It takes about 13 steps (give or take a step) to steal a graduation proof off of the Grad Images website and remove the watermark in Photoshop, but it only takes one step to get everybody in the photo community to hate you: post those 13 steps online in a cheeky blog post about “freeing” your grad photos.
Which brings us to Jesse Chen, a software engineer, graduate of UC Berkley and member of the Facebook Photos team who saw nothing wrong with posting detailed photo theft instructions on his blog for his fellow graduates.
You can find the full blog post here, but outside of the step-by-step walkthrough — which includes instructions on how to bypass disabled right-click in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, complete with screenshots… he was thorough — the spirit of the ‘tutorial’ is summed up in the introduction:
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.
Of course, the responses in the comments were anything but positive right up until he disabled commenting on the post. Everything from “so intellectual copyright theft is what they’re teaching at UC Berkley these days,” to “ummm… you know this is illegal right,” to some much more strongly worded comments.
Negative reaction or no, the post is still live and some 1,000 people have “liked” the tutorial… we wonder how many of those went ahead and grabbed their photos from Grad Images illegally now that they have a step-by-step guide.