Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Copying hidden images

The CSSinsider weblog recently posted an interesting article on protecting images from copying. For me as a freshman in CSS it was very informative, but as I'm a hacker an explorer in my heart, I could not resist in an attempt to hack explore the subject indepth.

I decided as a scientastic project to copy and print some pages from "you-know-whose" scanned book service. Normally it is available just for reading and I appeciate that very much, but when I want to print out some page that has the interesting facts it appears to be impossible (for general public, but I pretend I am not the one)! ;)

So, let's start hacking You-know-whooom ;))

First as an example try to find a page that might be of interest to you. I just browsed to "Essential blogging". OK, let it be page 1.

Get the size of the page, I mean properties. Oh, dear, can't you right-click? Well, read my blog first, and continue here.... I'll be waiting, but maybe you-know-who won't!

You're back? Then find the image size and note it. In my example, it is 575 x 775 pixels. Now it's the time to hunt for it.

Skip to the source, i.e. view source. If you were smart, you should be able to get to it now. CTRL-F and look for 575. As soon as you find one, just return a little bit back and look visually for .pgimg and URL after it. That's what you need. Copy everything what is between the quotes into your browser and have an image on a separate screen to be viewed without any restrictions.

Now I can't avoid saying a few morals here ;)

The information has to be used wisely, carefully and honestly. Do not make money with that and don't steal intelectual property. Some people have worked hard to create it and if you print all the book for free instead of buying the rights at the publishers, you would be stealing. Of course, If you read it online, you can always rewrite it and reprint by hand, or capture the screen and nobody would say anything because the quality of the image is not "letter-quality" or "near letter quality" (NLQ), as it was in the era of dot matrix printers, so it is far from the original. Anyway, what matters are ideas, and if you can read them, you may keep it and no copyrights can rip it out of your minds, right? I just offer you a small back-up of a part of your brain.

P.S. Oh, I almost forgot to remind. If you liked this, maybe you'll like also other links on the blog.. khm... khm... ;)
P.P.S. And once more - it's not a HACK, it's just a hack (I owned Amiga once, so that's where my hacks come from). This trick does not show you copyrighted material and especially those annoying half-pages. For those just pay a visit to the library and have a look there. And you still will have to logon to see the pages before saving them, unless you really hack it. So have phun ;)


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