you!
    I've had right click disabled for some time, I resize and started with a watermark, but need to add the url to it. Makes good sense! If they really want it, I know they will just take it, which just plain stinks.
    Gonna link back too!!!

  9. I added a copyright at the bottom now too! Thanks again!!!!

  10. This is Joyce, Thank you for this info. I just wrote a post and linked to yours. This situation is incredibly sad and frightening, but I don't want us all to run and hide. This is a good alternative.

  11. Thanks for all of your great suggestions Bethany! I am going to put a copyright on my blog and try to watermark my pictures.

    It really is awful what some people have been doing.

  12. Thanks so much for all the great information, I'm going to have to start doing something for my blog now.

  13. Wow!!! Very interesting..Thanks for the great info..

  14. Thanks Bethany. I shared this with some friends on Life's Journey with Ds. Kris

  15. Great tips! I've used all those on various websites I've built over the years. About a year ago I was looking up to see if there was a way I could make it completely impossible for someone to steal pictures/graphics. Obviously there isn't at this point.

    The save page as image option is there, like you mentioned. Did you know there's also another option in Firefox that makes it even easier? Under Tools, Page Info and then Media . . . it lists all the images, what they are called, etc there. All someone has to do is click on it and save it. And they have it. I couldn't figure out anyway to hide the pictures. So, for this specific website I was working on, I just put "All graphics & images are copyright of _____" right in plain site so everyone could see it.

    On the internet it seems, that's the only real way to protect yourself. The other codes & disabling make it harder, but all someone has to do is look in their browser options and if they really want to steal your pics, they can do it. Of course the copyright doesn't save you from someone who's intent on stealing stuff either, but at least you have it there and you have some grounds if it is stolen.