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Preventing theft of online content

Posted on 2006-11-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I have a website with a large amount of educational content. I want to find some way to thwart people from copying it (either manually or via a script) and posting it on their website. All the solutions that I have read have loopholes in them plus each one of them seems like it would hurt the ability of search engines to index the content (i.e. not optimal for seo). So I want to know if there is a way to protect the content without hurting seo and without inconveniencing the reader (i.e. the genuine user) (or with hurting either of these 2 things as little as possible)?
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Question by:Igiwwa
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7 Comments
 
LVL 34

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PsiCop earned 100 total points
ID: 17949688
Not really. Welcome to the Internet. If I can display it on my computer screen, I can copy it. I already have, in fact, because what I'm displaying is a copy of what you put on your site. Your web server sent me a copy. That is its job.

And once my computer has a copy, you can't control what I can do with that copy. All you can do is inconvenience me - and your customers.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 100 total points
ID: 17950309
Truer words were never spoken... that's the nature of the web. What you can do is hope, pray that a copyright, trademark and or disclaimer/liscense will keep folks honest. Most folks protected content is not available on the web without a login, they only provide a snipet of data for a search engine to index, and the rest is available with a subscription or login. There are tools available like, FileOpen that can secure PDF's from being moved/copied from one location to another even on the same HD, as well with PDF you can prevent copy-paste, printing, save as copy... but if you can view it, you can get the data one way or another, like a screen shot of that page. You can use OCR software to render that image into a word doc, text, or another pdf too... there are still workarounds even for a very locked down document like the ones FileOpen can provide.
I belive this copyright will apply to you perhaps
http://www.cba.ufl.edu/dmbtc/Documents/Faculty_Staff/Copyright_ReproductionOfCopyrightedWorks.pdf
Here are some resources on copyrights and copylefts
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_disclaimer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

-rich      ® &trade
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:SamsonChung
SamsonChung earned 200 total points
ID: 17950316
Not really a method.

even in https, I can easily write a bot to go and pretend its me to get stuff off while I am sleeping.
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:SunBow
SunBow earned 100 total points
ID: 17952823
> Title: Preventing theft of online content

NST. No such thing. What you D/L to my screen I get to keep, to do with as I like.  Try sneakernet if you want to improve that.

>know if there is a way to protect the content

Either just put up notice that no one should copy, or think of trying pictures of words groups instead of usinr text characters to make words
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:SamsonChung
SamsonChung earned 200 total points
ID: 17956597
even using pictures is useless nowadays.

One can simply take that. and pass it into one of those Scanner software, like TextBridge
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 17956676
The bottom line is, if they want it, and you serve it to them, it's as good as theirs. FileOpen is a good example, it really does make it practically impossible to get the content out of such a PDF file, you can't print, save, copy, move the file. You can screen shot it, and OCR it if you even need to OCR it, the screen shot might be good enough to just print out.
-rich
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:mrroonie
ID: 17964017
you can disable right-clicking on your website to stop (the less computer savvy) people stealing images - http://www.aevita.com/web/norightclick/ but all these guys above are, unfortunately, correct - if someone wants something you've got on your site, they will get it one way or another
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