Protecting your Artwork

Safeguarding Your Artwork: Protecting and Responding to Unauthorized Use


As artists, sharing our creations online exposes us to the vast reach of the digital realm. However, it also comes with the risk of our artwork being stolen, appropriated, or used inappropriately. I want to explore practical strategies to protect your art, respond to unauthorized use, and address emerging challenges posed by AI algorithms. By taking proactive measures and understanding your rights, you can navigate these issues while safeguarding your artistic integrity.

Watermarking and Copyrighting:

Watermarking your images is an effective way to discourage unauthorized use. By overlaying a visible mark or logo on your artwork, you can assert your ownership and deter potential infringers. Additionally, copyrighting your work provides legal protection and establishes your rights as the creator. Consider registering your artwork with copyright authorities in your country for added protection and recourse in case of infringement if you deem that necessary.

Approaching Unauthorized Users:

If you discover your artwork has been used without permission, it is crucial to address the issue promptly. Begin by contacting the individual or organization responsible for the unauthorized use, politely asserting your rights as the artist and requesting immediate removal or proper attribution. Provide evidence of your ownership, such as original files, timestamps, or documentation, to strengthen your case. Open communication and a respectful approach can often lead to a resolution.

Protecting Images with Non-Copy Scripts:

To further safeguard your artwork, consider implementing non-copy scripting on your website. These scripts disable right-click functionality, making it harder for casual users to save or copy your images. While this method may not deter determined infringers, it adds an extra layer of protection and discourages casual unauthorized use.

Utilizing Image Search Tools:

Monitoring the use of your artwork is vital in identifying instances of unauthorized use. Image search tools like Google Lens can help you search for copies of your artwork across the web. By uploading or inputting an image, you can track its appearance on various websites and social media platforms. Regularly performing these searches allows you to discover potential infringements and take appropriate action.

Addressing Challenges from AI Algorithms:

As technology advances, AI algorithms and machine learning models have become capable of generating artwork that may bear similarities to your own. To protect against such instances, consider watermarking your artwork more discreetly, embedding invisible watermarks, or exploring copyright licensing platforms that work with AI to monitor and protect your creations. Stay informed about emerging technologies and legal developments to adapt your protective strategies accordingly.

Finding Stoicism in the Face of Infringement:

Despite your best efforts, it is impossible to prevent all instances of unauthorized use. In such cases, cultivating a stoic mindset can be invaluable. Recognize that imitation may be a form of flattery, albeit misguided. Focus on your originality, artistic growth, and the support of your genuine audience. While pursuing appropriate action when necessary, directing your energy towards creating and sharing your art can outweigh the frustrations of unauthorized use.


As artists sharing our work online, it is essential to take proactive measures to protect our creations from unauthorized use. By employing watermarking, copyrighting, non-copy scripting, and diligent monitoring, we can assert our rights and respond effectively when infringements occur. Embrace the evolving digital landscape and remain vigilant against emerging challenges posed by AI algorithms. Remember, protecting your art is a means of preserving your artistic integrity and ensuring the recognition and respect your work deserves.

Here’s a basic script that you put into the header of your webpage script, which you can use to protect your images on a webpage by disabling right-click functionality:

    <title>Protected Webpage</title>
        // Disable right-click functionality
        document.addEventListener('contextmenu', event => {

By adding this script to your webpage, the right-click context menu, which usually provides options to save or copy an image, will be disabled. Please note that this method is not foolproof, as there are alternative ways for users to access and download images. It serves as a deterrent for casual users but may not prevent determined individuals from obtaining your images.

Keep in mind that completely preventing image theft or unauthorized use is challenging, but employing multiple strategies, such as watermarking and copyrighting, can enhance the protection of your artwork.