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View Full Version : read-only html, is it possible?


mrsurrey
14th Jun 2007, 05:43
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to publish a lot of free information on a website (about 20,000 words) and I'd really like the peace of mind of knowing that people aren't copying it or printing it off and scanning it in elswhere. (Plus of course readers can only click the google ads if they're reading an online version :E:ok:)

Does anyone know of a way of doing this? Preferably without having to get readers to download 'secure' software to view the document?

Thanks :ok:

MrS

Bushfiva
14th Jun 2007, 05:47
In short, no. Anything visible on your web site, I can grab somehow.

green granite
14th Jun 2007, 08:02
I did visit a site a few days ago that wouldn't let me copy the text, so it is possible to do that, but of course I could have used a screen grabber and saved it as a picture or done a "print screen" (I can't remember the site)

Saab Dastard
14th Jun 2007, 13:20
If you put the text into an image - e.g. scan the text to a jpg or some such - then it won't be possible to select the text per se.

However, as green granite says - if you are determined you can get hold of it somehow.

SD

mrsurrey
14th Jun 2007, 16:43
OK, thanks guys. I will have a ponder.

MrS

Keef
14th Jun 2007, 17:08
The spammers who have bots to register them on sites like this now have OCR built into the bots - they can read those "type this text into the box" anti-bot traps.

I'm sure they could point their OCR at your read-only picture-of-the-text screen. I suspect my OCR would be able to read it if I tried (but I'm not sufficiently curious to try).

Atlas Shrugged
15th Jun 2007, 03:25
You can hide code from the web page source using the SRC attribute of <SCRIPT> tag.

Try this:

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" TYPE="TEXT/JAVASCRIPT"
SRC="code.js">
<!--
//-->
</SCRIPT>

Here "code.js" is the name of the file containing your code. As evident from the SRC value, the file is located in the same directory as the html document. The file name can be whatever you decide but the extension must be ".js."

Itís not foolproof. Although the JavaScript code is not displayed when you view the page source, smart visitors can check their cache and find this external JavaScript file there.

Disabling the right-click function is about as useless as tits on a bull, but the code is:

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT">
<!--
function click(e)
{
var msg = "No right click is allowed";
if (document.all)
{
if (event.button == 2)
{
alert(msg);
return false;
}
}
if (document.layers)
{
if (e.which == 3)
{
alert(msg);
return false;
}
}
}
if (document.layers)
{
document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN);
}
document.onmousedown=click;
//-->
</script>

bnt
15th Jun 2007, 19:54
I know you've said that you don't want to make people use "secure software", but I think this is an application for an Adobe Acrobat document. You can prevent cut-and-paste, for example, and the Adobe Reader is so common now that most readers won't need to download it. (You don't need to buy anything - the "official" online converter is at http://createpdf.adobe.com/ )

If your document is easily accessible on your site, readers won't need to send copies to anyone else, they can just send a link. You can hide the download URL behind a bit of JavaScript, so that there's no obvious direct link, so they need to come to your page and see the ads.

Whether they'll actually click on them is another story, of course. (I have never clicked on a website ad, because in the unlikely event it made it past the various ad blockers I've used over the years, it was never for anything I might want. These days I use NoScript to block all offsite scripts - those not on the site I'm viewing - by default, so I only see Google ads when I'm viewing a Google site.)

ZH875
16th Jun 2007, 13:07
If only copying from a secured Acrobat Document was not possible, there are a number of programs around that will 'unlock' Acrobat Documents.

As Bushfiva implies, "If it is on the internet, it can be copied".

ZH

bnt
16th Jun 2007, 15:32
Agreed - there's going to be a technical way around any restrictions you might put in place, so (I think) you ought to focus on the most common abuses you can think of. I know Acrobat's no-copy and no-print features can be bypassed, in different ways depending on the restrictions put on by the author - I've done that myself.

But how much time and effort is the average Joe going to spend on that? That's what I was referring to - normal use, not some pipe-dream of total security. I still say Acrobat is just fine for that purpose. If you can not tolerate any possible re-use of your content, then you'd be better off not putting it out there at all.

green granite
16th Jun 2007, 17:31
If only copying from a secured Acrobat Document was not possible

Indeed, I use Foxit Reader for PDFs rather than Acrobat, it often says "the saving of this file is not permitted" or words to that effect, and then saves it anyway. :ugh:

planecrazy.eu
16th Jun 2007, 23:00
There are loads of ways people try, but loads of ways people can just grab the text...

At the end of the day, if they want it, and its worth something to em, then they can resort to pen and paper...

Saving text is images is a fairly secure way, as to get the image back into text you would have to do OCR on it...

Another way, is FLASH, again, pretty hard and lenghy to extract text if the text commands are used right, if they are not, then you can copy and paste the same...

You can password, and protect PDFS, but you could screen dump em, and then do OCR...

I noticed JAVA script was said, you can encrypt the html source, and then add js to block the left mouse click, but then the user could disable JS in there browser, or even use CTRL-C to copy...

Make sure Google index your copy first, and then you can search google for specific quotes in the text and see if anyone has coppied it. If it was indexed in Google first, before the other website then you would have a stronger case to make em remove it, or register the text with the many copyright websites.

If it was me, i would make the website in flash, and just use flash to protect the text, that way you can make it dynamic, have no special readers to download and dont have to worry about js compatibility in web-browsers.

joe2812
17th Jun 2007, 10:58
This is pretty basic but eliminates one of the more obvious ways to copy...

http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex9/noright.htm

Bushfiva
17th Jun 2007, 13:38
If there's something I want and it's on your website, I'm going to bring it over to my local machine with an http GET, a WGET or if I'm feeling lazy, do a "Download All" via NetTransport or similar.


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