Website publishers can prevent copyright material being stolen from their sites using software that lets them decide what parts users can reproduce.
The Vyoufirst software, from internet startup Vyou.com, lets companies decide what content can be cut, copied, saved or printed. It controls several types of files, including text, video, audio and images.
According to Vyou.com, five per cent of internet users forward website content on to 13 people, which can equate to a 50 per cent shortfall in potential internet traffic. By making content 'view only', visitors will have to email a hyperlink, ensuring more site traffic.
Companies can establish 'content access policies' for objects, a page or their entire site. The source code can also be protected so visitors can not simply copy or re-use how the site looks.
Similar product plans were announced by UK startup Breakertech last November.
Patrick Regester, vice president international at Vyou.com, said: "The software will not only prevent unauthorised copying of content, it will also enable companies to display more information and content on their sites, knowing it is secure."
Peter Levy, chief executive of Vyou.com, said the idea for the product came after he discovered a competitor had stolen a copyrighted database from a website at his previous company.
Vyoufirst is being tested on 25 unnamed beta sites. It will be shipped from 5 April in the US, and within 60 days of that in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia. Levy said the pricing, which will depend on the size of the client's protection needs, will be kept low.
Other companies which allow publishers to protect content include US firm Alchemedia, which allows users to safeguard online images from unauthorised use, and Intertrust Technologies, which provides security for digital content such as music files.
Regester said the company will make extensive use of partnerships in the UK and plans to set up a single tier of VARs which will work alongside distributors. The company is in discussions with a number of systems integrators.
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