Copy Protect PDF With DRM To Prevent Sharing

DRM to protect PDFThere are many different methods that can be employed to copy protect PDF, and their effectiveness varies among them. Some methods can be used to prevent copy and plagiarism of the document contents once the PDF file is open and on display, while other methods can be used to prevent opening the file and even prevent sharing and unauthorized distribution.

The methods used to copy protect PDF from PrintScreen might prevent novices from copying but today's screen capture software cannot be prevented by simply limiting keyboard shortcuts. Most solutions for preventing screen capture can be easily foiled because they rely on detecting known program names. However some solutions like CopySafe PDF can provide the most secure copy protection from all save and copy techniques.

DRM is about Digital Rights Management and the term defines methods for controlling access rights to use and view media. The simplest form of DRM is password protection where the media (in this case PDF) is compressed like a ZIP file that requires a key (or password) to unpack it. Although it can limit access to the contents of the DRM file, it doesn't prevent anyone from distributing the password with the file. Most ebook vendors use this method and their naive authors are suitably impressed.

However to prevent sharing between users, a solution based on a unique identifier, one that is peculiar to each user, is needed to ensure that the PDF can only be opened by the user who has your explicit approval. A couple of identifiers can be used such as MAC address and hard drive serial number. Unfortunately MAC address varies with the network device currently used to access the Internet, i.e: LAN and Wi-Fi cards will use different MAC addresses, so the use of MAC address is not a stable constant and its use will escalate the number of calls for support. MAC address is more commonly used in the bid to support all devices but most of them, including Apple, Linux and the other OS commonly used in amusement devices like mobile phones, are incapable of defining that identifier. Perhaps the biggest drawback with using MAC address is that it cannot be used without an Internet connection because without an Internet connection there will be no MAC address. So offline DRM will be dependent on a token file saved to the users computer and that token file could be exploited easily... as soon as the hacker groups find out its decryption key.

Using a computer's hard drive serial number, or rather an algorithm based on the serial number, the manufacturers name and other factors, can provide a truly stable constant and one that can never be duplicated. ArtistScope revolutionized DRM when they introduced this form of user identification to provide the most secure and most reliable DRM for all media.

Using unique identifiers for DRM is the only method of preventing sharing that can be recommended. With it, it doesn't matter how many copies of a file are distributed to other users or that it has become a download on a public server, because only those users with the explicit approval of the vendor can ever open the file to view or access its information and media.

For the most secure DRM solutions for PDF and video, CopySafe PDF will copy protect PDF while CopySafe Video will copy protect video. The licensing for both solutions include free software upgrades, free support and free DRM portal to manage your subscribers from a web page.

Author: William Kent
Date: 24th July 2019

Return to DRM and Copy Protection


Nom de Plume 2019-07-25
I find that the ArtistScope solutions are not supported on mobile devices which makes them a no-go for me because I don't want a limited audience. Whereas [removed] provides DRM protection that is supported on all OS including mobile phones.

Kendo 2019-07-25
@Nom de plume, I think that you may have missed the point. Anything that can be decrypted on all devices, especially mobile phones where apps are comprised of simple JavaScript and HTML only, is easily exploited. Whereas ArtistScope solutions cannot be foiled. Best to do some more research, unless you are not that worried about sharing and only want to slow them down.

 To post a comment, please complete all fields and submit: 
Your Name:
Your Company:
Your Email:
Your Comment:
Security code: