Prevent People From Copying Your Blog Content

It’s frustrating when people copy your blog post or image and pass it off as their own. No thank you, no credit, no linkback. Worse still when the stolen content ranks higher than yours (the original) in search results. All the hard work, down the drain.

This post will show you how deter bad people from stealing your blog content.


How your blog content is copied?

protect content photos from stolenBelow are some of the ways people can copy your blog content:

  • Select - Copy - Paste. This can be done using your browser's menu, the right-click context menu or using shortcut keys.
  • Select - Drag - Drop. Text and images can be selected and dragged into another window.
  • Copy from RSS feed. If you want to copy an entire post this option is best. Scrapers love RSS feed because it delivers your latest post to them. They can copy all your latest content without even visiting your blog!
  • Copy from source code.


How to safeguard your content

Below are several different ways you can prevent your blog content from being copied without your consent: 


I) Disable text selection

Making text unselectable is the best way to prevent text from being copied from a live page using the right-click context menu shortcut keys or drag & drop. This can be implemented using only CSS, by applying the following CSS definitions to the element that you want text selection disabled:

-webkit-user-select: -khtml-user-select: none; -moz-user-select: -moz-none; -ms-user-select: none; user-select: none; 

Example, if you want to disable text selection in Blogger posts, then the code is:

.post {-webkit-user-select: none; -khtml-user-select: none; -moz-user-select: -moz-none; -ms-user-select: none; user-select: none;}

This CSS will disable text selection on the element and all it's children. It should work on Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE10+. For IE9 and below, use onselectstart='return false' event handler, see II).


Re-enable text selection

What if you want to allow copying in some parts of your post. Say you post some codes (like I do) for readers to copy, then it doesn’t make sense if they can't select to copy it right? Fortunately you can restore text selection, by applying the same CSS definition to the element and replacing the value “none” with “text”. Let’s say your code is wrapped inside a <code> tag, then the code you need is:

.post code {-webkit-user-select: text; -khtml-user-select: text; -moz-user-select: text; -ms-user-select: text; user-select: text;} 

II) Disable drag and drop

You can disable drag and drop for both text and image by adding the following event handler to the element:

ondragstart='return false'

To disable drag and drop inside Blogger posts, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Template > Edit HTML and click anywhere inside the editor.
  2. Press Ctrl+F (Cmd+F in Mac), and a search box should appear on the upper right corner of the editor.
  3. Use the search box to jump to this code:

    <b:includable id='post' var='post'>
  4. Next, click the arrow tip on the left of that line to expand the code. Once expanded, the second line should look something like this:

    <div class='post hentry' itemprop='blogPost' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/BlogPosting'>
  5. Insert the event handlers into the tag like this:

    <div class='post hentry' itemprop='blogPost' itemscope='itemscope' itemtype='http://schema.org/BlogPosting' ondragstart='return false' onselectstart='return false'>

    (onselectstart='return false' is added to disable text selection in IE9 and below.)


III) Disable right click (only on images)

Some bloggers choose to disable right click in an attempt to prevent photos from being stolen via the right click context menu. However, in most cases the scripts they use disables right click on every element in a page, not just photos. This risks annoying or offending the rest/majority of their readers. I for one will be annoyed if upon right-clicking a link (to open it in a new tab), an alert box pops up, telling me the images in the blog are copyrighted!

The better option would be to disable right click only on images.
 

IV) Shorten RSS feed

Once they grab your RSS feed, nothing can stop them from copying or doing whatever they want with it. Whatever copy prevention measures you've applied on the live pages will have no effect here.

That said, you can however, control how much feed they get. To prevent feed from being copied in full, offer only partial/short feed instead of full feed. Make them come to your blog if they want more.

To shorten your blog feed, go to Dashboard > Settings > Other > Site feed > Allow Blog Feed and select Short or Until Jump.


V) Watermark images

Image watermarking is an proven way to deter people from stealing your images. Once you add a watermark to an image, people wouldn't want to copy it even if you ask them.

You can add watermark using a photo editing software such as PhotoScape, Gimp or Photoshop, or you can do it online on websites that offer such service such as picmarkr.com and watermark.ws.

Enjoy!

36 comments to "Prevent People From Copying Your Blog Content"

Mandy Rivers April 30, 2013 at 3:30 AM    

I can't thank you enough for all you do for us bloggers! THIS IS AMAZEBALLS!!!!

Mr Lonely April 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM    

thanks for this tips!

Rohan Mod April 30, 2013 at 5:31 PM    
This comment has been removed by the author.
Widget For Blogger April 30, 2013 at 5:32 PM    

great one ,there is another third party tool that works in similar way and that is TYNT. it inserts source link anytime when someone copies your content along with it also shows who copied your data.details are here:-http://www.blogspotinfo.com/2013/02/get-backlinks-when-copying-website-content.html.but the tricj you mentioned is manual and perfect because it does not rely on the third party.so these is no chance of losing something.thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous,  April 30, 2013 at 11:03 PM    

Umm...I wanted to copy/paste the online services that offer watermarking, but couldn't. Appreciate the tips, but blocking copy paste of all text is a nightmare to honest folk with ADD. Also couldn't comment as my Disqus ID, so opted for Anonymous. Good article.

