User guide

Site protection

    Image hotlinking protection

    Although Zenphoto has an option for image protection it does only protect from getting the (full) image link from your gallery site itself but not prevent real hotlinking from outside. Everyone who knows how Zenphoto stores images can find out the direct link with ease.

    You can change the location for your albums by modifying the zp-config.php file. There is commentary in the file that will guide you in making such a change. Please carefully note the comments, specially for "external" album folders. Also note that server filesystem permissions settings may prevent you from making these changes.

    So, to really protect your images from hotlinking you need to use .htaccess (if you server supports this). Here is a little generator tool for this: http://www.htaccesstools.com/hotlink-protection/. We additionally have prepared a template htaccess file you could adjust.

    Image watermarks

    1. Are watermarks actually added to the image so that when someone saves them they get the image with our watermark on them? 
      Yes. Watermarks are added to the image itself by the image processor when discovered and resized by Zenphoto and cached. That is for all images except the full images you upload. Those only on request by setting the options.
    2. Are watermarks also applied if we upload via FTP? If so how does that work? 
      Yes, see #1Ӭ
    3. If we turn on watermarking, what happens to existing images that have previously been uploaded before we turned on watermarking? 
      As they are cached nothing happens unless you clear the cache so the cached images are regenerated.
    4. Can we use "text" to add as a watermark or are graphics only supported? 
      Only images supported but of course you can create an image with text yourself.

    Disabling the right click button

    First you really need to know that by viewing images (or most other content) on the web the visitor's browser has already made a copy on the visitor's computer. It is stored in the browser's cache. Otherwise the browser would not be able to display it at all. That is how the net works. Therefore the only secure way to protect your images on the net is not to put them there in the first place.

    So, the question boils down to “how can I protect my intellectual rights by preventing viewers from capturing my images while still making them available for view.” Usually the actual question is “how can I disable the right click button {so that people cannot download my images.}”

    The first part of this question is easily answered. There are many java scripts available to disable this action. Unfortunately, the second part of the question is not addressed by the first. The right click/save target as context menu is only one of a myriad of ways that someone can capture web content.

    There is a very good discussion of this on about.com. But, just in case this link goes away without us noticing, I will summarize what it tells you.
    • Disabling the context menu (what right click takes you to) is very annoying to people used to using the context menu for web browsing. Disabling it may turn people away from your site in disgust.
    • Disabling the context menu does not prevent capture of web content, it only prevents one small method of doing so.
    So, if you wish to protect your images you need to take a different approach. Some suggestions are:
    • Watermark your image. Zenphoto provides a means to do this.
    • Upload only small, WEB quality images. These images may be captured, but will be useful only for WEB pages.
    • Embed copyright information in the image — both in the metadata and with steganalysis.
    But please do not cripple your site by disabling the context menu. Even if you do, it is quite easy for the viewer to re-enable it by typing javascript:void oncontextmenu(null) into the address bar of the browser.

    Protecting and hiding of Zenphoto items like albums

    Please see the Zenphoto user rights tutorial about this.

    Creative Commons LicenseThis text by www.zenphoto.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    For questions and comments please use the forum or discuss on the social networks.

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