> Maybe the author doesn't want uncontrolled hardcopy drifting around.
> Some documents might be pretty confidential.
PDF with Printing:NotAllowed is *not* the way to control confidential
documents. Even if PDF-P:NA actually could prevent printing, making
even a viewable-only document available in any electronic form is an
invitation to disaster, as electronic documents can be "copied"
and redistributed with far greater ease than paper ones. Matt Drudge
would love it if the White House would use PDF for all their internal
memos, and rely on P:NA for security :-)
PDF OpenPassword has some uses in this regard. I've used it to
create sensitive documents that are made available via ftp behind
a corporate firewall. Anyone in the client enterprise can see the
files, but only people who have been provided the password can open
them. The firewall keeps the rest of the world out, and the internal
users are presumed to not be determined crackers. Over time, of
course, the passwords need to mutate or they become generally known,
as careless authorized readers share it with unauthorized readers.
These were all documents which only needed to stay confidential
for 6-9 months anyway.
I would not use OpenPassword on the web at large. PDF security is
reportedly not that robust. I might use it on an emailed document.
If I were making available a pay-per-copy document, I would not
rely on any PDF security feature to protect my copyright. I might
still use PDF as the data format, but I'd look into other protection
methods, such as rapid customizing of each copy to the purchaser
(watermarks, checksums, buyer ID on each page footer, etc.), so
that any electronic or paper copying beyond the license agreement
would at least threaten traceability. Even this is not foolproof.
As it happens, I'm writing a book that I'd like to make available
on the web, but it may well have to be confined to print editions,
because there isn't any way today to provide an e-book with the
same level of copy-deterence that a paper book has.
PDF-Printing:NotAllowed isn't the answer. It generates illusory
security and heaps of ill-will.
Regards, 1001-A East Harmony Road
Bob Niland Suite 503
Unless otherwise specifically stated, Colorado 80525 USA
expressing personal opinions and NOT
speaking for any employer, client or
Internet Service Provider.