Home > WordPress - Pros > How to use CSS to prevent content theft

How to use CSS to prevent content theft



Did you know that CSS can help you in making your copyright visible with scraper sites who have shamelessly stolen your content? It’s not foolproof and a smart scraper will find out how to work around this, but for any automated scraper simply stealing off your published feed, this will work.

Albeit this is not exactly a WordPress versus TypePad matter, it is interesting since access to CSS comes at a very different price inWordPress compared to TypePad.


What do I need?

In WordPress, you need the CSS Upgrade, at $15/yr. In TypePad, you need the Pro Account, at $14.95/mo.

How can CSS prevent content theft?

The basic idea is to insert an invisible text, or better, an invisible image, into your blog, that only displays when your blog content is viewed not on your blog, but has been copied and pasted into someone else’s blog. Your CSS style sheet keeps the image invisible while on your blog, but when viewed on another website, your stolen content no longer has access to your stylesheet, and thus, the image displays.

How do I do it?

First, we need to create a class in your CSS stylesheet. If you insert the following code, you create a class “copyright”, and give it the attribute “display:none”, meaning, “do not display this”. You can call the class whatever you want, I chose copyright, since that is what it is for.

.copyright {

Then we need to use this class in the post that you are copyrighting. In HTML view, enter this:

<a href=”https://tpvswp.wordpress.com”&gt;
<img class=”copyright” src=”URL”>

This creates a link back to your blog using an image from your site. On my blog it will look like this:


You see no image, of course. However, if a scraper site comes along and copies and pastes my content shamelessly, the image will be clearly visible. Scraper site.


The idea for this comes from Plagiarism Today.

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  1. Teck
    August 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Wow thats a great idea thanks for sharing your knowledge… :)

  2. August 21, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Hi Teck,

    It’s not so much MY knowledge, as I’ve basically just applied what I learned in the post I referenced in “Related”. I’m not sure how well it works, but it’s worth a try.

  3. September 3, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Thanks, great article! Two thumbs up

  4. January 13, 2009 at 4:13 am

    Thanks for posting this, but my actual worries are the following:

    a, content-thieves may copy your content in Word (essays, for example) or simple use html view in which they can easily see and erase the code

    b, it would take ages to add this code to every single post I have ever written.


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