The Drawbacks to Right-Click Disabling Your Blog

BlogHer Original Post

Last week, for the first time ever, I encountered a blog that was right-click disabled. I wanted to quote from it. I highlighted the text and right-clicked the mouse, and a window popped up telling me that the blog had disabled the right-click function and that I should respect copyrights. But the point is that I was respecting copyrights. I was using three lines under "fair use" guidelines and providing a link back to the blog.

On one hand, I could relate as someone who has had her content stolen numerous times over the years. It's annoying to put a lot of work into a blog post and have it show up somewhere else. It is upsetting to have pictures taken off your blog, especially when the thief tries to pass them off as his/her own. Disabling the right-click feature discourages thieves who are looking for soft, easy targets.

On the other, I was totally put-off as a blog reader because the assumption was that if I wanted to copy even one word from the blog, I was a thief. The reality is that the blog world has always been a hyperlinked world, with people jumping off of news articles or other posts and posting their own reflections. People should quote because the other option is to act like a middle schooler copying Wikipedia's ideas for their research paper, stating their thoughts as if they're original (yes, I taught middle school for many years and encountered this on a daily basis). If we teach our students that quotations add strength to an argument, then why shouldn't we employ them ourselves in a blog post? Using quotes to support my thoughts is what my editors at BlogHer trained me to do, and it's what I do on my personal blog as well.

No one wants their content stolen, but the reality of putting your work out there -- whether it is on a blog or a CD or a book in the book store -- is that there is always the chance that people are going to take it by stealing. The only way to truly protect against this is to not release your work at all. Write in a diary and never allow others to see your words. Create movies, but never release them in the theater. Sing in your shower but never put out a CD. These are the ways we make sure no one takes our work.

But we get a lot from sharing our words; from seeing how other people react to our thoughts. Theft is the cloud in the silver lining of blogging. And because of that fact, every blogger should familiarize themselves on ways to protect their content.

How do you feel about right-click disabling?


Photo Credit: Pirate Flag and Computer via Shutterstock.

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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