How to Protect Your Courses from Content Theft

Protect your content in courses

Content theft is a fear nearly every site owner, blogger and instructor has had at one point or another. The idea of someone stealing your content, presenting it as their own and even profiting from it can be terrifying.

Thieves can steal course content in a variety of different ways. This includes stealing the entire course or, more commonly, stealing individual text and videos from it. What they do with stolen content varies as well. Some steal to gain access to the course without paying for it. Others may redistribute it elsewhere or even use bits and pieces of it in their own courses. This even allows them to profit from it.

Let’s go over a few different techniques you can use to prevent this from happening.

Turn Your Site into a Membership Portal

This puts your content, specifically your courses, behind a paywall, which should be enough to deter the majority of thieves. Learning management systems, such as WPLMS, allow you to restrict content by requiring users to pay for your courses and log in before they can access the content inside. This allows you to prevent thieves from stealing your content without having to rely on third-party platforms to host your courses.

A membership portal also allows you to offer things thieves can’t get if they steal your courses. This includes support from you or your staff, a members-only forum students can use to discuss curriculum or get help from one another, as well as members-only documentation.

Protecting Text-Based Content

We’re assuming you’re using WordPress to power your courses with this one. A simple way for anyone to steal the text-based content in your courses is for them to copy the text and either right-click and select Copy or enter Ctrl+C on their keyboards. What you need is a plugin that can block the user from performing these actions.

Two great plugins to check out are CopyRightPro and WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click. These plugins disable the ability to highlight or copy text. They even go as far as protecting images, iframes and more. It should be noted, however, that these plugins do not stop people from viewing the page’s source code and copying text-based content from there.

If you’re using our theme WPLMS  for your WordPress LMS then you can enable the disable right click feature in the course status from WPLMS Theme options panel – Miscellaneous section.

Protecting Video Content

The best way to protect video content is to host the videos yourself. You can do this without using too much storage on your server by using Amazon S3. Use WP Offload S3 to serve video content from Amazon’s servers.

If you don’t want to host the videos yourself, use video platforms in a way that limits access to your video content. This includes YouTube’s unlisted feature, Vimeo’s Plus plan and Wistia. You can also simply reserve video content for premium courses.

For WPLMS sites, you can try the WPLMS S3 plugin for hosting your videos on Amazon S3 or the VideoVibe plugin for hosting your videos on video platforms like Vimeo.

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way of preventing people from finding ways to download your videos.

December 12, 2017

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