Download images in Safari 5 that Flickr disables


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The following appeared on an OS X hints site, but was apparently censored by the host probably because they were afraid of the concequences of the article. I, on the other hand, am not. :)


Flickr gives users the ability to ‘disable’ downloads of images, but they do it by merely placing a transparent HTML object or image file over the desired image.

By installing the AdBlock for Safari extension, you can easily disable the formatting that prevents you from easily drag-and-dropping the image on your desktop or right clicking it.

There is a Flickr specific method and a more general method presented below. The short way (only good for Flickr.com):


Apparently, this also works with AdBlock Plus for Firefox as well.

  • Bring up the Adblock Plus Preferences dialog
  • Click “Add filter…”
  • Copy “www.flickr.com##DIV[class=”spaceball”]” and paste it into the edit field
  • Click “Add filter…” again
  • Copy “www.flickr.com##SPAN[class=”facade-of-protection”]” and paste it inot the edit field
  • Click the Apply button

To try out either fix, locate an image that you normally wouldn’t be able to download (disabling the Adblock Plus lines will help if you are using AdBlock Plus, I would suspect that AdBlock for Safari has a similar feature, then re-enable the lines and refresh the page. You should be able to right-click on the image and save it like any other image. You can also now drag the image to any folder in the finder as well.

Update (8/30/10 7:05pm): Surprise, surprise. I have been asked to remove the link to the image that was being used as an example of this trick. Unlike the other website that was to scared to leave the post up, I’m not going to remove the post. As with any hack to remove a protection of sorts, it’s up to the person using the hack’s conscious to decide whether to use it or not.

The image that was being used as an example image to test with was just that and certainly nothing to write home about. The artist appears to be going from site to site that has been publicizing this hack, making sure that the link to their image is removed at least. It almost sounds like they want the entire post removed. I’m not going to do that. If they want better protection for their “art”, I would suggest they write to Flickr.com and have their developers fix the blatant hole in their “security”.