Flickr Spaceball GIF One of the things you may have noticed with Flickr is that the photos will have another image overlaid on top of them called spaceball.gif (here is an example photo) This prevents you from copying the address to the image or being able to save it to your computer. If you try to save spaceball.gif to your computer all you’ll get is a 1×1 pixel image that has no content to it.

Today we’re going to show you how to remove the spaceball.gif overlay image on Flickr photos. It’s pretty easy to do in both Firefox and Opera…

–How do I Remove Spaceball.gif in Firefox?–

  1. Install the Stylish extension if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Create a new Style by right-clicking on the Status Bar icon.
  3. Add whatever description you would like, but in the content area paste this:
     
    @-moz-document domain(flickr.com) {
    img[src*="spaceball.gif"] {display:none !important;}
    }

     
    Firefox Flickr Spaceball GIF Remover

–How do I Remove Spaceball.gif in Opera?–

  1. Go to Tools -> Advanced -> Blocked Content, and press the Add button.
  2. Add this as the URL to block:
     
    *flickr.com/images/spaceball.gif
     
     Opera Flickr Spaceball GIF Remover

Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in!

There Are 23 Comments

  1. When I pasted into Stylish, I get this:

    This style has problems that may prevent it from working: Expected ‘]’ to terminate attribute selector but found “. Ruleset ignored due to bad selector. Do you want to use this code anyway?

    [Use this code as is] [Edit the code further]

    Are you sure that’s the right code? I tried on that Flickr example page and it didn’t do anything. By the way, why do these images have a spaceball.gif overlay? Do all images have it? How does Flickr decide which images do have the .gif overlay?

  2. to download ANY image on a web page, use the Web Developer extension…
    [addons.mozilla.org]

    then…
    right click > Web Developer > Images > View Image Information

  3. @Max same issue I ran into as well.

  4. If you can block spaceball.gif using Block Content in Opera then you can do the same with Firefox and Adblock Plus

    No need for the stylish extension

  5. I played around with the code a bit and now it works. Here’s what I have:

    @-moz-document domain(flickr.com) {
    img[src*="/images/spaceball.gif"] {display:none !important;}
    }

    One thing I noticed was the src wasn’t the full /images/spaceball.gif. I changed it to that and I also changed the quotes. The code had quotes like this ” but I used ” and it works. One of those things did it.

  6. Max wrote:
    When I pasted into Stylish, I get this:

    This style has problems that may prevent it from working: Expected ‘]’ to terminate attribute selector but found “. Ruleset ignored due to bad selector. Do you want to use this code anyway?

    [Use this code as is] [Edit the code further]

    Go ahead and try it now, the problem was that the quotes around “spaceball.gif” were the fancy curly smart quotes that WordPress loves to do, and Stylish doesn’t recognize it.

    Dave wrote:
    If you can block spaceball.gif using Block Content in Opera then you can do the same with Firefox and Adblock Plus

    No need for the stylish extension

    I do realize that, but I know more people who have Stylish installed than have Adblock installed, so I figured that would be the more common route.

  7. Or you could just add [l.yimg.com] to your Adblock blacklist. That method doesn’t require additional tweaking if you’ve already installed Adblock. :)

  8. Pieter wrote:
    Or you could just add [l.yimg.com] to your Adblock blacklist. That method doesn’t require additional tweaking if you’ve already installed Adblock. :)

    That’s cleaver and it works the easiest :D

  9. What do you know, Opera will let you do it without any extra installation.

    Off topic- Hey Ryan, in Opera Desktop Team blog posts, when the post the latest Kestrel builds (they did so, there’s a “windows” installer, and a “windows classic” installer. What’s the difference?

  10. Or simply view source in any browser.

  11. netster007x wrote:
    Off topic- Hey Ryan, in Opera Desktop Team blog posts, when the post the latest Kestrel builds (they did so, there’s a “windows” installer, and a “windows classic” installer. What’s the difference?

    There is the MSI (Microsoft Installer) and the Windows Classic one. The MSI is supposed to be more geared towards Windows, and it supposed to keep track of changes better (I think).

    Anonymous wrote:
    Or simply view source in any browser.

    You could do that, but it might be a bit tedious if you have to do it frequently.

  12. Look at the criminals. Well guess what. You made the list .. hehehe.

  13. lol
    Search the picture’s title inside the page source, or the field “description” (“img src” is next to it).

  14. what is the status bar>

  15. To show people how to break the law borders on criminal activity. However, for those of you who illegally download peoples photographs, you are breaking international & national laws. The photographer owns the copyright of each picture they take. You are bound by law to ask permission to use the photo. Most photographers will allow free usage on the net as long as it is not for profit. You are taking the bread from other peoples tables. Would you like it done to you. Please contact the photographer as the photographer, should he discover your illegal usage of his picture can legally bill you and demand payment. This is successful in almost all cases.

    • To be clear: copyright law protects against unauthorized reproduction & distribution; case law has made it clear nobody cares about personal possession. Even when it came to peer-to-peer (p2p) filesharing, the industry was only going after the people actively sharing, not the downloaders. In this case, flickr has already distributed the content (to your browser), and you even have a local file cache of the image on your disk (thanks to the browser). Being able to right-click / save-as is a shortcut for going into your temporary-internet-files folder and pulling the image from there. As long as you’re not turning around and re-sharing / re-publishing the image, you’re not doing anything wrong. If they don’t want you to see the picture, or have the picture (equivalent to keeping the webpage open 24/7 for years), then they shouldn’t post it on flickr in the first place. spaceball is a ridiculous security measure, designed only to annoy, not prevent. They could split the image into little pieces, or display it through a java applet, but even then, it comes back to the rule that if you can see it, you can take a picture of it. Screenshot / crop / save-as. Bam.

  16. :P Understandable about the copyright thing, but if you aren’t going to use it for your own gain, let’s just say I love to sketch nice photos as practice for drawing skills, why Can’t u just download it? so later when not connected to web (laptop)…..
    I wouldn’t be using it for any gain, they shouldn’t post it if they didn’t want to share it!
    sincerely why not?

  17. Here’s a much EASIER and effective way to fix this problem in Firefox.

    You are probably already running the Firefox pluggin “ad block plus”.

    AdBlock Plus lets you block images, so… just right click any image in Flickr, and select “block image”. Done. You now blocking the “spaceball.gif” image from being displayed over top of the image you want.

    You can save the real image, copy links etc. Life is good.

    If you don’t already have AdBlock Plus for Firefox, get the pluggin here: [addons.mozilla.org]

  18. Thanks for the good simple information. This wouldn’t be necessary if individuals would respond on a timely basis.

  19. I just added it to GlimmerBlocker.

    AWESOME!

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