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I am so annoyed with people on eBay stealing the text and layouts of my descriptions in my listings. I have my images protected, which at least is one thing they can't copy and paste. But, is there any way to protect all of my text in my description. It just doesn't seem fair that someone can just "steal" what I have put my own time and thought into.

Any help is greatly appreciated...

CJACKC COLLECTIBLES eBay userid: cjackc
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Hi Jack,

I can understand how seeing the descirptions you created in the auctions of other users could be frustrating, however, I don't see how preventing others from copying your description text is feasible. Perhaps a user with some more insight on this issue will come along and shed some light on how this can be accomplished.

I've also seen it suggested to put some text like "This description was stolen from [sellername]" in the body that's the same color as the background. The thinking is that the thief will copy and paste and won't notice when it defaults to black after they paste (assuming it does).

You're reporting these incidents to eBay, right? In my experience, they'll kill listings if you can reference the one they're copying and show that it was listed first.
You really think so? I don't really feel too confident that eBay does much about issues like these, unless maybe a considerable # of users complain about the same seller. And of course, it is eBay's policy to not inform you of any action that they may take, which I can understand from a resources and privacy standpoint.

I am sure eBay is more concerned about issues that affect their bottom-line only, like shill bidding and illegal activity.
Ebay is actually pretty responsive to this sort of thing. One guy blatantly stole our ad copy - nearly word for word. I called him on it, and also reported him to eBay.

Within a couple of emails, eBay saw things my way and pulled the guy's ad.

They guy ended up contacting me and crying about how he I was taking food out of his kid's mouths (for crying out loud)! He even had the gall to end his message with something about how God punishes bad people, or something-rather. I contacted him back, asking him if he teaches his kid's that it's OK to steal from others, or if God thinks theft is OK.

Long story short, report them.

Also, regarding "protected" pictures - if you're halfway clever, it's very easy to copy "protected" pictures.
If I ever notice a listing that is similar or verbatim to mine, I report it to eBay. I sometimes watch the item and they sell anyway.

How did the seller know that you reported him? Did you email him yourself, because I thought eBay keeps it all private?

About stealing images - I hear ya on that one, but at least Auctiva's tool deters more than not.
No, a seller does NOT know who reported them, (Ebay is pretty strict on the whole privacy thing), but they would probably figure out it was the person who originally wrote the description.
For example, if I were to steal someone's copy, and then found I had been reported, that would be my FIRST thought-that the person I stole from recognised it and made the report. Frankly I don't think most other folks would even notice.
Good Luck Smile
You can use a variety of different NO RIGHT CLICK scripts to disable people's ability to right click on your text/auction descriptions. I use scripts from, which are free. All you have to do is find the script you want, then copy and paste it into the appropriate part of your page or html document (either the <HEAD> or the <BODY>Wink.

Here's a NO RIGHT CLICK script that I use on my website, which is filled with copyrighted pictures and text. If you are familiar with html, this should be pasted into the <BODY> section of your page. If you're not familiar with html, scroll down for how to add the script to an eBay listing.

//Disable right click script III- By Renigade (
//For full source code, visit

var message="";
function clickIE() {if (document.all) {(message);return false;}}
function clickNS(e) {if
(document.layers||(document.getElementById&&!document.all)) {
if (e.which==2||e.which==3) {(message);return false;}}}
if (document.layers)

document.oncontextmenu=new Function("return false")
// -->

To use the script in an eBay auction:

1. Post your auction to eBay
2. Go to the auction page and click on REVISE YOUR LISTING
4. Open the ENTER YOUR OWN HTML view of the description
5. Copy and paste the entire script code shown above into the very first line of the description window

I'm pretty certain you could also add this script in when creating your listing through Auctiva, but I don't actually use their listing tool except to create a template that I then tweak in Front Page, or vice versa.

The script shown above causes a pop up box that says "function disabled." There are alternate versions of the NO RIGHT CLICK script that simply disable the function without generating any type of message to notify someone why they can't get their right click (COPY) commands menu to appear.

Anytime you use a free script, it's good etiquette to include the source and author info (which doesn't show up on your page, only in your source code). If you're using the script on a webpage, you should give credit -- with a link to the source site -- on every page where the script is used.

There's a very simple META TAG that can be used to disable the Internet Explorer Image Tool Bar (which also enables people to copy items from your page). META TAGS go in the <HEAD> portion of your page code, and I don't think you can access that portion of the code on your auction pages. Here's the tag, in case you'd like to use it on a webpage:

<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">

Final thought ... for super-easy html help, try this site:

It was written by a kid (though she's getting older, just like the rest of us) for other kids and is VERY simple and straightforward. If you're new to webpage creation -- or if you simply need a fast reference page on how to do certain things -- this is an excellent resource.

Victoria Red Face)
One annoying thing about disabling right click is that I often use it to "Open Link in New tab" or in a new window.

When sellers use this script I can't do that. It might not stop me from buying from them, but it's pretty annoying.

Also there are still a lot of easy ways to steal the description even if you do this, so it might slow someone down a little, but not at all if they know what they're doing.

You can for example do "Ctrl+A" then "Ctrl+C" and you immediately have copied the whole page. Then you just have paste it into Word or anything else to quickly edit it whatever you want.

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