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Securing a PDF?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Phunky, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Phunky

    Phunky Regular Member

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    I have been doing some researching and am curious of what you guys use to stop your eBooks from being shared? I don't want my stuff to end up on rapidshare days after release. Is there anyway to lock .pdf's to a single computer? Thanks for any help provided ;)
     
  2. gimme4free

    gimme4free Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Password protecting a PDF is useless because there are PW removers.

    There are a few scripts about that can secure your PDF but they are extremely complex. I was going to make a site similar to E-Junkie that done this on the fly but it's a rather large project that I am leaving to one side at the moment but basically here is what the script does:

    Bear in mind, this is all on the fly:

    1) User makes payment, once payment has been made database adds +1 to the file availability so that the file can be downloaded by the user.

    2) When the user clicks download a script will write a watermark to the PDF on every page where every page will have the IP address used to pay for the item, the users name, address, paypal etc, everything will be watermarked to the PDF to prevent them from wanting to share the product.

    In the end there is no real way to protect content because it can be re-written, converted to word and watermarks removed. Passwords can be removed etc.

    You are better off including things in the PDF that you will benefit from, E.g. Referral links to affiliate networks and such. I have done this with a PDF that I wrote in the past, it was shared and after around 6 months I was earning $500-$1K/month in referral commissions across a few networks.

    Edit: That wasn't such a bad post for my 2000th post :D
     
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  3. Phunky

    Phunky Regular Member

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    Man I forgot all about E-Junkie so thanks for the reminder even though it was not intended. I was looking at things like:

    Would you consider this a waste of time/money? I mean I will put in affiliate links either way because...at least a few people will end up using them no matter what.
     
  4. gimme4free

    gimme4free Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    To be honest a PW remover will probably allow you to convert that PDF into word with a PDF to Word printer and then the protection has gone.
     
  5. Phunky

    Phunky Regular Member

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    Thanks for the replies...I won't waste my time then. Hell, like you said if my shit is good enough to get passed around then I suppose I can reap the benefits of having affiliate links in it lol. :)
     
  6. BozoClown

    BozoClown Junior Member

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    Most pdf protections can be easily bypassed.

    About 5/6 years a go a buddy got a job from the college's learning center to re-type a protected pdf document so that a learning impaired student could use it. The document had print & copy protection. He had to do this at some pace to keep up with the summer school schedule, but the document was huge.

    After 1 week, he couldn't take it any more and he brought the problem to me. I had just switched to using linux full time and I had discovered its pdf and tex processing tools. I put the document through a series of tools and bam everything was unlocked. He immediately copied and pasted everything into a word document, earned about $1500 for the job, ofcourse delivering the work in parts as per the schedule.

    Then, two weeks ago somebody posted an ebook with either unclickable links or copy protected content or both. A member bitched about it over IM, I got it opened it, used print as pdf on my linux machine and voila the document started behaving.

    That brings me to the point. protecting your pdf documents will be only as effective as the readers inability to use the tools around them to remove the protection. However I agree with what gimme4free has done, make the documents fully functional but make the users think twice about sharing them.