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How to strip pesky copyright watermarks from photos ... says a FACEBOOK photo bod

Engineer kills step-by-step instructions to steal pics online

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A Facebook software engineer who published a detailed guide to stealing photographs online – by explaining how to remove watermarks and ignore any copyright restrictions – has been shamed into removing the blog post.

It's unclear if Jesse Chen still has a future at Facebook. The company, when quizzed by The Register, declined to comment.

As first spotted by Peta Pixel, Chen, along with his chum Jonathan Tien, had laid out – in a step-by-step "tutorial" on his personal blog – how freshly graduated students could get their hands on free snaps of their graduation day.

Typically, graduates have to pay for photos taken of them in their funny hats and hoods during their graduation ceremonies – and are shown heavily watermarked previews of the images before they buy copies of the originals on the web.

Chen's blog post, titled "freeing your online graduation pictures", explained how to strip off the watermarking.

The article was apparently deleted by Chen himself, but it is still available via Google's cache.

Chen, whose LinkedIn profile is here, brashly wrote:

Congrats new grad. Now that graduation is over, photo proofs have been sent to you online for you to view. The only problem is, you can’t seem to save those pictures! Right clicking on the website seems to be disabled and you really want to see and share the images without that ugly copyright overlay or the proof watermark right in the middle of the picture.

Don’t worry. In this article, my buddy Jonathan Tien and I partnered up to teach you how to grab the image off the website, and use Photoshop to remove the proof watermark from the image.

He went on to explain the exact method for effectively stealing the images from the copyright holder and then using "Photoshop magic" to remove "the disgusting yellow proof watermark".

"Of course, it’ll never stand up to close scrutiny, but it’ll pass if you need something quick and dirty," Chen added. "And of course, you can always make things less obvious by applying filters (Instagram, anyone?) or blurring the [sic] a duplicate layer and performing an overlay, adjusting brightness/contrast, etc."

Chen signed off with a claim that surely goes against how Facebook views photo ownership, right?

We hope that this tutorial helps you by freeing your graduation pictures so that you can take back what’s yours to begin with.

Really, Chen? Are you sure about that? ®

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