There have been many cases of post theft brought to my attention as of late. It is a sad thing when someone steals other’s intellectual property. It means that someone didn’t secure their data, and someone saw fit to steal it.
There are several ways to display data on the web; some are more secure than others. I am going to discuss Plain Text, and my preferred method, PDF.
No matter what threats, copyrights, or other means by which you attempt to secure your intellectual property when displaying it in plain text or HTML, someone is going to ignore or defeat your methods.
A friend of mine managed to secure her writings in HTML from IE users, only to have the same code NOT work in Firefox.
I’m sure that someone who is far more savvy than me can tell you about the code that is available to secure your data in HTML.
The only way (that I know of) to truly secure your data in HTML is to make it a private site, requiring a username and password. However, that really defeats the purpose when you’re trying to advertise your work freely.
I’m a big fan of PDF documents. You can secure them against printing, copy and paste, and digitally sign the document to claim it as your own. PDF is also has a small footprint, and doesn’t eat up a lot of space on your website.
You could put up a small snippet of your document, or a overview of your story in HTML, and then have the end users use the free acrobat reader to read your full story.
This may be a bit anal, but if the data is important to you, it’s just a matter of deciding how far you want to go to secure it.