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Greasemonkey Hacks by Mark Pilgrim

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Hack #83. Restore Functionality in Google Print

Google Print goes to extraordinary lengths to keep you from downloading images, but you don't need to go to the same extraordinary lengths to get them anyway.

It's long been stated that if you put your images up on the Web, there's no real way of stopping people from downloading them and using them for their own purposes. That's still basically true, although one of the interesting things about the new Google Print service is the unusual lengths it goes to prevent the average web user from doing exactly that.

Tip

This hack is based on an article by Gervase Markham, who has graciously allowed me to include it here. The code is mine, but I couldn't have written it without his excellent and original research. You can read his article at http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/006657.html, including comments from many other people who were collaboratively hacking Google Print on the day it was announced.

Google Print allows you to search printed books (although Google obviously has the data in electronic form). To see it in action, search Google for Romeo and Juliet and click the link under Book Results titled "Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare." You'll see an image of the first page of the book, but the page is specially crafted to prevent you from printing the image or saving it to your local computer.

The first thing that prevents you from saving the image of the printed page is that the right-click context menu is disabled. ...

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