Electrosmart Digital Publishing BMAPS Digital Publishing
Members Vault
ESL Login

Latest Updates

IM News
Free Tools


5 Steps to Being a Successful Author

Guidelines for Editing Non-Fiction Books

Book Formatting

Selecting Font Size and Type

Getting Published

Realistic Odds of Getting Published

7 Steps to Writing A Book Publishing Query

Tips on Writing Book Proposals The Way Editors Want

Publishing Ettiquette

website security

Forms and Systems to Protect Copyright


There are a number of ways to protect your works, however with digital works now prevailing in the publishing of new works, forms of protecting works is becoming more complicated - and more difficult! Apart from the standard statement of copyright protection such as : © Electrosmart Ltd [you may also add the words: "All rights reserved." ]; there are various systems to help prevent your work being copied, including:


Digital Watermarking

A digital watermarking system embeds an image and/or copyright information into the pixels of your work. Digital watermarks are mainly used on graphic works, but can also be applied to text works. The watermark is not visible to a viewer on screen in its original location, however should the image be published on another site, and the watermark with its copyright information will appear.

Many graphics software programs include a digital watermarking system, such as Digimarc used in Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, and PhotoPaint.

The Digimarc System also provides a means to discover who may have copied your image and where they have published it on the Web. This is done using Digimarc's Web bot, MarcSpider, which scans the Web for your images on other websites. In addition, MarcSpider's evidence provides a very strong basis for taking a copyright infringement case.

For FAQs about Digimarc's watermarking system.

Watermarking Systems

Other watermarking systems include:

More on Watermarking

You can find more on digital watermarking at the following sites:



Encryption is used mainly to protect the content of messages and any data input into forms online. The most common form of encryption uses a public key. It can be used on any digital file, text, or graphic.

Public key uses one key to encode a file [your public key] and one key to decode it [ clients private key]. This means that the data in the message cannot be decoded by anyone but the intended recipient who holds the private key. Hence, using encryption only works within a limited domain and is not suitable for work that needs to be widely viewed. In cases of transactional nature, the private [decryption] key resides in a secure computer, inaccessible by humans.



Macromedia's popular Flash software converts graphics and text into a special format that is viewable by a standard web browser, unless the owner has turned off flash.

Flash files prevent reuse of parts or printing of the content. However it does not protect the content in total - where an infringer may download the entire Flash file and show it on their website.

There are also ways to easily screen dump static images from within the Flash presentation.

Hence, Flash is not particularly secure from copyright infringement.


Adobe Acrobat PDF

Acrobat PDF files that use a password to open them can prevent content from being printed or graphics from being copied directly [although there are easy ways around this for computer savvy people].

Acrobat also includes an optional eBook format that prevents files from being opened by any person other than the person who bought them. There is certain reluctance by purchasers to the use of secure ebook formats that require software for viewing.



Adding certain HTML coding can help you protect your copyright by preventing copying or viewing of source code. These scripts are available either free or at a very low cost for the comfort of keeping your content in your control.



The above systems only protect work from the general public who have no knowledge of how to circumvent the protection. Typically, there are now software products designed specifically for this purpose. Many of these developers are legitimate companies, and not just hackers.

Overall, any technology designed to provide copyright protection is likely to attract software to undo the protective layer.


Next: More Copyright Resources

Back To Top

Please note that these articles about Copyright are informational only. Please consult your legal advisor.