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I was copy-pasting some text from a website and besides the text I copied, the following text was appended "Read more at: http://www.YYYY.com Copyright © YYYY".

I've seen this pattern in many websites. It is injected via Javascript.

My question is: "WHY?" It gives a user the trouble of removing this last part. (I would never paste it as is.) It's frustrating.

What usability purpose does this serve? Is there a specific UX reason why people would do this? Is there information about the pros and cons?

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Another interesting question is what non usability purpose does this serve? Someone required a programmer to add that code... –  Alex Feinman Apr 30 '13 at 13:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

It's terrible UX, and should be avoided. As a customer, if I highlight some text and copy it, and you thin insert some other text, you are spamming me. I didn't ask for that text, and at no point was I asked if that is what I want to copy.

One of the most basic principles of UX is that any common action should respond in a predictable way. "Cancel" shouldn't respond as "buy" and copy should copy what is selected.

People sometimes do this under the mistaken belief that it will help preserve their copyright and direct traffic to their website. In reality it will engender lots of negative feelings towards the site and harm its image.

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Dammit! Beat me by a minute! –  rk. Apr 29 '13 at 18:28

One word: Spam.

It is basically harassing the user. Even though the user knows where he's copying the stuff from, you are forcing the information without his consent onto his clipboard and then leading to additional work of deletion the crap text.

I feel it is more about advertising/marketing than UX.

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