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How can I protect from copy/paste or duplication?

May 20, 2011 7:30 AM


We have a few online eLearning courses that we would like to convert to a PDF.  This is a popular request from our students.

One of the reasons we have not done this is that we don't want to  compromise our copyright by having a competitor copy our hard work.

Is there a way to protect a PDF document from being copied?  I know that  if there is a will, there is a way and that we won't stop somebody who  is hell bent on copying it.

We do have Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 if that helps.  Any ideas on what we could do and how to best protect the document?



  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2011 9:14 PM   in reply to WGTdave

    A Digitial Rights Management (DRM) would provide serious "lock down" but is costly.

    Acrobat can apply document security attributes.

    Often this is adequate; but, it is not as strong a "lock down".


    Be well...

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    May 25, 2011 12:52 PM   in reply to WGTdave

    If the document is destinated to 'generic' people (without particular IT skills), a simple Protection with the Adobe Acrobat would be a good idea. Only expert people know tools that remove this protection (and they don't work always). I suggest limiting both print abilities and copy/paste: if you limit only the copy/paste ability, someone can remove the protection by re-printing the PDF document with a PDF printer.

    Alessio Ganci

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 9, 2011 4:06 PM   in reply to WGTdave

    I encountered the same concern for PDF publication online.


    Those determined to foil the basic encoding protections quickly find a way around them.


    If your information product has sufficient value, the most secure solution is to investigate the numerous online solutions for digital security that involve the provider hosting your file and securing the site access with a password linked to that specific file. I'm on the verge of purchasing BookGuardPro, including a monthly subscription to protect my PDF files online. There are a number of similar applications. If you find something you like better let me know.


    Their server assigns a password to each file which can be subsequently revoked if desired, plus there are options for allowing or denying printing and copying. This particular application includes options for Macintosh users and was more reasonably priced that some of the others I investigated.


    Once your content is compromised and distributed without your consent, I see no way to recover it, hence the concern and willingness to implement addtional security precautions. Some of the companies offer government grade security at far higher cost.


    Needed to install Windows 7 in Bootcamp on the Mac to access this Windows only application, but again, you're protecting your intellectual property, so essentially amounts to insurance.

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    Jun 14, 2011 9:06 AM   in reply to WGTdave

    Hi Dave,


    I was looking at BookGuard Pro.


    Printing is an option you can enable.


    But the file is password protected on their remote server.


    Daniel M. Dreifus

    skype: danielmdreifus

    805 584 0605

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 21, 2011 2:31 PM   in reply to WGTdave

    I used to use the software 'Nova PDF Professional'. after you download and install, which measures the use of the software are as follows:


    1. Open the document you want converted to PDF forms as well as protect it. open the print dialog box usually by pressing CTRL + P, the printer selection select novaPDF Pro.
    2. Click on the Properties button (or Preferences) to open a dialog box 'novaPDF Pro Properties'
    3. following dialog box appear click 'security' tab and then you can select the type of encryption Low Level or High Level Encryption method, then you fill the password if you want or give a sign the checklist on the points modify document content.


    I hope can helps




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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2011 12:07 AM   in reply to WGTdave

    Right said; "We won't stop somebody who is hell bent on copying your PDF."


    I have created a secure and password protected PDF document but one of my friend remove the security barriers and converted my PDF to Doc using classic PDF editor. He is IT student so he mite find thesoftware that break the barriers, very few of people know these tactics.


    Can any one share any other method to secure PDF documents?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2011 5:41 AM   in reply to johnsmith753

    I'm using BookGuard Pro.


    There is a monthly subscription fee - however - the PDF document is converted to a

    document viewable online in the advanced version accessible to Mac and PC users.


    The user's IP address is recorded and they are issued a password.


    If a user accesses the file and distributes their password to others, that access can

    be terminated.


    If you charge for your PDF content, you can confirm payment or terminate unauthorized



    The built in password protection in PDF is easily circumvented.


    Seems if you really want to protect your content, you need to go further.


    Daniel Dreifus

    The product on this site is a protected PDF file.

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    Jul 28, 2011 6:43 AM   in reply to ddreifus

    In case i am useing dynamic IP or my IP adress change, this mean that i am unable to access my own PDF docuemnt.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2011 7:00 AM   in reply to johnsmith753

    Not so.


    Your access is always available.


    It works like this:


    If you see someone accessing the file with very different IP addresses

    you can suspect unauthorized distribution.


    A dynamic IP address will have similar digits with only the last few changed,

    so you can allow that type of access for others.


    There is a web site answering these kinds of questions.


    I have no connection with this product other than it is the one I chose after some

    research to protect my Cold Call Champion ebook online.



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