diaper images - protecting your children

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Once upon a time, the online cloth diapering community was bursting with photos of our babies and toddlers modeling the cloth diapers their mothers or other "work at home mothers" had made for them. Now there is a big hole in our community where these photos used to be. Most of the photos are gone, and some photos that remain have watermarks across them. Why?

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The answer may not be one you want to hear, but it isn't a new answer. Fetishists, pedophiles, and child pornographers have been around a long time. Unfortunately, the internet has allowed them to gather together in groups - and in some cases, steal the photos of our children from our personal and business websites for their own questionable viewing practices.

Because of this, many in our community shut down their online presence completely. Online journal sites, discussion boards, forums, and business websites reacted by removing image galleries, password protecting certain pages and areas, changing their business logos, and removing personal information from 'about us' pages.

Visit Habeebaby.com if you are looking for baby designers clothes.


UPDATE: Two diaper fetish site owners have been caught and sent away.
Your photos of babies in diapers may not be safe yet, but they are more safe than they were.


Questions

What if you don't want to remove your online presence or remove photos altogether?

How do I watermark my images?

How do I copyright my images?

I've heard there are ways to keep people from "right clicking" and stealing your images off of your website. How is this done?

What about search engines and robots? Don't they crawl the web looking for photos to index?

What else can I do?


»» What actions have you taken?




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What if you don't want to remove your online presence or remove photos altogether?



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There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your children without disappearing completely.

First and foremost, be selective in what you share with others online. When participating in online parenting communities, it is easy to make friends and feel comfortable and safe. Women seem to have long 'signatures' on discussion forums detailing not only the ages and names of their children, but linking to photos of them and divulging personal information about where they live and a large portion of their daily activities. While it isn’t necessary to stop making friends and sharing personal bits of information, it is important to take a look at what you are sharing in public forums (and even in what you might think are private forums) on the world wide web. Consider how anything you share effects the safety of your family.

  • It is easy to be free and type without thinking. Stop. Think. Don't offer up so much information that a predator may be able to trace your online trail to your front door.


  • Posting photos is okay - it's part of what brings us together online and helps us 'know' someone we might never meet face to face. Online friends can be as important as real life friends, especially when your parenting practices or diapering choices make you feel alienated in your neighborhoods. But select photos carefully. Post them online fully understanding that you can't always control who sees them, who might steal them, and what others may feel while looking at them. Be sure to crop out any unnecessary background - photos can contain a lot of information about your child and where you live. If your baby is lying on a blanket with her name embroidered on it, crop out the name, or blur it with a graphics or photo editing program.


  • Use pseudonyms (fake names) or be careful about sharing your last name online. If you own your own website, be sure that your registration information is protected. Visit Whois Source and enter in your domain name - you might be surprised at how much information is available to the public about you and your business. You can change your public domain registration to a private one. Use a free e-mail account to register your domain to not only help eliminate unwanted spam but help cover the tracks you leave online for others to trace.


  • Be aware of how the internet works. It is not anonymous, every website you visit leaves information behind about you, every e-mail you send contains information that allows people who know what they are doing to find out where you live, what kind of computer you have, and what browser you're using. You leave a "footprint" everywhere you go. While it is easy to get paranoid about this, try not to, just be aware that the feeling of anonymity that comes with browsing the internet is false. You can cover your footsteps by browsing the web with a service that will change your IP address as you search such as @nonymouse or The Cloak. Do keep in mind, that it is probably less important to worry about your 'footprints' and more important to simply be a little guarded with what you choose to share and the websites you choose to visit.

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How do I watermark my images?



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You will need a photo editing program or a graphic program of some sort. If you have a scanner, your scanner might have come with some type of photo editing software. Check the manual or your computer files to see if one can be found. If you are using a digital camera, that too might have come with photo editing software.

The photo editing software may have a watermarking feature that will apply text to your photo. But all you really need is a program that will allow you to type words onto your image. Be careful not to just apply the watermark or text to an area that might be easily cropped out or cut around.

Here is a list of good graphics programs you can use to watermark your photos as well as links to tutorials that show how to use them for this purpose:

Be aware that even this is not a complete solution. People can edit out watermarks with graphics programs, so the larger, the more colorful, or "3-D" you make the watermark, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Here are some examples of what watermarks would look like. You can, of course, make your watermarks as large or as small as you like. It is always a good idea to include the website url on the photo somewhere in case someone comes across it in an image search where it would appear off of your website layout. I made these two using Paint Shop Pro and the tutorial already linked above.

watermark
This watermark is okay, it is just a flat line of text applied to the photo with a light opacity. This watermark could be fairly easy to edit out of the photo by someone who knew their way around a graphics program.
watermark
This watermark is better because the 3-D effect applied makes it more difficult to edit out.

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How do I copyright my images?



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You already have copyright on your images. If you are in the U.S., this is true of images and text created after 1989. Unless you explicitly disclaim your rights (putting the work in the public domain), you still hold those rights. You may also register your work, but your rights are reserved to you as owner whether you do so or not.

First, copyright law is huge. Let’s make this as clear as possible, with the understanding that we’re leaving out 1200 pages and more of details.

The Copyright Act protects the rights of the copyright holder. That is you. The Copyright Act does not grant rights to the user but does provide certain exemptions from user liability. Copyright law is intended to balance the rights of owners with the rights of the public to access.

