let the addition of download button be the artist choice

Carlos Garces 8 years ago updated by Twilight (Lead Administrator) 7 years ago 72 2 duplicates

while people come here to post their work not many are interested in letting their content be downloaded - on Devianart, this feature is left to the artitst to add or not as since this it the internet anyone can pick it up and post on another site.

I stumble two of my fan arts (one of Mr. Bug goes to Town, an old Fleischer Studios animated flick) been shown on a Youtube video, and another from Gremlins been spotted on another site I'd never joined a few months.



Greetings, as it has been stated by several users, removing the download button is not going to prevent someone from downloading a piece of art. The Download button is there so that a higher resolution version of the picture can be downloaded if it has been uploaded to the site rather than the downscaled preview. If you do not wish to have this available to users, then upload a lower resolution version of an image.

Duplicates 2

I don't see how this would really change anything. If it's displayed on your screen it can be downloaded. If you don't want people to have access to a higher resolution image then upload a smaller image... I do appreciate high resolution imagery, but I understand the economics of restricting that. ^^


You realize that anything posted on internet can be downloaded right? No matter if there is a button or not.

The download button lets you download the fullsize version of the piece that the artist decided to upload, it's very useful especially since theres no way to currently zoom images.

The correct way to handle this is to visibly point out your copyright or licence for the piece in it's description (the default assumption is that you hold copyright and nobody is allowed to do anything, except private download is always okay no matter what you say). Infringers always happen and you'll simply need to deal with them if it's a problem, although people innocently reposting your stuff for promotions and adoration will always happen in a scale you are not able to control - if you don't want it to happen, don't post anything to the internet.


Lack of on-page full sizing is something that is bothering me. The fact that the download button opens a new tab is annoying. I'd prefer the button to keep the image in the same tab.


While we're at it, allowing bandcamp embeds as music submissions like Weasyl does would be really cool.


Sounds reasonable to me. Would also be interested to see how FN would implement this from a code-perspective :p

But you have my +1 - because my father is a musician and he would very much prefer not to have some stuff downloaded.

While I will give a +1 for the sake of musicians... From a purely technical standpoint, for someone who really wants that music for free, disabling a download button won't stop them. It's trivial to rip any media stream from a web page—BandCamp and YouTube included—using a few custom-made tools. This is mostly due to the move to HTML5, which makes everything laughably easy to pull down.

The only way you could even remotely stop it is to implement DRM into the audio stream through Encrypted Media Extensions (W3C working draft spec can be found here). However, this would limit the choice of browsers someone could use to listen to that music, so it'll be a bit of a double-edged sword. Just an FYI.

You can upload audio at reduced bitrates too (see my tip for jpgs below), or edit songs shorter, and distribute the hi-fi version on a pay site or whatever way you like. Just like screencapping a jpg, you can strip DRM by recording in the analog domain. Nobody really cares if the free version off the net sounds a teeny bit crummier, whether they got it from you or the guy who transcoded it.

The important thing is people are listening to your music.


@Star Seer:

There is a DRM proposal? Okay, thats a gamechanger. Because if this is a thing, then it would actually be possible to allow a hybrid solution:

- Regular html5-audio for downloadables,

- DRM'd for non-free tracks.

Yes, the latter would limit the audience, but that still would be pretty neat imho. o.o


Yes. Netflix already uses it, as well. However, many people absolutely despise it from an idealistic standpoint, and the DRM only eliminates piracy from the more casual people wanting to take the media. Also, as with everything online, if someone really wants to grab the media, there's very little that can truly stop them.


Adding to this, our fandom has many people who like to tip and support those artists who decide to leave their products free from paywall & drm. So instead of adding tools to loosely prevent things that can't be prevented, we should build opportunities such as a tip jar (which I believe is already a planned feature).


