I think that almost everyone who has seriously engaged in the publication of materials on the Internet (on their blog or in some other format) has a good knowledge of the new Russian word copy-paste. For those who do not understand it, I will explain the meaning. The term was formed from the English copy / paste, and as a rule means copying someone else’s text, photos or any other materials without copyright consent, and often without attribution at all or with reference to the wrong source.

    The nature of this phenomenon is similar to that of spontaneous illegal copying of commercial products, including programs, music and films. And specifically, the reason for this is the influence of the social environment formed by the national mentality (“What am I, a fool - to pay for it when everyone around does not pay ?!” - a rhetorical question for oneself). But now I would like to touch on this topic in a narrower area - precisely in relation to the distribution of “free” materials with unlimited access to the Internet.

    It is worth starting with the fact that 99% of those involved in copy-paste do this without realizing the reasons why it is bad and wrong. But this is bad because the “innocuous”, as it might seem, shifting information from place to place can affect entities external to the copy paste and not in the best way.

    In particular, the massive distribution of the same material leads to a decrease in relevance among the links found by search engines. In turn, this leads to leakage of traffic from the original source to its clones. In practice, this is expressed in the fact that even by using a unique and accurate phrase from the text, it can be difficult to find the original resource on which this text was published, and not to get to this several times with advertising sites parasites. In addition, the repeated publication of the text, without specifying the author and a link to the source, leads to the fact that visitors to the parasite site will by default take for the author of the one who published this text. And this is an indirect violation of copyright.

    The moral is that you should never forget about the responsibility for any manipulation of information in a public network, and that this network, for natural reasons, imposes certain requirements regarding the ethics ("hygiene") of its use. Even the most “secluded” place on the Internet will not hide from the thousand-eyed Google robot and, accordingly, millions of all those who know how to use it.

    Of course, I’m not so idealistic as to believe the reality of translating this concept into the next many years as part of Runet, where the Creative Commons logo on someone’s blog does not do more good than a dubious spell like “who steals is a fool”, and it’s ridiculous to even speak of possible legal liability. Therefore, the issue of protection against unauthorized leakage of information from the site is now more relevant than the topic of enlightening unconscious young people and other contingents that provide this leak.

    At the moment, there are many ways to protect website content from copying. But most of them suffer from the fact that they pay thoughtlessly for the convenience of access to information to increase the level of security. Here are some of these incorrect methods:
    • Disabling the context menu in the browser using client scripts. The effectiveness of the method does not withstand any criticism, because for a real Jedi, going around such a “defense” is usually a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, a side effect of this technique is a considerable annoyance caused by the absence of the usual browser interface details at the right time (after all, the context menu is used not only for copying, and copying does not always mean theft of materials).
    • Splitting a large article text into several pages. In principle, this method only indirectly interferes with copying text, greatly reducing the convenience of this process. The main reason for using the split is usually the artificial generation of traffic within the site and the increase in the number of displayed ads. To protect, the method is stupid and again ineffective.
    • Exotic text output methods (Flash, Java applets or just displaying text as pictures). I will not dwell on the list of bodies that designers should be torn off for applying such ideas. First of all, this is another method of reducing the convenience of access to the materials of the site, and only then - the protection option.
    • Publish text as PDF. This method is not bad, but again has its drawbacks. Firstly, search engines have long been able to successfully convert PDF to HTML. In addition, an additional requirement for access to content is imposed - the presence of a plug-in installed in the browser or a program for viewing PDF.

    Summarizing this list, we can say that the text whose copying must be prevented should in no case be put on the Internet at all in any way. Better yet, destroy for reliability with the carrier. Nevertheless, approximating the requirements to reality, we can reformulate the statement of the problem.

    Instead of trying to prevent copying, you need to make sure that all copies contain a mandatory link to the source. Such a link, firstly, will preserve copyright, and secondly, increase the citation index in the search engines of the original site, raising it to the first (or one of the first) places in the search results.

    To achieve this is often not so difficult, because all copy pasteurists usually “work” according to the same predictable scheme: the content honor of the page, that is, the main body of the text, is copied by them without changes, and the title is usually replaced with their own “variations on the theme”. Plus, a small introduction can be added (the average individual does not overpower more than one or two sentences), but the latter fact is not significant.

    So, in order to get the link to the “native” site along with the content, it is not enough just to add it at the end of the page. With a high degree of probability, such a link will not be copied, especially if it is framed as a separate element, and not an integral part of the information block. It is much more effective in one way or another to mention the source within the text itself, if possible. In the general case, it is most convenient to do this in an introduction or conclusion. In addition, it is useful not only to put a hyperlink, but also to specify the URL directly, because copying links are often lost if HTML is taken out from the browser as plain text. At the same time, for aesthetic reasons, it is desirable that the link is short and readable. For example, .

    Of course, this method is also not sinless. Because of its application, an increase in the volume of the text occurs due to, possibly, not very necessary information. Therefore, it should be used meaningfully. And, of course, not forgetting the quality of the material itself.

    PS: The reason for writing this post was ~ 240 copies (maybe there are already more) of one of my previous notes that Yandex found. It will be funny if someone copy-paste this article as well.

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