Frank Cern May 1, 2013 at 12:09 AM    

Thank you for this post. I wasn't aware of the RSS feed customization in blogger...will have to try that out.

HYIP Blog May 1, 2013 at 1:26 AM    

This might be frustrating some times and annoying. With Google Author, once a post is linked to an author and it is copied it can't rank above the original owner.
Well, personally I don't bother myself whether my post is copied or not.
I know that some bloggers use TYNT to help solve this challenge.
Those who copy posts are supposed to be jailed because it is a criminal offence IMO.
Thanks for sharing this post and I don't think it is a great idea to disable text selection on a blog.

donatus May 1, 2013 at 4:41 AM    

wow...This is a great tips to protect blog content from copycats. Thanks for sharing

Victor Noah May 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM    

This is pretty nice bro, but i won't advice a tech blogger to move on with this idea. What of we that shares tutorials on codes implementation?

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Syarih May 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM    

nice sharing info...if bad people want to steal something from our blog...they will find some way to do it....what we can do...just report to Google...let Google punish them off.

Darek May 1, 2013 at 8:16 PM    

This is a great way to prevent copied content but I guess there are better way to deal with stolen content and to show the thief what are the consequences. There are softwares that search the web for duplicated content that appears anywhere on the internet. plagspotter.com is a great toll to do this. When you know who copied your content you can contact the hosting server of this website and tell them your story and they will punish the website for duplicated content (if Google won't do this before them :D).

Neu May 1, 2013 at 9:20 PM    

One of the best plugin for WordPress user is WP Content Copy Protection. This plugin do all the work to protect your site. I'm using it on one of my blog and it work well.

Anshul Makkar May 2, 2013 at 6:14 AM    

I do think these are the good options for the prevention of copy paste but there are some plugins as well in wordpress which can disable right click. Is it really necessary to do all this as google and many search engines do have record of when the content is published. So don't they make copied content blacklisted?

Parallel Blog May 2, 2013 at 11:37 AM    

Thanks for these nice tips.

Greenlava May 2, 2013 at 6:21 PM    

@Victor Noah
You can always re-enable selection for the code you want to share. I explained that in section I.

@Syarih
@Darek
By then it's too late. Why wait for things to happen when you could easily prevent it. Besides, filing a DMCA complaint certainly requires more work than this.

Anonymous,  May 6, 2013 at 3:22 AM    

Have any of you considered getting paid to blog?
http://www.empowernetwork.com/?id=stevenzupp
Let me know what you think?

shayari May 6, 2013 at 4:54 AM    

thanks for the information now no one will be able to copy my content at leats.full justification to authoer because of this post

Web Development Services May 8, 2013 at 8:42 PM    

This is very helpful for me because i was searching this code for last 6 months. Because content is everything at the net. We all spend a lot of effort and money to create the website. Big Thanks!

coursemapper May 10, 2013 at 2:57 AM    

thank a lot and lot.wow simply awesome.i love this dude

bouch Rashid May 12, 2013 at 3:02 AM    

very interesting post , thanks .
could you please tell where exactly to put the code " disable text selection" in blogger .

Greenlava May 12, 2013 at 10:29 PM    

@bouch Rashid
Put it the CSS section in your template, or you can go to Template > Customize > Advanced > Add CSS and paste the code in there.

Duong Thao May 24, 2013 at 3:36 PM    


I can not find
itemprop ? in my template .Plz help me

Suvendu Manna May 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM    

Awesome post. It has been very helpful. Looking forward to see more posts from you.

Greenlava May 26, 2013 at 2:31 PM    

@Duong Thao
Older or third party templates may not have itemprop attribute in the post hentry div tag. But the code should work nonetheless.

Anonymous,  June 4, 2013 at 10:09 PM    

Hi Neu

I use the same plugin WP Content Copy Protection and it works the best!

Exam Results June 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM    

Thanks
Its working fine...

fixxet June 14, 2013 at 9:49 PM    

wow nice trick to prevent copying..many copied my content to their blog so this wil help me thanks

Anonymous,  July 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM    

There is no way you can stop people from copying your content. They just need to save your whole webpage as text file and extract the content from there.

Rahul Kashyap July 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM    

really great post thanks for it i will follow your tutorial on my blog :)

Winnipeg Web Design September 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM    

Copy past the content from a website to an other website... is not a good idea. Its totally wrong and spamming way to promote the website. Google also says to avoid to do this. And your given codes are very helpful for me and i think for others as well.

hafizmd October 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM    

Thanks! Such a great sharing. Perfect and right on time.

Thanks yer =)

Biman Ghosh November 21, 2013 at 12:49 PM    

This is exactly what I was looking for. The best thing is that you have provided all the codes for all type of protection and they all work. Thanks

Mohd Syareffudin December 10, 2013 at 12:54 AM    

Those thing you post is like 'firearms' to me to fight the outbreaks 'zombies' out there! thank you dude! ^^

Greenlava December 12, 2013 at 8:54 PM    

@Mohd Syareffudin
...and believe me there are lots of "zombies" out there :)

azhar February 12, 2014 at 2:24 AM    

very informative. In pakistan many people are running websites with copy contents which is hurting those who are writing orignal content

Ravi chouhan March 2, 2014 at 9:56 PM    

very nice buddy

good Job.....

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