In the US, a law states that every image should be copyrighted once it is created. Everyone who is using the internet is guilty of this crime. In later times, copying images is as innocent as a toddler but when it had been used illegally by some frauds, the simple copy-pasting of pictures gradually becomes an unlawful act.
To understand image theft more clearly, it is simply defined as the unauthorized use of image, drawing, or illustration being linked to a particular website. Not being caught in image theft is a bit difficult especially for those web surfers who do not know how to define images which are copyrighted or not. It may not seem illegal but in fact, it affects the business of both parties who are involved. It may not have that much cause of damage to the crooks, but for your SEO, it could be the end of its story.
Copyright and Image Theft
Hard to accept but, the reality is that internet makes it impossible to prevent image theft and unauthorized copying of any contents, property, and items in a website. Although copyright marks are already in place in a particular image, Photoshop makes it easier for frauds to steal your property. And as for results, these crooks will soon link it to their pages without you knowing it. This is called hotlinking.
Hotlinkers use free contents which are provided by the internet. They’ll rob your company’s web design, contents, graphics, services, and products and the next thing you know, your visitors are confused where to locate your original website since there are two or more existing websites offering exactly the same as what you also offer. Worse, advanced hotlinkers are capable of creating appearance of legitimacy; hence, their website might look to be well and much more legitimate than yours. With this, when image theft or hotlinking is left unchecked, it could dramatically damage your SEO website or company. Plus, it also drains the bandwidth you’re paying your webhost for.
Prevent Image Theft Online
Although image theft is almost impossible to be prevented, you could make necessary actions to at least reduce the risk of getting your contents and properties robbed.
- Place a copyright mark on all images you will be using. It could be in the lower right corner of the image with a copyright symbol on it or a semi-transparent layer on the image’s surface. Note: crop out the image exactly on your site.
- Use low resolution or an aggressive compression when saving your image. The smaller the size of the image, the better. But do not make it too small you can barely understand the photo. 200 to 400 pixels are enough.
Deter Image Theft
Image thefts are safely done by broadband users as it is much harder to track hotlinkers than those who use internet providers. Though there is a law that says stealing of unauthorized contents is illegal, still there is only 1% of the hotlinkers’ population that goes to headline.
Though it may be impossible to put all of them in jail and pay for the crime they’ve done, you can at least call for CSS-Tricks’ help. With this, once a hotlinker starts stealing your image and bandwidth, a pop-up prompt will tell them to stop stealing. In this way, hotlinkers won’t do any harm to your properties.
Doing these simple tricks at least helps you to avoid getting your contents and properties in the hands of these modern thieves.
About the Author
Krystine Joy Sitjar is an active writer focusing on the latest development in SEO and high speed internet. She is also a co-writer at Broadband Expert.