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"GoPhoto" is trying to take over my images

  1. Hi everyone!

    I've been digging in to this topic for the last few hours and though I have not been able to find an exact breakdown of how the extension works online, it appears to work like this:

    * The extension is installed on someone's browser.
    * That person then browses the Internet, viewing pages and photos.
    * When the person finds a photo which they want to see better, they activate the extension and are shown an enlarged copy of the image on a site.
    * In the process, a copy of the image is saved to the servers and is hotlinked back to the original image, building GoPhoto's image library (of a Yahoo and Google Image variety) and allowing for "add-ons" like effects to be applied to the images which have been captured.

    This process would result in hits showing up in your stats and is why the images are appearing hotlinked on their site.

  2. streamsandforests

    Thank you. So, if I'm understanding correctly, a subsequent visitor to my blog clicking on the same image does not get directed to the gophoto site---it is a one-time alteration in the link for the image thing caused by a gophoto user clicking on the image. That is not quite as bad as I thought. However, if it were an image I'd personally created rather a noncopyright one, I'd feel disturbed that it has now been entered into gophoto's library and can be altered by anyone with gophoto's "effects" tool. This seems a little different from a Google image, which simply directs to my site. There's nothing much I can do to stop a Google image user from subsequently editing and reusing an image that legally belongs to me (using a separate photo editing program), but the gophoto process eliminates an intermediate step and makes it a one-step process for anyone to edit one of my personal copyrighted images.

  3. Thanks for clearing that up: it all makes sense now. It was rather concerning to see links coming from my page that I'd never set up.

  4. @streamsandforests, you are correct, all of the users which came later are not being redirected to Just whoever has their software installed as a browser extension. Since the software was functioning in such a way, some sources online were calling the extension malware, though I am not qualified to make such a judgement!

    To address your other concern, there is little that can ultimately be done to stop photos from being scraped from websites. Image source obfuscators (hiding the source of the image via code) or right click protection (disabling right click on a site so that the image cannot be saved) provides only a false sense of security as automated spiders can pretend to be browsers and download the images just as easily. The best protection is to watermark images so that if they are reposted elsewhere, the origin of the image is still present!

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