PDF Security and DRM
I need to publish a document online as a PDF. I need to put security on it that permits either viewing, or printing depending on the type of purchase the buyer makes. This permission needs to expire after a specific period of time (ie: buy access to the document for 6 months or 1 year).
I have found several programmes, such as FileOpen, Locked Lizard and some others that purport to do this, however at the prices that they are asking, I will need to sell 10 000 of these documents per month!!
Is there another option to secure / safeguard a PDF document as indicated?
Thanks in advance
there is always the option to NOT do it at all
WHY do you think you really need it?
it annoys users a lot
and it can be disabled by anyone who seriously wants the document without DRM on it
what will you do if you cant find a program to cripple the document at a price you like?
decide you really dont need to publish it after all?
or publish it without the hassles to you and the user.
you might do better to publish online and only allow access for the limited time period.
make it completely unprintable. force them to read online.
but they could still copy it if they wanted it that badly though.
Originally Posted by Photorer
I can't see how you can time limit access - the user can just change the time on their computer.
Intellectual property- and a commercial sale of a product for a client who owns it.
Instead of buying a printed version of the book, the client wants to sell it electronically, with the option of a licenced PDF for each person who buys it. Some will want to print, some will want only to view the document. A licence for a period of time (say 6 months or 1 year) will mean that there are repeat sales.
Any other ideas?
What sort of volume does your client expect?
Are these purchases by known clients?
If you/he are determined to go forward consider doing it all through the website. Have the customer create an account. After the purchase email the user a link so he can use the account to access the appropriate PDF. Set the capabilities in the web app. You can certainly automatically expire a user account after a certain time period.
Check some of the links at PDF DRM Solutions.
Secure PDF's that can't be printed are a real pain. They can also be hacked. In most cases, a simple workaround is to use a screen capture program to get an graphic image of each page or just the pages of interest and print that.
Thanks cloudsandskye.... I have had a look at these, and some of them may be of use.
Originally Posted by cloudsandskye
- Brad Gosse's solution appears to offer what is needed, but without a website, or specific verified support side, I would be hesitant to use it.
- DL Guard won't work - I think its more for membership sites, and a shopping cart than to ensure a secure PDF document.
- Nanacast - offers mostly ways of selling digital content (I may be wrong, but their website is not really very informative as to what they actually do)
Thanks for the pointers!
From all my investigations, my conclusions are:
1. Security using a Password to control the functions of a PDF file is like a lock and key - it will keep honest people out! Securing a file with a watermark or stamp which is customised to the user is fine, but some PDF editors will be able to remove this, too.
2. Licencing or DRM is needed if you are going to keep the Intellectual Property contained in the PDF. That way you can control which machine can open, print, copy etc info from the PDF. You can also set an expiry date, so you can get return income.
Securing a file with a password is simple - simply include the security options when creating the PDF with whichever software you use.
Licencing / DRM has two options:
Use a system that works using Adobe Reader - with a plugin
Use a system with its own (free) reader programme that needs to be installed.
Options for this are FileOpen and LockLizard are brilliant, but cost a rather large fortune, especially if you want to incorporate that functionality into an existing application. LockLizard will simply permit the protection of PDF (or other files) whilst FileOpen can also be incorporated into files that are created on the fly such as in a web-based application.
My simple analysis so far.... the other solutions all purport to do similar things, but don't appear as robust, and have less support.