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"Copying" things to the X clipboard doesn't normally create a copy. Rather the data to be 'copied' is referenced. This means that if the application that you 'copied' stuff from is closed, that data is lost. If the application that you 'copied' from is suspended with CTRL-Z, there could be some issues if you try to paste it into something.
This command will create a copy of referenced data and have xclip be the provider of it, so you can then go ahead and close the app that contains the original information.
Caveat: I'm not sure if this is binary-safe (though i would expect it to be), and don't know what would happen if you used it to clip a 20 meg gimp image.
This technique becomes more convenient if you set it up as an action in a clipboard manager (eg klipper, parcellite). Some of these applets can take automatic action based on a variety of parameters, so you could probably just get it to always own the clipped data whenever data is clipped.
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