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Disable Right-Click

I periodically get requests from Y! Store merchants to disable right-clicking on their Yahoo! Store. They typipically want this so that their competitors cannot steal their photos. While disabling right-clicking is easy to do, it's not a very hot idea. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. It's does not give you 100% protection. Disabling right-clicking is a JavaScript solution, so the easiest way to circumvent it is to disable JavaScript while viewing the page. Disabling JavaScript is very easy to do. In Internet Explorer, you can go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced, and disable "Active Scripting". In Firefox, you can download the Developer Tools extension, and you can disable JavaScript right off the toolbar (there may be other ways, I'm just used to using the Developer Tools extension for this.)
    Another way is to view source on the page, find the image location, then bring it up in your browser and save the image.
    Or, look inside your web browser cache. By the very nature of Internet browsing, every page you visit with all of its images and other pieces is downloaded into your computer, and you can find these pieces in your browser cache.

  2. It's limiting. You are disabling a function your visitors may be used to. Many users are used to right-clicking on images and web pages to do certain tasks, such as printing a page or image, navigating back or forward, or in Firefox, for example, to use "Gestures".

  3. It's annoying. You won't realize how much you use right-clicking on a web page until you cannot do it. The right-click context menu's options are typically available through some other means (menus), but often it's quicker to just right-click and shoot.

  4. It's insulting. The vast majority of your visitors won't come to your store or site to steal your images. By reminding them that your images are copyrighted, you assume they are there to copy your images.
There are other ways to protect your copyrighted material. To start with, put up a copyright message at the bottom of your pages (you can add this in the "final-text" variable, for example.) The best way to protect your images is to watermark them. This involves a bit of work on your part, but if your images are important to you, this may be worth it. To watermark an image, simply use your favorite image editing sofware and superimpose a light text with your company name on your images. Some image editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop can also embed digital watermarks in images. These are not visible, but can be detected electronically in case you need to take legal action. By the way, Yahoo! takes copyright infringement very seriously. If you have a strong case that someone is infringing on your copyrights, you can report it to Yahoo. If the site stealing your images or contents is a Yahoo! store, Yahoo! in most cases will first notify the other party, then suspend their store until you sort this out with them.

If you still want to disable right-clicking on your web site, get a "disable right-click" javascript (here is one), and put that javascript code inside the "head-tags" variable of your store.

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