Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.
There are many things to consider when setting up a website. Design, content, seo, security, speed etc etc. One thing that I have noticed which often gets overlooked is the subject of content theft.
Content theft can take two forms, both of which are very unpleasant.
- Copyright violation: Either the copying of textual content or copying of media such as images.
- Bandwidth theft: Where the resources of a site are used by another without authorization.
Note: I am not a legal expert on copyright violation so I suggest you look elsewhere for advise if you are considering taking legal action over a suspected copyright violation.
Preventing Copyright Theft
While copyright violations are very serious, beyond protecting a site behind a user authentication system there is very little we can do (from a technical standpoint) to prevent someone copying our content. After all the whole purpose of a website is to publish content for public consumption.
Prevent Image Theft with Watermarking
A watermark is an image overlay which you add to your images declaring it is copyrighted by you. You can do this manually or with an automatic tool. Many modern web scripting languages have this ability. At some later stage I will demonstrate how to do this using coldfusion.
Take care where and how you place the watermark so that it does not negatively affect your legitimate visitors.