[thelist] disabling web text copy & paste

Barney Carroll barney.carroll at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 09:18:53 CDT 2009

Copy+Paste is an OS standard and the front-end layer of a site shouldn't be
able to interfere with such things. The ability to do such a thing is
malicious from a usability perspective, and can be used for nefarious
purposes as it intrudes into the user's greater context.

Having said all that, Flash can define the clipboard without user input. You
would want to capture the keyboard event of Ctrl/Command+C and then order
Flash to replace the clipboard with an empty string. Sidestepping simple
selection and interrupting the context menu's copy ability is impossible as
this interaction sits outside of the scope of Flash or DOM events.

At the end of the day nothing will stop the determined user being able to
access content they have downloaded, so if you are coming at this from a
genuine security angle I would say accept the risks or don't make the
content available at all.

Barney Carroll

barney.carroll at gmail.com
07594 506 381

2009/10/23 steven streight <vaspers at inbox.com>

> @lee kowalski
> Wow. That was a lot of honest information. I agree with you that disabling
> copy & paste seems self-defeating, when bloggers like to quote at least a
> portion of text, then link back to the source, which drives traffic to the
> original site you got the copy from.
> Thanks for the work-arounds. I'm sure they'll come in handy!
> :^)
> Steven E. Streight
> www.pluperfecter.blogspot.com
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