That sounds like a great addon to go hand in hand with the payment system for commissions. Haven't seen any information on if there'll be a wallet balance and then you can cash it out or if it will just deposit directly for each commission, which would mean tipping would be tons of tiny transactions hitting your credit/debit/bank... A bit inefficient than just storing values on the website, but then you get into legal issues of banking institutions and taxes and money laundering legal issues. Still if they could get it to work, a little button like where FLAG is that says TIP and then a tiny textbox appears for tipping a fixed amount or quick buttons for like a few cents to a few dollars (1c, 5c, 25c, 50c, $1, ___) or perhaps just last 5 recent tips you made as the quick buttons would be great for getting micro/custom tips. The smaller 'only a penny' tips could add up fast if you get thousands of views, and at that point even I would start tipping a little bit to really great pieces that they weren't even asking for it. Quantity over Quality of tips can be surprisingly effective!

The distraction aside, I agree, it's naive to assume that a convinient button makes any difference in theft. I much rather like one click to go to my download folder than to click to blow it up, rightclick to save dialog, save, and removing it would only make me aggravated by taking a step backward. The only reason to not let people download it easily (video and music is usually the far most protected on those other sites) is if there was advertisements or some other monetization involved, so driving the users back to the page for another ad impression is the main goal for the site owner as well as the content creator (ie. youtube profits, soundcloud/bandcamp upsell for higher quality audio) but at the same time, I listen to most of my music on portable devices, and if I can't download it to put on phone or tablet or mp3 player, then I'm likely to only listen once, which means you lose out on it being played out loud and someone going "Oh that's cool who's it by?" and you getting even more attention.


DRM streams do nothing but massively inconvenience users. It is still laughably easy to get the stream data even if it's DRM'd. It's only harder for video because a large portion of video decoding is done on gpu, but for audio, it is absolutely trivial.


DRM doesn't work. I've just listed a couple of methods to bypass HDCP here.

You'd think after seeing the movie and audio studios fail so hard at protecting their stuff, and we're talking about people who probably put many millions of dollars, maybe billions into researching this, you people would have learned a lesson. Apparently you didn't. Looks like the public has to teach you some more. And I mean even in our fandom, paywalling art behind Patreon sure worked out well and in no way backfired spectacularly, did it? :3

Your best bet would be to get on your knees and beg your fans to please be kind, mindful of your hard effort and support you and not rip fresh paid content at least until you can make some profit off it. That attitude ain't gonna cut it, bro.


Yeah...I know that too well x3.

Webscraper + Browser Automation + sound capture = real-time sound theft. o.o

But I think the hybrid solution would help at least a little.


Going to have to thumb-down this idea. Have we not learned the futility of adding such anti-features on the free and open Internet yet? I can guarantee you that removing such basic functionality is as effective as TSA is in protecting us on airplane rides. It makes people feel like they're safe, and that's it. It's more trouble than it's worth. I highly suggest your father get a Patreon and allow his fans to tip money to him whenever he uploads a new artwork. Music and video is no different than images. I can right-click on an image, so why should any other type of file get special treatment? Trust me, I can "weasyl" my way into the code deep enough to download an audio file. Or if that fails, simply opening up Audacity and recording my system audio while playing back the file allows me to bypass such anti-features. It'll just be a waste of time in the end.


Even if download is disabled it doesn't prevent misuse, people can always screencap / save file as (music and videos can be recorded, or you can use software meant for ripping it), as long as it's in the internet somehow misuse will happen.

Preventing download hurts those people who admire and enjoy your art: lots of people save files so they can view them offline or incase the site goes down / artist takes off their content.

I think people even stopped protecting audio at this point, the ways to rip it are so numerous, one can't even begin to list them all. Basically, the "analog hole problem". If you get signal, you have the data.

If no HDCP is used, worst case scenario is probably using an audio loopback cable and connect your line out (green) to line in (blue) if for whatever reason recording off the system sound output directly won't work right away. My laptop for example even comes with a line-in jack, but I never had to do audio loopback to record system sound. Doing audio loopback with the mic input is not a good idea I think. I don't think it can damage the audio card, but it will probably sound distorted. They have different line levels.

If it has HDCP, one can use a modified device to intercept the signal, which is probably as simple as opening your HDMI TV, solder cables to the speaker terminals, and use that as line-in input. I think max allowed is 2V for line-in, so some testing with a voltmeter and possibly mounting some resistors on the cable may be required, but it's not rocket science, it's basically high school physics class science project tier stuff, and anybody could do it. I just thought it here off the bat, and I'm not even smart, I'm just nerdy, there's probably a more easy way to do it, such as grabbing it before it gets to the amplifier circuit in the TV and then you have "pure" line-in signal, but I'm not that smart.

