Treating fans and customers as if they might be criminals is a really bad idea. But, so many companies seem to do it these days. Mr Klein
alerts us to a ridiculous programming decision on the webpage for the famously funky Vibram Five Finger shoes
(which are sort of like gloves for your feet):
I was looking into buying a Vibram Five Fingers running shoes. Wanted to open one of the links in their page in a new tab in my browser. Right-clicked and... bam! I get this ridiculous pop-up warning saying
"Sorry, that function is disabled. Contents & Graphics Copyright Vibram ® Our work is not Public Domain, and should not be taken from this site."
I admit I'm not the most patient person when it comes to someone acting stupid, so this just pissed me off big time. I mean - I don't care about those shoes anymore. They're treating me like some kind of a cyber-pirate that is going to steal... Wait... Steal what? What exactly is on that web page that might harm them if copied? What if I was going to write an article about how great their shoes are? Would I really want to continue doing that after this warning? I can imagine they're afraid of counterfeit products being advertised using photos taken from their site, but - come on - if I was going to steal a picture, a simple screenshot would do the trick. So their effort is pathetic and annoying the hell out of customers like me.
Klein's analysis is dead on. I just went and checked myself. First, this a really stupid programming decision -- blocking all right-clicks on a website for all sorts of legitimate purposes (such as opening in a new tab, as I frequently do) seems like tremendous overkill. But, more importantly, as Klein points out, all this does is serve to piss people off while doing absolutely nothing to stop the action they think they're trying to stop. Finally, making a statement about the public domain, just because someone right-clicked is also extreme. None of it makes sense, and all it really serves to do is piss off legitimate users.