I’d like to take this opportunity to reply in some depth to a comment made on Google Plus about my blog. It referred, in the first instance, to my post on freedom of speech and the complexity of making a direct comment here. The problem, it appears, is not so much the making of a comment, which is as simple as simple can be, but the fact that the person wishing to make a comment couldn’t easily copy text from my post to include in her comment. She then went on to copy text from my blog to include in her comment on Google Plus, somewhat belying her complaint.
There is no fail-safe way to protect content on the Internet. As soon as one system is found, someone comes up with a crack which works around it. A long time ago I came to terms with this fact, and the fact that there are people who take content from others and put it out as their own, and changed the way that I react. The simple system I have installed here works well enough for me and has a very sound reasoning behind it.
Most people, when they wish to copy something, will automatically highlight and then right click with their mouse to copy and paste. Here they see a small pop up window which reminds them that the content is copyright. Anyone with serious intent can still copy the content, it isn’t all that difficult, but then they cannot later say they thought it was public domain work, free to be copied at will and used elsewhere, simply because they have been told otherwise. As with most blog themes, the official copyright notice is right at the bottom of the post, or the bottom of the front page, and not immediately obvious. Although, really, everyone should be aware that the work of other people is automatically copyrighted, unless clearly stated, and there is an intellectual right to that work too.
Is it really necessary to copy a complete section of a post in a comment? I don’t believe so. It is just as easy to take the first few words, which you type in yourself, and write a comment from that. It is also often quicker to do it this way. The comment is what is of interest, not a rehashing of what can be read above the comment. Anyone who feels strongly enough about a subject covered in a post, here or elsewhere, will not see my simple reminder as a great barrier against their making a comment.
- Viktoria Michaelis