Or use a good microphone in a room that doesn't echo (I saw a youtube user named Thunderf00t use sort of a blanket/pillow fort in a hotel room as a makeshift soundproofed room) and play around with the levels until you get good clarity. That doesn't require tampering with any electronics.

Also, using DRM will probably piss off one's fans as much as watermarks across the image piss off art lovers :)

Never mind my TV disassembling shenanigans, people seem to have been using hdmi extenders and capture cards with patched firmware since forever to bypass HDCP...


This is technologically impossible. As long as the file is uploaded, it has to be pulled down from a server to be displayed. That can easily be saved to a file, whether or not you want that to happen. Only something akin to a mobile app can have that functionality, and even then, it'd have to be a fully walled garden for that to work.

As they say: if you don't want your work to be stolen, don't put it on the public web. It's just how the internet works.


In the absolute worst case, even assuming someone bothers to take DRM into web browsers so low level that even a screenshot wouldn't work, you can just take a photo of the screen. If you got a reasonably good camera and can work the manual settings (ISO, aperture, exposure time) and have a display with good viewing angles (optical zoom can somewhat compensate for that) and high resolution, you can make it look pretty good. I really need to try this out. With some Photoshop levels adjusting, probably perfect.

Or use a hacked hdmi device to intercept the signal protected with HDCP, like those people used to do back then when ripping bluerays and dvds before a software solution came out and encryption keys leaked allover the place on the internet.

Movie studios would probably love it if there was a way to do this (and they have the monetary incentive to invest into this, not "baw my fanart pr0nz leaked on youtoob"), but people's inventivity when it comes to watching movies for free knows no boundaries. In this day and age, the "for your eyes only" concept is just not physically possible with all that these methods have provided.

TL;DR if the public can see it, it will sooner or later leak as a downloadable file


I understand OP's concern but as was already stated this would be a futile attempt. it's like how DRM prevents pirating... NOT.


I think you should stick to partial uploads to FN, altho some people do give money even if they can rip it. like me for example, I buy music on bandcamp & beatport inspite the fact i already have a tool for ripping music off youtube.


you can never block it, if its somehow displayed on your screen you can grab it, i mean if really everything is blocked you can still print-screen it and save it that way.


It would be useful if you could attach a download in a different file format.

I've seen a few videos of 3D models. Artists could offer the model download with this feature.

I've also submitted several vector images which have to be converted to png for the website to support them. It would be useful if I could include the svg vector file on the download button too.


I like this, maybe it should be posted as it's own suggestion so it gets more visibility?

That's what dA does: By default Download gives you the full res directly, but you can specify a downloadable file instead, that can be anything. That's how they put stuff like skins, photoshop brushes, etc.


Eww no.. I'd rather not need to use any extensions for FN.


Almost any browser has that little thing called "save picture as" which cannot be disabled. reliably. Even if you put something invisible above like some websites does to prevent from it, you can always rely on good ol' F12 on Firefox, Chrome, Edge and even Internet Explorer. If you don't want people to download your artwork, don't upload it. If you don't want people to get the full res images for free just upload lower res ones.

Oh? No download button? And I really like it ... and want to keep it on my hard drive? OK. I use firefox. I'll just snag the file from Alt+T-->Page Info-->Media button -->Find the file--->save

Done. Have a nice day.

If you don't want someone to steal your art, just post downscaled versions like everyone else. You can post the full res version on patreon page if you want it to be seen only by people who pay you for it. Removing download button won't do anything.

Can't say anything about music though.


...there's a dedicated download button right now?

I just right-click (or long-press on my phone or tablet) and pick 'Save Image' already, so removing a button I never knew existed would make zero difference to me.

And if a site even remotely attempts to block right-click or the like I (and most others I know) have numerous tools to block those attempts entirely already.


This wouldn't stop anything. As long as an image is embedded, people can download it. It's as simple as that.


You think the lack of a download button on some pages prevents people from saving images off DeviantArt?

