No CopyPasta For You, Sir
January 28, 2008 4:36 AM   Subscribe

How is this website disabling copypasta (Copy / Paste - Seems to just be replacing all copied content with a '*') in my browser? Can somebody pull the offending code for me and possibly explain how they are manipulating the whole browser and not just this web page?
posted by B(oYo)BIES to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could it be javascript? For whatever reason I can't even get the page to load, so I'm not sure. It sounds like javascript though.

Javascript is a rather silly effort though at trying to prevent copying anything. If one really wanted to copy, they could easily hit View > Source and go through the source code to find whatever they're wanting and copy and paste it. This would include links to images, text or whatever.

Granted, the source code is an annoyance, but it CAN be done.
posted by magnoliasouth at 4:45 AM on January 28, 2008

Javascript is how it's typically done, and frequently it's the case that disabling javascript and reloading the page can allow whatever the site was trying not to.

But, oddly, when I go to a new search on that site and get the results, I can copy and paste parts of the page or even the whole thing. I looked through the source for the bits of Javascript that might be intended to swap the copy/paste text and didn't find them. I'm not sure what that means.
posted by Tuwa at 4:50 AM on January 28, 2008

I think this is probably the page the OP is talking about (extra 'N' in the domain, extra 'T' in the page name).

I'm not having any problems copy-and-pasting (using Ctrl-C), although it is trying (/snicker) to disable right-clicking.

I would imagine that preventing copying something (or trying to; as Tuwa pointed out, circumventing it is usually pretty trivial. Newsflash to webmasterkiddies: If I'm viewing your website, I've already downloaded your content.) it's just a matter of setting up an onCopy event in the page that replaces the clipboard text. E.g.:

<body oncopy="window.clipboardData.setData("Text", "DON'T COPY MY PAGE");">
posted by Doofus Magoo at 5:20 AM on January 28, 2008

view - page source
posted by caddis at 5:27 AM on January 28, 2008

Is this the link you're curious about?

When you click into the individual images you'll see they're actually little flash apps. Right clicking on them doesn't bring up the typical context menu for a flash widget, instead it shows a copy and paste menu with most of the options disabled.
posted by bshort at 5:51 AM on January 28, 2008

Javascript is set to detect mouse clicks and disable them (link to the offending file, if you want to know how it was done). In Firefox you can turn this stupidity off via Options --> Content --> then click the "Advanced" button (next to Javascript checkbox), and unchecking the box marked "Disable or replace context menus".

Embedding the images as Flash is a reasonably sensible way to protect online images from copying, when income is derived by selling the images. Adding an obnoxious scrolling image over the top, and adding a "screw you" right-click disabler is just plain hostile.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:35 AM on January 28, 2008

Here's an interesting thing. I looked at the site in FireFox with flashblock on and couldn't get the effect - but when I ran the flash to see the tattoo, it kicked in. This would suggest it's the Flash actionscript that's having the effect, using its system.setClipboard method
posted by Sparx at 6:59 AM on January 28, 2008

Yeah, this is some weird stuff. I checked the site with my Quicksilver Clipboard History module open and once I clicked into one of those galleries it just started pushing asterisks into my clipboard. It just repeatedly copied a single asterisk... that's kind of rude.
posted by JRGould at 7:49 AM on January 28, 2008

[Fixed the link.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:51 AM on January 28, 2008

caution live frogs has answered more questions than I asked, and I appreciate that. Figured it was JS, but didn't have the time at work to play with it. Really wanted to see the offending code as it was interesting to me that it fucked with all open tabs, not just the tabs.

As far as ripping off the art (which I never mentioned, lol), they gave it a good shot, but using LiveHTTPHeaders, I was easily able to locate the JPGs. I don't need to hear about how immoral I am for this. A friend asked, I granted.

Thank you for your time and input everybody.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 7:51 AM on January 28, 2008

Actually, I think Sparx may be correct here. Check out this link, an SWF file. Same issue. It has to be in the coming from the SWF files. Anybody else have an opinion on this? Any way to tell if this is Action Script 2 or 3?
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 8:02 AM on January 28, 2008

Wow, I don't know what they're doing but it's evidently nasty; when I visit a detail page with FF and NoScript, with JS disabled, it loads sans the actual image. But then if I enable JS, it starts doing this weird loading over and over and over thing, like it's stuck in a loop.

Regardless of what they're trying to do, they're doing it badly and wrong.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:17 AM on January 28, 2008

Kadin2048 writes "But then if I enable JS, it starts doing this weird loading over and over and over thing, like it's stuck in a loop."

Same here.

I'm tempted to crack the images out of their server and email them to every address I can find on the site one by one.
posted by Mitheral at 11:00 AM on January 28, 2008

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