Some may claim “fair use.” “Fair use” is always determined by the specific situation but is usually an attributed excerpt (like you might find in a book review). Child pornography and pedophilia do not fall under “fair use.” Images that are deliberately copied into a user’s computer (not the temp file automatically generated) are a violation of your rights as copyright holder whether or not the user passes the image on. Passing an image on freely or charging for its viewing is a clear violation of your copyright.

You need to defend your rights as copyright holder. To show that you intend to do that, include a copyright notice on every webpage and on every image. Proper format: "Copyright [dates] by [owner]"

You can also make it explicit that you know your website is protected under the Copyright Act by putting a statement like this at the bottom of each page or in your "terms of use":

    This website contains information that may not be duplicated or used for any purpose without written permission from the owner of this site. This document is protected as an unpublished work under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, as well as under all other pertinent domestic and international intellectual property provisions.

In the end, most copyright law is civil law, but some offenses can be criminal. Especially with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it may take a lawyer and a court to decide for sure.

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I've heard there are ways to keep people from "right clicking" and stealing your images off of your website. How is this done?


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It's done with a "no right click script". This script is very easy to get around, it may deter beginners, but nothing stops someone from doing a screen capture or screenshot of your website and cutting the photos out of the screenshot in a graphics program. People can also view your source code to obtain the image urls or use other web developer tools to get around this script.

If you'd like to use it in conjunction with watermarking your images, it can be effective. This script is from Dynamic Drive. You can copy and paste the following code into the html coding for your website. Please note: it must be added to every page of your website. Paste it inside the <head> tags.

PLEASE NOTE: When viewing any website, the html and the images are immediately downloaded by your browser, from that site's server, and temporarily stored in your computer's cache. This is how you can SEE the website page. When you right-click to save or copy an image you are not saving it from the website, but instead from your own computer (temporary files) that have already been downloaded. Look in your C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files directory and it will contain all recently viewed images whether or not they were "right-click protected".

Read more about the weaknesses of right-click disabling and why in the informative article, "How Do I Stop People from Downloading my Graphics?".

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What about search engines and robots? Don't they crawl the web looking for photos to index?



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I can do a search on Google's Image Search and turn up hundreds and hundreds of photos - and while Google has a disclaimer about the images being copyrighted, many steal the images without understanding that they may be part of a copyrighted website. Or, maybe they do understand that they are violating copyright, but they will do it anyway.

Add this meta tag between the <head></head> tags on each page: <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

The following tips are from Jade at SageFish.com

First off, google loves blogs. Google loves to search through and index blogs. So, blog images will be seen QUICKLY by google. I think this is probably how they are getting most of their images (google image searches).

What you can do: If you're hosting this blog yourself [note: this applies to any personal website or business website if you have access to the files - not just weblogs], or have access to the files, you can create a file in the root folder that will stop google from indexing your photos. You need to save this file as "robots.txt". The lines below will STOP google's image bot from indexing ANY of your images.

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

If you want to be even more careful, you can stop any *legitimate* spider (I say legitimate because their are bad bots out there that will look for robots.txt files, and intentionally spider the folders you say not to) from spidering certain folders. For example, the lines below will stop a spider from going to the blog folder, images folder, or gallery folder.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /blog/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: /gallery/

If you want to stop all legitimate spiders (which you should do for any family related site, where you don't want search engine traffic anyway), do a robots.txt file like this:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

The above will stop a search engine spider from spidering ANY of your site.

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What else can I do?



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A few more tips:



  • Naming a photo of your baby wearing a diaper by calling it george_diaper.jpg only makes the photo easy to find. Give the photo an unrelated name or make up a code so that you are still able to keep track of your photos.


  • If you can type in www.yourdomain.com/images (or whatever your image folder is named) and can view a list of your images inside that folder, that folder needs to be protected so that others cannot access the content. If your server does not protect your image folders, ask your webhost to please protect your image folders on your account. Or, you can add a completely blank page as "index.htm" in that folder.


  • If you remove photos from your website, remember to remove them from your server as well. If you find that someone has linked directly to your photos on your server, save the original with a different name for yourself, then replace that old image name with an image that says "I am a Thief!"


  • Overall, be level headed. If you don't want to sail off into internet anonymity, don't. Just be careful and make sure your images are clearly copyrighted. Take care of yourself and your family online, and take care of them in real life too. We don't live in castles surrounded by moats and protected with barbed-wire. There is no sense in building enormous walls around our online presences either. Just be cautious and aware of the risks of your surroundings.


  • Read more about "Protecting your images online - a technical perspective" at Cut of Cloth, a Diaper Pin site.


Have you removed the diapering images from your website? Would you like your customers and visitors to know why? Spread awareness. Link to this page using one of the buttons below - just cut and paste the code into your website. No need to save the image to your own hard drives, though you can if you wish.



where are all the pictures?



where are all the pictures?

where are the pictures?

If you'd like to add a text link to your e-mail signatures or forum signatures you may do so with the following:

For discussion boards with html disabled: [url=http://diaperimages.com]Where did all the pictures go?[/url]

For e-mail and discussion boards with html enabled: <a href="http://diaperimages.com">Where did all the pictures go?</a>



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What actions have you taken?



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How are you protecting images of your children? Have you reported internet crime or taken action against copyright infringement? What is getting results? Let us know what is working for you.



Contact heather@clothdiapersale.com for any queries.
Thanks to all of the generous parents who have offered ideas and links.
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