Unlike DA, there are sites who take active steps to prevent you from saving pages (disabling right-click with javascript, using redirects and referring page info so you can't grab the image from the link alone) and even that never stopped me from actually getting an image I really wanted, it just made it harder. In the worst case, even with the smartest protection in the world, one can just screenshot the browser. You CAN NOT prevent people from saving your art. if. they. want. to.

As for DA, there are functional gallery scraping tools, let alone ways to save just one single image.


But download button on DA downloads full version, while the page itself just shows downscaled version.


Wait, am I wrong? Whoever downvoted me could at least say if I'm wrong. But I'm sure that you can't get full resolution version without download button on DA, you can only save a downscaled version from the page.


I researched that issue like 2 years ago and it doesn't seem possible. I did learn I could get the full size image from the thumbnail url by brute forcing a combination of letters and numbers, but it didn't work if downloads were disabled. (brute force script https://gist.github.com/Adidea/ebe6f5c6130aac9f24f6f884fbe9d37f )

Don't worry about it; people just downvote what they perceive to be counter opinions, not the actual content in the message.

Yeah, sometimes I forget that I'm on the Internet, thanks.

Well, you are correct, you can't get the full version. If there is one (sometimes there isn't, which is more obvious in images with hard pixel edges). My point was that people who hate the download button also hate fans saving their work locally on their computers. Some even make it obvious with that pathetic "don't use my art" stamp.

A more tactful workaround is to downscale the images in advance and leave downloads on. That way you can keep your full res to yourself without looking like a dick. But heh, furries and tact...

The only argument against it is prints, but honestly, does anybody even buy prints off DA anyway? One can just pass the image through waifu2x and go to the local printing shop.

I didn't downvote you, just to be sure btw.


The artists' "choice" in this scenario is irrelevant. If you don't want people to download your art, you simply don't upload it to the internet. If I see your art and I want it, I'll fetch it from the browser cache, or any other simple procedure. Disabling a 'download' button will do nothing but annoy your viewers.

Honestly, I don't see the point. As many have said, if someone wants your image, they'll get it one way or another. Heck, you can also just screencap it too.

Images aren't the only media uploaded though. You need plugins to rip audio or video files, which makes it more difficult to work around.


Not really. I know of at least 5 different websites that all I gotta do is paste in the link and voila. Done in less than 3 seconds.

Right, but those websites aren't well known.

My personal take on it is that having the button there gives the user tacit consent that they can download it and potentially distribute it. You can't stop someone ripping it off if they are committed and know what they are doing; but that doesn't mean you may as well make it easy for them to do so.

Even on a site that does every single thing possible to stop you from downloading, it is very easy to work around that.

And honestly, people who would rather steal your stuff would never buy it anyway, so you are not losing any money. On the other hand, lot of people appreciate free stuff so much that they are much more willing to donate $20 for something free than buy the same stuff for $10. Free is actually a working business model, and it works well, given your content is good.

As for DRM, if something has it, the chances I want to buy it will drop like a stone. I still may bu it, but I would rather pay twice as much for an alternative that is DRM free. Reason is simple: Imagine you buy a new TV, and they send a security guard along with it who sits next to your TV 24/7 and hits you with a stick if you try to do anything with your TV that he doesn't like - that's what DRM is like.


I'm in favour of this.

This is one of those things which will probably have negative votes overall, but will mean a lot more to those which up vote it than those who down. Content producers are easily outnumbered by content consumers in the fandom, but they are the ones that are invariably much closer to the work which they labour to create.

Personally, I would not disable this for my stuff as i don't mind my work being distributed (so long as credit and links are provided), however many do not, and this should very much be at the discretion of the artist.

No, it won't stop people ripping art off the site anyway, but it makes it more difficult to do, and more importantly, doesn't give the user tacit consent by presenting them the option to do so. This isn't a silver bullet that will stop piracy altogether, but it doesn't need to be.


A note of the sort "This artist does not wish his art to be distributed anywhere else" would be more explicit. All here respecfully following his wishes ourselves, someone else in the next 10 minutes would upload that same picture on e621.net (with or without Download button).

why not just remove the button? Its a bit odd to ask them not to while you present them the option.


