There are lots of searches online for web site owners looking for scripts to block people from copying and pasting text from their sites. A lot of these scripts use JavaScript and for the most part they disable right-clicking on a page. Some will disable the ability to use keyboard shortcuts as well. This renders Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V (standard shortcuts for copy and paste) useless.

Tynt

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But, since the scripts are done in JavaScript, they are easy enough to bypass with a little know how, so often the effort is moot. I never fully understood why anyone would want to block the copy and paste function anyways. I mean, who cares? It just seems to me that it would frustrate visitors. And there are still ways to “steal” content if someone really wants to.

I’m sure there are reasons. But for me, I guess I worry less about such things.

Leveraging the copy and past functions

I say, rather than try to defeat the efforts, gain something from it. I don’t want to frustrate my web site visitors anyway.

There is a free tool called Tynt that can be used on a web site. What it does is when someone copies a chunk of text from an article, it will also append a link back to the content source to the text on the clipboard. So, when the text is pasted into an email, on FB, Twitter, etc. a source link is displayed as well.

Tynt will even track the link (it appends a unique code to the end) so it can provide you with analytics about the links usage. You can learn where it was pasted, how many clicks from each source, etc.

In addition, when small phrases are copied so that they can be pasted into search engines, Tynt will keep track. If there is a lot of it going on for a particular phrase, that might suggest the need to include “more information” for that phrase so the visitor doesn’t have to visit a search engine, and ultimately leave your site.

Setting up Tynt

To add Tynt to a web site is very simple. You simply create an account at Tynt.com for the CopyPaste feature.

You then select the platform that you want to install the code on. There are instructions for WordPress (hosted and self-hosted), Tumblr, Joomla, and just standard instructions for any other site.

Essentially, you add the code within the head tag of all pages.

To test it, there is a tester on the Tynt site to make sure everything is in place properly. Another way would be to visit a page on your site, copy a chunk of an article, and paste it into an email or a text file.

If a “Read more” link shows up under the content, then Tynt is installed successfully. The URL will have a random code attached, and that is used for tracking by Tynt.

As statisitcs build, you can check into your Tynt account periodically to see where your content, and quotes are being “pasted” to.

I guess it’s probably too late to ask, but does a tool like Tynt really have value? According to a statment on the Tynt web site “82% of content shared on the web occurs via copy & paste,” so I would say that, yes, it does.

Top sites like eHow and FoxNews and many others employ the Tynt copy and paste script on their sites.

Try gathering some stats for your domain for 30 days and see for yourself what the reports show. You might be surprised what you learn about how people interact with your site.