PDF Security and Copy Protection.

PDF Security : Copy Protecting PDF Documents

PDF is a commonly-used document format because most computers will have Adobe Reader installed. PDF readers are generally free software so publishing a document in PDF is a common practice for all sorts of tasks like invoicing, proposals and user-guides.

The options included in most PDF creation include password protection, expiry protection and print protection. Unfortunately these measures can be circumvented when publishing generic PDF that can be read in any PDF reader. One only has to do a search on the Internet for "protect PDF" to see numerous PDF protection products, most of which can easily be decompiled using free software to extract passwords and content including images, text and other media.

PDF Password Protection

Any protection is only as secure as the reader used and there is free software available for extracting PDF passwords that works with most "protect pdf" solutions. To properly protect PDF documents one needs to encrypt and secure the documents for display in a "secure reader", one that has been specially designed for the task and especially designed to resist exploitation.

PDF Expiry Protection

Setting a date on a PDF document for the document to expire is a common practice but it is easy to exploit because one only has to set the computer's date back in time to rejuvenate an expired document. To properly protect PDF expiration, an independent time check is required by consulting a timer server that is online.

PDF Print Protection

Print protection can only be secured and controlled by using a custom reader. Limiting the number of prints cannot be maintained without logging usage and the most secure method for logging is by utilizing an online database which is one of the principles of DRM. Any reader trying to police its own security as a standalone application will be keeping its records on the user's computer where it can be hacked.

Prevent PDF Forwarding

There is nothing that can prevent anyone from sending a copy of a file to others, but it is possible to restrict the use of that document by all recipients. To properly prevent forwarding DRM can be applied to the document to control access to the document's contents, ie: without permission from the author the document cannot be opened.

PDF Copy Protection

Preventing a PDF document's contents from being copied is a most difficult task. The PDF file can be duplicated in its original form but the prevention of the copy of its contents is something else because while a document is open its contents can be copied by many techniques including copy-and-paste, using Print Screen or screen capture software.

PDF Security Summation

CopySafe PDF does what no other "PDF protection" can do by protecting PDF from all save and copy including screen capture! CopySafe PDF caters to all of the above mentioned deficiencies, plus more:
  • Custom PDF reader that is unhackable.
  • PDF documents cannot be extracted for their contents.
  • Option to set secure password that cannot be exploited.
  • Option to prevent printing of the document by print count.
  • Option to set an expiry dates by calendar or first use date.
  • Prevent copy by taking a screenshot using Print Screen.
  • Prevent copy by screen capture software for taking a screenshot.

PDF Distribution Modes

CopySafe PDF enables one to distribute protected PDF via email, download and on CD that can viewed using the CopySafe PDF Reader which is a free desktop application. When DRM is applied total control applies to all documents even those out in the wild or saved to a user's computer. CopySafe PDF also caters for web page display and is the only solution that can display PDF on a web page while being protected from all methods of copy.

Managing DRM Subscriptions

CopySafe PDF licensing includes the use of DRM for free to manage all users, groups and document permissions. With each license, author status is granted in a DRM server to add and manage all aspects with immediate effect. Free trial accounts for DRM can be created online that enable up to 14 days to evaluate the many features of what is the most secure document protection solution on the planet.

Evaluating CopySafe PDF Software

The CopySafe PDF Protector software can be downloaded here.

Website Applications

Various free modules are available for using CopySafe PDF in WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Moodle website CMS applications. The DRM Portal can also be purchased and installed on your own server.

Return to top

Click for more Copy Protection resources.

 Copy Protection & DRM News
Copyright © 1998-2016 ArtistScope. All Rights Reserved.