Dear Leo, I’d like to make some money with my copyrights. What would be the
best way to copy protect my texts on my website? I do not think that not copy
protecting on my website at all would be the solution and spending my days
trying to remove the copies of my text from the internet is not the way I’d
like to spend my days. Do you have a solution as to how best copy protect my
texts on the internet? Maybe you would know what would be the best software to
use or maybe some other solution.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #70, I look at the difficulties in protecting copyrighted
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Well, I’ll put it this way: no, there is no practical, feasible way to copy
protect text on the internet. If you can see it, it can be copied.
There are lots of ways to make it more difficult. I have seen people use
turn all of their text into an image so that you can’t just copy the text, you
actually have an image. But there are a raft of problems with either of
those kinds of solutions and other solutions that people have
proposed. Ultimately, they’re all circumvent-able.
In other words, pretty much anything you do to your text to make it harder
to copy does not make it impossible to copy.
I can copy it! If I can read it on the screen, if I can see it, I can make a
copy of it.
Managing online copyrights
So, I’m in the same boat you are. I have thousands of articles on my website
and I do make money from the advertising that runs on the site. It does, in
fact, harm me when other sites copy my information without my permission.
I have in fact sent out “Takedown notices” to a couple of places when I’ve
discovered that they are in fact, republishing my copyrighted material without
But ultimately, you’ll notice that on Ask Leo!, I’ve done nothing technical
to prevent people from copying my text. Just because I know that futility
It would give you a false sense of security. If someone was dedicated or
really motivated to copy the information off of your site, they’re going to
figure out a way to do it. God knows, I could!
It’s just not that terribly difficult. Copy protecting
Design for the readers
So my recommendation is ultimately: make it easy for your readers to read
Don’t get in your readers’ way – and then prioritize your work. You know,
send takedown notices to the most egregious offenders. Set up some Google
Alerts so that you’re notified when something of yours appears out on the
internet, but then take it from there.
It’s just not the kind of a thing for which I believe there’s a practical,
Answercast 70 – Do disposable
email addresses really add any security?