Blog on Indian Economics, Personal Views and Interests

How can you make copying from your blog difficult?

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Well, this was one of the questions posted on the IndiBlogger forum, and something that I paid keen interested to. IndiBlogger forum was slowly moving away from the Sourav Pandey plagiarism case when this thread appeared.

It is a well-known fact that many a times, you find your content has been ripped off by plagiarist and claimed to be theirs. I faced that with my Tata Nano April Fool scoop a couple of years ago. I hunted down the sites using Google Search and Google Image Search, sent out emails / comments to Admins of the site to get my due credit. Some obliged, some did not.

Among the ones who did not were what we now call them Feed Aggregators. These websites chew your feed and put them on their site. The loss is the Ad revenues they get from showing off adverts and Google punishment on us for copying content.

Well, there are few things you could do to make copying content difficult, but cannot be stopped. Some of them are listed below.

Okay, in the process, some of my myths were actually busted. Read on.

  1. Myth: I used to think that disabling right-click is only possible using JavaScript.
    Bust: You can disable right-click by not using JavaScript
  2. Myth: You need to mask your content using Div layers, but that would mean you cannot click on links
    Bust: You can disable text selection (CTRL + A) using simple HTML

All you need to do is add a few characters worth of code into your HTML BODY tag, and you get what you wanted.

To disable right-click, add this to your BODY Tag
This will not help you much, since CTRL + C still works if the text is selected. And “view source” source HTML can been access via Browser menus. At the best, this could affect / reduce user experience.

  • <body oncontextmenu=”return false;”>

To disable Text Selection, add this to your BODY Tag
Disabling text selection will make selecting text impossible, and hence CTRL + C does not work here. Remember, source HTML still can be accessed and content copied.

  • <body onselectstart=”return false;”>

To disable Dragging Selection, add this to your BODY Tag
Disabling dragging helps selection of text using Mouse drag impossible. You simply cannot drag content, images into another application. I many a times use Mouse Dragging to drag an image from Internet Explorer to Photoshop. It cannot be done if you add this code in your body copy.

  • <body ondragstart=”return false;”>

To do all three, or any two, do the following.
I would not suggest doing all three, however the last two makes huge sense for me.

  • <body oncontextmenu=”return false;” ondragstart=”return false;” onselectstart=”return false;”>

This will not mean that you can disable all means to copy the content, but only help in delay. The following are the other means for people to copy and some tips on what can you do about it.

  1. View Source of the page
    • This is an easily accessible method to copy.
    • You can try to minify the HTML (reduce any extra space) to make it difficult.
    • You can use encryption using basic methods
    • You can use JavaScript to encrypt your HTML – however with JS disabled this will not work.
  2. Offline Website Readers / Website Downloaders
    • Another method which allows to download your entire site, including themes
    • You can set your server to not allow such automated downloads by disabling bots. I am still not aware how to do this, but if Google can do it for their servers, we too should be able to 🙂

If you are using self hosted WordPress, you can download and install “© Feed” plug-in to add a copyright notice. This will help you claim your content on any of the Aggregators.

Hope this helps you. And hope so many Sourav Pandey’s stop being a jerk!

5 Comments
  1. […] First one – the one closer to my heart – was titled “D for Design” and the second one built over my post on how you can make copying of content from your blog difficult. […]

  2. Karnal Singh says

    My content is also being copied by many sites.I was looking for something to stop this.Your article will help me a lot.What is your opinion regarding DMCA paid protection,actually i was planing to buy DMCA protection before reading your article…..

    1. Hemal Shah says

      Hi Karnal, welcome to my blog! 🙂

      I have never paid for DMCA protection and really have very limited knowledge of the paid services and its quality. There is an alternative called CopyScape too, which offers alerts when they detect copied content.

  3. Graceful says

    great post to apply, and bring security to your content.

    1. Hemal Shah says

      Thank you for your visit Gaurav! and welcome to my blog 🙂

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