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Protect your site's content from opportunistic thieves and make it harder to steal from your site
The lowdown

PART THREE: Learn how to keep the cut'n'paste crew at bay

» Index
» Introduction
» Protecting code
» Protecting text
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urban75 web project Protecting your site's content
Protecting your text content
By Mike Slocombe for Internet Magazine, Feb 2004

4. Disable copy function
A simple JavaScript snippet will prevent someone from using their cursor to highlight part of your text and use their computer's copy function to copy it.

<body ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false">

It will also stop them from using Ctrl + A to select all the text for copying. Of course, it won't work if the visitor has JavaScript disabled or if they simply select 'view source' from the browser menu.

And this one will REALLY annoy visitors.

5. Use PDF files.
Using PDFs for websites Converting your HTML documents to PDF files with the necessary digital rights management options enabled will make it much harder for people to cut and paste your text.

Although casual thieves will be put off, if determined folks want the content badly enough they can hack the PDF file or print it out and use OCR tools to convert it back to a text file.
» Adobe Acrobat
» PDF tips, shareware, downloads

6. Convert all your text to images
Text as images If you're dead set on stopping people cutting and pasting your text, this solution will definitely work, although it'll take ages, make your page weigh half a ton and search engines and screen readers won't be remotely impressed.

And, of course, there's still nothing to stop people manually retyping your words later!

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