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Using LiveCycle to Protect Ebooks from Piracy

Sep 20, 2006 7:02 PM

I've been searching for a program that would allow us to compile ebooks as pdfs (the most acceptable format) and which could be:

** Integrated with ecommerce
** Lock the pdf to the purchaser's computer so only that person could fully read and print it, and could print only once
** Allow anyone to freely download and view the first several pages before being prompted to purchase
** Allow anyone to email the purchased pdf, which would then revert to the "unpurchased" format so that the recipient would also be prompted to purchase after viewing the first several pages, and so on (gaining ongoing exposure to potential purchasers)

Desktop Author has these features but is *extremely* cumbersome to use, produces an exe file which is not attractive to buyers, and also gets frequently rejected by firewalls.

Can anyone tell me if LiveCycle enables these functions?

Many thanks
Christine Sutherland
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    Sep 22, 2006 7:36 AM   in reply to (Christine_Sutherland)
    I don't believe there are LiveCycle solutions to this problem, but there may be other products at Adobe that could help.

    Please email me at and I'll see what I can do. Also, please let me know the size of the opportunity available here (ie. how many books, how large is your company etc...).


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    May 8, 2007 10:33 AM   in reply to (Christine_Sutherland)
    How about posting the result of your "offline discussion" so that we all can see if she was able to solve her problems, and how?

    I have basically the same issue... Financial surveys sold to customers where we would like to control their use of PDFs on the other end, after they've purchased and downloaded from our site. How to do this?

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    May 8, 2007 11:28 PM   in reply to (Christine_Sutherland)
    Hi Christine,

    I am tempted for some comments:
    1. You (we) are living in a free economy.
    2. Software development DO cost money. Sometimes too much.
    3. Software that makes you money, should cost you money. There is no free lunch in software (as anywhere else)
    >Since when do companies start charging customers to develop products that the market desperately requires?

    Now it's obvious that you need this thing. To say "the market" meaning yourself, well that's THE overstatement.
    5. Your conclusion is certainly outrageous.

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    Aug 21, 2007 10:14 AM   in reply to (Christine_Sutherland)
    I'm obviously very late in this discussion, but I have a couple of comments...

    Many of the requirements requested could be satisfied with Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server. It has the ability to integrate with eCommerce, lock the PDF to a particular user so that it can't be freely distributed, and can allow the user to only print once (with a little bit of customization). What would be more difficult would be to allow the same document to change from a "purchased" format to an "unpurchased" format. I think the requirement could be better satisfied by just having them as two separate documents.

    The comments about not responding to customer needs and not putting up R&D funding for this product are off base, in my opinion. I think we're simply talking about supply and demand here. There obviously aren't enough customers asking for this specific functionality, or else Adobe would likely already be investing in it. In my opinion, Adobe's willingness to build the product for a price is rather generous. I would imagine most software companies would not be willing to do this sort of thing. And to be honest, $25K is a relatively small investment to get your own Adobe-developed software product...I would think the price would be much higher.

    Justin Klei
    Cardinal Solutions
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