Is there a way to lock images so that viewers can't drag and drop them onto their desktops, or right click and download image files?

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10-21-2020 12:58 PM
ElizabethEhrlich
New Contributor

When requesting permission to use a copyrighted image, we've been asked by the photographer whether the image will be protected from copying and downloading. I've found that I can easily right click and "save as." I don't want to add water marks to protected images. Is there a way to protect images so they won't "save as?"

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Elizabeth -- If an image is available on a web page, there is unfortunately no way to prevent someone who wants the image from obtaining it. Anyone who is familiar with browser dev tools can find the image file and save it, and of course anyone can simply screenshot the image to have their own copy.

There are ways for us to disable right-clicking an image and saving it, but doing that does no more than provide a false sense of security that the images are "safe" from being downloaded, so we have not looked into this for ArcGIS StoryMaps.

One thing to note is that ArcGIS StoryMaps will compress and resize images, so typically the original resolution image is not made available through the story to readers. Rather, readers see a reduced-resolution copy that's sized correctly for their device's screen.

To effectively protect images from being misused, I would recommend watermarking, and—although it doesn't prevent misuse—I would also recommend adding attribution about each image in the story using the the image options, caption space, or credits section as a best practice.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps

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OwenGeo
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Elizabeth -- If an image is available on a web page, there is unfortunately no way to prevent someone who wants the image from obtaining it. Anyone who is familiar with browser dev tools can find the image file and save it, and of course anyone can simply screenshot the image to have their own copy.

There are ways for us to disable right-clicking an image and saving it, but doing that does no more than provide a false sense of security that the images are "safe" from being downloaded, so we have not looked into this for ArcGIS StoryMaps.

One thing to note is that ArcGIS StoryMaps will compress and resize images, so typically the original resolution image is not made available through the story to readers. Rather, readers see a reduced-resolution copy that's sized correctly for their device's screen.

To effectively protect images from being misused, I would recommend watermarking, and—although it doesn't prevent misuse—I would also recommend adding attribution about each image in the story using the the image options, caption space, or credits section as a best practice.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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