I have many JPEG files (pictures) on my USB flash memory. I give it to my customers to look at those pictures and choose one (then I make their order based on that selection). I want they can look at the pictures but don't can to copy or drag-and-drop them. Is there such a way?

I use Windows 7.

  • 2
    How do you expect they will be unable to copy them? If all else fails, they could have a hidden camera and take a picture of the picture when it is displayed on the screen.
    – BenjiWiebe
    Jun 30, 2014 at 13:47
  • the only answer in this case is commercial DRM. Of course the makers of your copy protection scheme will treat you exactly as you are wanting treat your customers. with distrust. Jun 30, 2014 at 13:51
  • DRM? Haven't heard of this!
    – abbasi
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:03
  • DRM Digital Rights Management- kind of copyright Jun 30, 2014 at 14:10
  • @abbasi You can watermark those images that can span all over the image, so copying doesn't worth the full benefit.. still can copy the watermarked images. Jun 30, 2014 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, if the file can be read - its raw data (1's and 0's) can be copied my merely reading them and putting the same bits into another file.

Even if you figured out how to copy-protect a memory stick, there are other things which users can also do including screenshots, print-n-scan, drive cloning, advanced file unlockers.. the list is endless.

Unfortunately, because of this - it is impossible to stop someone from copying the images.

You could always embed the images intoa piece of flash or similar - making copying the files directly harder to do. Couple that with a watermark and they have something not worth copying and requiring a it more effort - which will stop the basic copyist, but you can never stop everyone.

  • I didn't understand your last paragraph! May you please explain it in an easier way. Please beer in mind I've put those files onto a flash (a piece of flash).
    – abbasi
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:00
  • Flash memory is not the same as the flash programming language. You could use a flash player program to embed all of the images into one file. You could then send out this file.
    – Fazer87
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:02
  • OK. Thanks. I assume my wanted thing is not possible easily.
    – abbasi
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:08

In short, no. If they can look at the files, they can copy them. There is no way in Windows 7 to prevent this.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. It sounds that there is some way in other OSes except for Win 7, yeah?
    – abbasi
    Jun 30, 2014 at 13:54
  • 1
    @abbasi, no not in any OS. you need an encryption scheme that allows the customers to open the files only for particular date ranges or a number of times, and even then, once decrypted, the data is vulnerable (though it would take someone with some tech-savvy to copy them in that state). Any OS needs to be able to load an image into ram so it can be rendered, and at that point it is always vulnerable, so no, OS is not a determinant. Only a specifically crafted application could do as you ask. Jun 30, 2014 at 13:57
  • Since it's impossible to choose two answers and because you took +5 here. I give you +1 vote and give the "Fazer's" answer the answer vote. Because he took only +1 vote here. Thanks again.
    – abbasi
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:07
  • @abbasi A better reasoning would be that his answer gives a more complete answer to your question (which it does) and that your upvoting mine because it was also useful ;-).
    – R-D
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:15
  • Yes mate. But I gave him an upvoting as well. Let it be secret :-).
    – abbasi
    Jun 30, 2014 at 14:22

maybe outdated, but for whoever found this thread:

just make a brochure PDF that is password protected. they still can copy it but can't deny the link between the image and your business.

and you can make them agree on non-disclosure-agreement in a contract. so your intellectual property will be kept secure.

that way when your PDF is copied and published elsewhere you'll get even more customers instead

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