Do you want to disable right mouse click at your website?

From time to time I see people asking how to block the right-mouse-click on their website. Even worse, from time to time I am visiting websites that actually are blocking the right-mouse-click. Even worse, there are extensions for Joomla! offering this functionality.

If you were ever considering to do this at your website, please take a cold shower and forget this idea. Here is why!

The ethical thing

So you are trying to protect your text, your pictures against "stealing" it by your visitors. Right? So you are seriously insinuating that your visitors are thieves? Despite the fact that I personally feel deeply insulted by you because of this, why the hell are you creating a website for thieves? Why?

It doesn't even work

Don't fool yourself. It doesn't work anyway. You can disable the right click on your website and I still can easily copy everything from your website.

  • I can check the source code and copy the text from there. I can open every image you have at your website directly in the browser
  • I can disable JavaScript execution with one click and the "protection" won't work anymore
  • I can simply take a screenshot of the image you are trying to protect. In OS X I can even directly adjust this part of your website (the picture for example) I want to copy
  • Everybody can copy the entire website (save as) locally including all images, texts and even the "protections" script
  • It is also possible to simply drag an image from your site and drop it on the local folder

To name just a few possibilities.

It is damn annoying

I always wonder how those people whose implementing it at their websites are actually using a browser. I am using the right-click so frequently that I cannot imagine not having it.
Few days ago I was reading a review of a product on a website. The article sounded interesting to me so I wanted to check where I could buy this product. So mark the name of the product in this article, right-click, and select "search with Google". Nope! Text selection and right click disabled. This is frustrating.
I am also using the right-click to open a link on a page in a new background tab so I don't have to leave the current page and read the second one later.

Don't change the browser's default behaviour

There is a very common truth among developers - don't change the environment you are running at. This rule applies here as well. Your website is being executed in a browser. It's not up to you to change my browser's behaviour.
I agree, there are some exception from the rule. See for example Google docs, Zimbra. But those are grown-up applications. And they are not doing it for "protecting" something but actually to extend the browser beyond the standard functionality. If you are not improving something; take your hands off my browser please!

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