Every couple of weeks, I get a note from a reader who is frustrated by the inability to copy something off of The Boat Galley. For those who haven’t tried to copy a recipe or other bit of info, I’ve got things set so that you can’t highlight or copy the text. It’s not a glitch, it’s deliberate.
But let me explain and also tell you how you can make a copy for your own purposes.
The Background. Unfortunately, while most people are good, the internet has a certain number of unscrupulous people, who have no respect for copyrights and the hard work that goes into writing posts. These no-good scoundrels employ little programs (called “bots” or “robots”) to go out and copy absolutely everything they run across, then paste that information into their own sites as their own work. The incentive for them? Advertising revenue on their sites goes up when someone goes to their site to read the piece.
A few months after I began writing The Boat Galley, I discovered that literally all the articles I’d written up to that point were posted on over 100 other sites. And they were ranking higher in Google searches than the originals! Yeah, I was pretty upset about it. Researching further, I found that the bots would simply come in and copy 100% of a site’s content. YIKES!
And that’s when I discovered that I could make it so that stuff couldn’t be copied. I thought about whether I really wanted to take that step, since I knew it would upset some readers who legitimately wanted to make a copy for their own use. That type of usage is fine with me; it’s the copying everything, putting it on another site and making money off my work that bothers me.
Three Ways to Make a Copy. More research led me to a solution that prevents the bots from copying everything yet lets readers make a copy for themselves. No, you can’t do a simple copy and paste. But you can make a copy any one of three other ways (and the bots aren’t programmed to use any of these):
- First Option: Print a copy. Simple if you have a printer and want a paper copy.
- The other two methods use the PDF button under the article.
Second Option: Make a PDF. When you click on the PDF button, it will open a new window similar to that below. Then click on the PDF button there.
You’ll next see a message that the PDF is being generated, then it will turn into a download button.
Click that and it will either go into your default Downloads folder or you’ll be prompted for a location to put it (it depends on your browser which way it works). Now, whenever you want to refer to it, you can call it up as a PDF from that location.
Third Option: Copy from the PDF Screen. Here, you don’t click on the PDF button at the top of the new screen. Instead, scroll down to what you want to copy and highlight it. Ignore the “click to delete” prompt (but don’t click!). Instead, either press Cntl+C or right-click and select copy, then paste wherever you want it.
I realize that this adds an extra step for anyone wanting a copy. I’d rather not have to do it this way. But I hope you understand my need not to have the whole site “stolen” from me. Thanks!