FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Introducing CPROTEXT and texts protection on the web:
Protected texts integration:
What is CPROTEXT ?
CPROTEXT is a web service that protects copyrighted texts published on websites against copy and duplication to other digital media.
Who may be interested in using CPROTEXT ?
Any individuals or businesses which:
- profit from the traffic brought by the publication of genuine texts on their websites
- require to keep control over their websites genuine publications, and to prevent any copy or modifications
This includes, for examples, professional and non-professional bloggers, editors of periodical publications (e.g., newspapers, academic and scientific journals) or any company whose corporate website content could be used by competitors to reroute visitors traffic.
How to copy texts published on a website ?
Any information published on a public website, including text documents, is broadcasted as HTML code. The server hosting a website sends this code to any requesting softwares. Therefore, any user of such softwares can copy part or all of this code, and reproduce the content of the website on another server hosting another website.
If the requesting software is a web browser, users can perform a copy of the website content by using the browser select/copy/paste features. Other requesting softwares, such as web crawlers, automatically scan websites: search engines, news aggregators, mirroring softwares… The copy of a specific web publication is either intentional, or part of an automated duplication mechanism. The consequence is always the diversion of visitors traffic that may hurts the legitimate authors.
Can texts protections against copy guarantee a 100% efficiency ?
Short and definitive answer: no.
Whatever protection is used, the document has to be displayed in order for visitors to read it. Therefore, it can be copied, whether directly (handwriting, typing), or indirectly (screen captures or printings submitted to optical character recognition). Hence, there can't be an absolute copy protection for texts published on the web.
What kinds of text protections currently exist ?
Protections preventing direct copy of the HTML code:
- encryption: the text is not formatted as HTML code, but exists within encrypted data that will be decrypted by browsers using instructions embedded in the HTML code.
- obfuscation: the text in not formatted as HTML code, but exists in a proprietary format that will be interpreted by browsers through specific plugins.
- delegation: encrypted or not, obfuscated or not, the text to protect is not included in the website code, but is requested and inserted after the browser has received the HTML code.
Protections preventing content selection and copy in browsers:
- styling property: a property defined in the website code informs browsers that a part of the document must not be selectable.
- scripted instructions: the browsers behavior is altered by instructions embedded in the HTML code, and triggered by the selection of the protected parts of the document.
Why are texts protections against direct copy not efficient on the long term ?
Through dedicated browser plugins, application platforms such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight are used to obfuscate text documents in a proprietary format. While the future of the latter is still unclear, the former was announced to only support a limited number of operating systems and architectures. If confirmed, this deprecates them as universal text protections for the web.
Why are text protections against browsers selection not efficient ?
The selectability of elements composing a web page can be altered in two ways:
- The Cascading Style Sheets (or CSS), which describe the look and feel of websites, define a specific property that informs the browsers about content that must not be selected.
Therefore, browsers can be instructed by the web page itself to prevent selection and/or copy of partial or full content of a website.
What makes CPROTEXT different from the other text protections ?
CPROTEXT combines protections preventing direct copy of HTML code and content selection in browsers into one integrated solution. It has four major differences with the above protections:
- obfuscation of the original document using only HTML and CSS web standards: browsers users are not required to install constraining proprietary plugins to display the original document which does not appear in the HTML code.
- selection prevention by design in most browsers, independently of any specific or easily removable instructions; when the protection against selection is ineffective, the copy and paste of the selected text will result in useless data; this leaves no possibility to copy the text by using browser select/copy/paste features.
- requirement for a flesh and blood reader: browsers will not be able to restore the protected text in its original digital unprotected form; they will only be instructed to display pixels at the right place, but they won't be able to associate them with their actual digital characters; the original text is only readable because of the reader ability to bring meaning to these groups of pixels.
- alteration sensitivity: if someone attempts to modify one or several characters in the protected text by playing with its HTML and CSS code, it will result in unintentional modifications all over the text, blatantly exposing the fraud.
Why do I have to choose a font when submitting my text ?
CPROTEXT service computes font files specific to the text it has to protect. The resulting protected text can then only be displayed by browsers when using these specific fonts. For your website design to remain consistent, these fonts must be based on the font used for all your other texts. To achieve this, you have to specify this font when submitting your text.
Why is Internet Explorer 8 support optional ?
Because of technical specificities, Internet Explorer 8 support requires two additional elements compared to other browsers:
- Computation of a proprietary font format exclusive to Internet Explorer
Will my website accessibility be affected by CPROTEXT ?
Since CPROTEXT modifies the structure of the original document, the protected part will necessarily be unavailable to Web Accessibility related tools such as screen readers. Therefore, we strongly encourage CPROTEXT users to include an audio version of their protected document so that people who require these tools will not be impaired by the text protection.
A lot of online services or offline softwares are able to generate an audio file that will be a reading of your document. To solve this accessibility issue and avoid discrimination of these visitors, it is the CPROTEXT user responsibility to add a link to such an audio file before a protected document.
What is a Pay-What-You-Want policy ?
A Pay-What-You-Want policy is a pricing system where buyers are free to set the amount to pay for a product. It transforms an unbalanced relationship between the sellers and the buyers into an exchange involving two equal partners. Compared to preset prices, buyers are given the freedom to assess the product value according to their specific usage, which suppresses the possible overpricing feeling and allows for testing before embracing. The trust put in the sellers shop is then increased. Sellers may also set a lower limit that would reflect the production cost of the product.
Why is CPROTEXT not free ?
On the web, "free" means either "a real true gift" or "check these ads and let me grab your personal data".
Because CPROTEXT has production costs, giving it as a gift would mean its end.
Futhermore, we believe in a fair business model: a real service that brings real benefits to our users. Reselling our visitors personal data and hurting their privacy rights have no place in this model.
Can images be protected by CPROTEXT ?