Frequently Asked Questions About Using Website Protection Software To Copy Protect PDF

This article looks at some frequently asked questions about using website protection software to copy protect PDF, and in particular, using the CopySafe DRM software on your website to manage documents uploaded as PDF and how to copy protect PDF.

Web Server Requirements?

The software that performs the conversion of PDF to encrypted PDF format that is uploaded to the DRM portal is a Windows application and it requires a Windows server to run. Also, a dedicated or least a "virtual" server is required for the permission rights required to install and run software on the server at system level. Web sites on shared hosting servers will not be suitable. However any almost Windows OS can be used as long as it can run Internet Information Service (IIS). For example Windows Pro versions are capable of running IIS and it can be either 32-bit or 64-bit.

Website Requirements?

As well as the Windows OS and IIS, you will need to enable the ISAPI Module for "Classic ASP" which is the scripting language used in the backend of the DRM software. Classic ASP is similar to PHP and far from being obsolete as the new script kiddies claim. PHP has no more to offer than Classic ASP and is actually less logical so more difficult to understand for anyone wanting to customize this backend.

Software Database Requirements?

The CopySafe PDF DRM software requires Microsoft SQL Server and SQLExpress will do the job perfectly, no matter how many documents or subscribers you will have. MySQL is not an option and not a native application for a Windows Server. Also, Microsoft SQL is far superior to MySQL in every way, especially in performance and resource usage. The ODBC connection for the server needs to be 32-bit to be compatible with the CopySafe PDF Converter software and its DLL interfaces which require 32-bit support.

Website Protection Software Installation?

The website protection package is contained in a single folder that can run any website without interfering with other applications, providing that website is enabled for "virtual paths" and enabled for 32-bit applications. Regardless of whether the server machine is 64-bit or not, the website needs to support 32-bit applications.

The ArtistScope support team will install the PDF protection software and the website protection software to ensure that the DLL interfaces properly match the operating system of the server, and that your PDF documents can be uploaded from the web site forms, processed by the PDF conversion software and recorded in your document records for onsite management, while still maintaining security from the outside world.

Limitations such as document size?

No. While Windows servers do have a default limitation of upload size, IIS can be configured to allow the upload of any sized document. The PDF protection software can convert any sized document. However some consideration is needed for your end users, the subscribers downloading your copy protected PDF, because 300 MB downloads can take a very long time if they have a slow internet connection, and some computers, especially older machines, may not have the memory resources available to decrypt them... that is, unused memory available for new processes after everything else has consumed what was available.

Otherwise, there is no limitation to the number of documents that can be uploaded and managed, no limit to the number of groups that can be created, and no limit to the number of subscribers (users) that can be managed and assigned access rights.

What is meant by "Total Control DRM"?

Your DRM Portal manages access rights for your subscribers to open and view your copy protected PDF. Those protected documents can only be decrypted and opened for reading by the CopySafe PDF Reader which sends the user's unique Computer ID to your DRM Portal for validation. Your server will then send a response back to either disapprove or approve access and include some special requirements.

The approval to open the PDF document and the copy protection settings are provided every time that your subscriber opens that document and that approval and those conditions can be changed at any time from your website protection software, thus giving you "total control" over all aspects of document usage and with immediate effect on any changes made. For example, at any time, you can change the print options, limit of number of prints or views of the document, or set an expiry date governed by hours or days from each user's first opening of the document, and those changes will be enforced even on documents already downloaded to the user's computer, or still out in the wild on CD.

How does the DRM to copy protect PDF compare with other software?

It is doubtful that anyone can find a comparable solution because while other DRM services have been struggling to understand the concept of live validation, they cannot provide the website protection software components that you need on the server to convert uploaded documents and copy protect PDF on the fly. Also, the unique Computer ID that CopySafe PDF protection uses cannot be exploited, so there is no way that users can share your proprietary and intellectual property without your express approval.

Author: William Kent
Date: 14th January 2020

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