John Gruber on Tynt, the ‘Copy/Paste Jerks’

All of this nonsense — the attribution appended to copied text, the inline search results popovers — is from a company named Tynt, which bills itself as “The copy/paste company”.

It’s a bunch of user-hostile SEO bullshit.

Everyone knows how copy and paste works. You select text. You copy. When you paste, what you get is exactly what you selected. The core product of the “copy/paste company” is a service that breaks copy and paste.

The pitch from Tynt to publishers is that their clipboard jiggery-pokery allows publishers to track where text copied from their website is being used, on the assumption that whoever is pasting the text is leaving the Tynt-inserted attribution URL, with its gibberish-looking tracking ID. This is, I believe, a dubious assumption. Who, when they paste such text and find this “Read more:” attribution line appended, doesn’t just delete it (and wonder how it got there)?

via Tynt, the Copy/Paste Jerks

Praise be. There’s also a link to a Google Chrome Tynt blocker plugin, and some other solutions, including how to edit your hosts file.

I’m finding myself at Daring Fireball pretty regularly these days, with a growing amount of respect for Gruber.


2 thoughts on “John Gruber on Tynt, the ‘Copy/Paste Jerks’

  1. I tried this out once as I was getting fed up of my content being republished all over the place without permission or attribution. Tynt is a particularly inelegant solution IMO, and I found myself always deleting the attribution URL whenever I had to copy my own work. If it was annoying me, I figured, my users certainly wouldn’t appreciate it.There’s got to be a better way to discourage content theft, but I’m not sure what it is. I’ve heard suggestions that if Google could reward the content originators and move anyone who copies further down the results page that might work better. Though I guess if you put something onto the web you’re essentially surrendering your right to control what people do with it.

  2. I know that Google are working on ways to give content originators more credit, at least amongst news providers for its Google News results. It makes sense that they would apply this development to blogs and the web in general.I’m sure you’re aware of it, but there’s a great service called Copyscape that lets you search the web for duplicates of your copy. There’s also TinEye for reverse image searches, but I don’t think the results are that reliable.

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