So you're one of those who wants t add 10 pounds of DRM to every game so that eventually only the legitimate user gets hurt. Yes? DRM ruins games sometimes. The more and more difficult you make DRM, the more and more skilled users come out to break it just because they can and ALL DRM can be broken.

Making it harder, just makes it more annoying for legit users who want to save the content for offline viewing.

Perhaps the site can cater to users who want to upload something and get paid before people are allowed to see it, such as those who upload comics to those sites that require you to pay for access, or pay to access music files or videos, though I foresee bad things happening if they do add such systems but would still support it, but deleting the download button for stuff that's free? There's no point.


Wow, I can't believe this has so many downvotes. Yes, it is easy to swipe art, among other things, but at least allow us the satisfaction of making it a tiny bit harder. At least DA has that option for you, as well as a watermark. I don't think this is an unreasonable ask at all.


If people REALLY want to get away with your art they will. Removing the download button will just slow down and few non-tech-savvy folks and that's about it.

HOWEVER. What I DO like about how DA handles that is that I can upload the FULL-SIZED image to DA and then CHOOSE the size that the viewers get to see. In that aspect, I can use DA as a sort of vault for all of my full-sized images that only I can get the full sized image. It also helps out since I don't need to create a smaller version of the same image myself for DA. So if anything I REALLY hope they just let you decide which size can be showed to the audience for this very reason. -winkwinknudgenudge towards the admins-

I guess I can see the convenience in having FN displaying the resolution of your choice, although if your going to be posting your art anywhere else your probably going to end up scaling it down yourself since many places won't do that for you (unless the set resolution limit is small).

Any kind of download prevention is worthless and someone is bound to write a script/extension to circumvent it and make it easy for others. I certainly don't do that >_>

A toggle of the download button might stop the casual collector, but probably not anyone who would misuse or steal your art.

Its kinda funny reading these people listing workarounds, yes there are ways to get around pretty much any protection or security but how many people are actually going go thru the effort of trying to work around the protection or should i say obstacle. Thats the real point here, just saying.

It's not harder than opening a link.


Considering how many made new accounts when FA reset all passwords to blank slates simply because people didnt click on the link to the announcement, opening a link isnt as easy ether for many>>. Might point out we wouldnt need a generalized upgrade of the UI here if people as you believe were willing to go thru the effort of even doing a couple clicks...

not all obviosly, but yes many

FN has an API which makes it very trivial for a program to download any content on the site. The idea is that people can write 3rd party apps to access FN (like say an iOS or Android app on your phone) and it would be extremely difficult for FN to enforce the "no download button" rule on those apps which are outside their control. Any protection schemes implemented through the web interface would require disabling API access to the same content, which cripples the API and prevents 3rd party apps from working fully, forcing everyone to the webpage and defeating the purpose of the API.

There are other solutions to curb reposting like watermarking and uploading low resolution images, which could be done by FN when uploading an image if the artist wants (put in an idea!). However an option to disable downloads would either be incompatible with having an API or be a completely false sense of security which only applies to the web interface, so I think it's less confusing to users to not have an option that doesn't end up really stopping anyone except the most lazy web-only users.

Would you mind linking these Apps you speak of.

FN is still in beta and the API is not documented yet, so apps haven't been written as far as I know. However I didn't say those apps existed, I said that such apps could be easily be written and that will very likely happen in the future as the site develops and matures.

I'm actually very interested in writing such an app, I'm just waiting on the website to be a little more solidified and the API documented before doing so. My app would need to "download" said pictures from FN to display them, so if the website disabled that then that art wouldn't be visible from 3rd party applications at all. :)


it's not about the effort. The people who you're trying to prevent from having access are the ones who know all of the work arounds and they will use them.

So who is really being prevented? Regular fans who just want to store your stuff offline so they can see it easier.

Which the artist may prefer they didn't do.

I mean you could make the same argument for netflicks.

Knowing is not realy the same as thinking its worth the effort. And again these knowing are very fuw and their techniques are usualy not spread. And as Acheroth pointed out some artists dont even want the common fan archiving their work


From a perspective of copyright, I agree with you in principal.

