Copying material from others’ websites without their permission is quite common all over the world. I have written on this topic earlier. There are lots of people who find it very easy to steal the work of others (with the help of webmasters) and try to show the world that they have written it themselves. This is highly immoral, intellectual dishonesty and is called theft in plain language.
On the technical side, disabling the right click or preventing text selection does not help. Probably there is no way to effectively prevent such stealing. Entire code at the backend can be read and copied without much difficulty. It is said that "locks are for the commoners, not for thieves". I agree with it because those with good moral values don’t steal but thieves don’t care for morals. That is why they are called thieves. There is an opinion that the only way to prevent stealing is not to have a website at all. This amounts to saying that if you wish to prevent theft, don’t have a house at all. 🙂
My Latest Experience
Few weeks back I came across the website of a Karachi (Pakistan) based female Reiki teacher and was surprised to see that she had used many of my pages about Reiki from this website verbatim including text and even pictures without my permission and presented them as her own. I called her and pointed out but she very stubbornly insisted that it was not wrong. She admitted that she had copied whatever she liked from wherever she found something useful, which clearly means that she has lot of stolen stuff on her website about topics even other than Reiki. When I said that that was not ethical, rather than accepting the mistake, her reaction was very unexpected and strange. She very rudely said that if I was so concerned about my material, I should block my website and with this she suddenly closed off. How ridiculous! She is a Reiki teacher teaching moral values and proudly displays the name of her teacher as head text on her website. I spoke to her teacher but I am not sure if he spoke to her. If he did, she doesn’t seem to care to listen even to him. It is highly unbecoming of a Reiki teacher at least. Cheating is bad in any case but is worse if the person is a Reiki teacher too. Here I have intentionally omitted her name. and website address.
By the way, this is not the first time that someone has stolen material from my website. She is the fourth case (third from Karachi). I fail to understand what such Reiki teachers and practitioners are up to and what kind of morality they believe in and teach. They teach Reiki precepts to others but for themselves, honesty seems to mean nothing. My question is that is having a website so important that one could stoop down so low?
Copyright law in Pakistan is such that it is nearly impossible to take such thieves to task. Too bad! If you believe in moral values, DO NOT steal anybody’s work. Even if the affected person does not come to know, how would you satisfy your own conscience? If a person does not have the ability to write one’s own stuff, one could hire a writer rather than resorting to unethical means. Another alternative is to get permission of the owner of the website from where you wish to use something. This is a respectable way but if you insist that such cheating and stealing is not bad or wrong (like this woman from Karachi did), you are not following universal code of ethics.
Muhammad Akram Khan, Reiki Master/Teacher