From a perspective of an internet user, I have to disagree, also in principal.

When data is transmitted on the internet, that data is already contained on the user's computer. Using methods to trick users into thinking that they can't have access to images that are in their web browser offend my better sensibilities. There's dozens of apps, and methods to grab images from the screen, so removing the download button won't actually do anything but inconvenience people, and not very much.

If you don't want your art shared, watermark it. Or better yet, sign it in a distinctive and clear way. And be sure your signature can't be easily photoshopped out.

Ugh, please don't.

I download what I want from the net. I don't use it commercially or for any other reason. I just keep files on my hard drive to look at, which I think is very typical of the fandom's art consumers. It doesn't matter if you use scripts or watermarks. Everything can be circumvented.

Like SimbaLion says, the art is already mine if I'm seeing it on my screen. People who put content on the internet need to understand that trying to control who looks at it, and when, simply don't understand the medium they're using. It doesn't work that way.

If you don't want your jpgs in other people's furry/ directory, for God's sake don't upload them to a web site! The internet is more like a photocopier than a telescope that lets people look into your private art gallery when you've voluntarily opened your blinds.

If you want to establish ownership of your files, I recommend you do two things:

1: always crop your picture. Use the rest of the artboard as evidence that you possess the original. It is very difficult to contest ownership when you don't have the entire picture, and it's very difficult to fake a whole PSD file.

2: always scale your picture down. Work at 2000 pixels and upload at 1000, or work at 3000 and upload at 2000. You will again have proof that yours is the original.

3: DON'T GIVE THE ORIGINAL TO ANYONE! Not even your friends. Cuz they're your friends right now. They won't be when you see it on e621.

If you ever need to fight over ownership of a picture, you need only present a small piece of your proof. One corner of an image is good enough. You can do it over and over and never have to disseminate 100% of the work to the web.

But remember, when an artist is known for crappy low resolution watermarked images, that becomes part of their reputation too.

I say, just be an artist and let your work be seen.

3rd thing you recommened sounds so paranoid. I don't know anyone who doesn't trust even their own friends. Unless you meant people who add you on social networks and pretend to be your "friends".

Well... just cuz you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

It's not a matter of trust or paranoia tho. The mechanism to protect yourself is to control the original, and if you don't control it, you may as well not bother. Your friends shouldn't resent that you don't give them the PSD files for all your art, or the 3D polygons and rigs, or the multitrack master for a recording. Most of them probably won't have the software needed to use them anyway.

Cropping 10% or less out of a JPG just gives you a little bit more evidence should your ownership of the image ever be challenged.


I'm sure many of these points have already been established in the topic, but I'll go over my criticisms.

  • Removing the download button will not protect your file. If the user is seeing or hearing your work on their PC, they are able to save it permanently to their computer. You can make this more difficult but you can never make it impossible.
  • Even if you could stop people this way, there are more intuitive & effective ways to protect your files, such as compromising the image with cropping or a watermark.
  • I don't believe that you are in the right place to post work you don't want freely shared. Hell I don't believe you are even in the right business.
  • You have actually already done everything required to legally protect your files from redistribution, which is nothing at all. Rights by default are yours alone. You have given Furry Network the right to display your files, but you have not given that right to any viewer, and they are violating your legal rights if they do so.

The only reason to allow artists to hide their download buttons is if allow users to auto-generate smaller-res files and hide the full resolution, reserving it only for premium access or prints. If we don't have this feature, turning the download button off is a silly and wholly superficial gimmick.

The last bullet is a good point! It is even something that is listed in the site rules, that art uploads from a third-party must have explicit permission from the owner(s) of the work. And there is nothing against the artist/owner to stop them from watermarking their art to make it harder to be stolen.

Some good suggestions here to help protect art!

This wouldn't stop anything. I could just F12 and dig through the page source for the link.


Greetings, as it has been stated by several users, removing the download button is not going to prevent someone from downloading a piece of art. The Download button is there so that a higher resolution version of the picture can be downloaded if it has been uploaded to the site rather than the downscaled preview. If you do not wish to have this available to users, then upload a lower resolution version of an image.