Can PDFNet used to implement custom DRM solution (i.e. to prevent PDF copy, save, email)?

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Aug 3, 2007, 12:37:41 PM8/3/07
to PDFTron PDFNet SDK
Q:

I am trying to produce PDF documents to make available on a website
and prevent copy, save, email, of them. Can PDFNet API be used to
implement this functionality?

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A:
You can use PDFNet SDK (www.pdftron.com/net) to work with standard PDF
security or to implement custom security or a custom DRM PDF viewer.

There is no 'standard' security mechanism in PDF that will prevent
users from saving or copying PDF documents. 'Standard PDF' security
offers basic permissions that can be easily overridden. Securing
documents with Standard PDF security is quite simple. For example:

Dim doc As PDFDoc = New PDFDoc(input_path)
doc.InitSecurityHandler()

' Apply a new security handler with given security settings.
Dim new_handler As StdSecurityHandler = New StdSecurityHandler

' Set a new password required to open a document Dim my_password As
String = "test"
new_handler.ChangeUserPassword(New
System.Text.UTF8Encoding().GetBytes(my_password))

' Set Permissions
new_handler.SetPermission(SecurityHandler.Permission.e_print, True)
new_handler.SetPermission(SecurityHandler.Permission.e_extract_content,
False)

' Save the changes.
doc.SetSecurityHandler(new_handler)
doc.Save("secured.pdf", 0)
doc.Close()

Also, you may want to take a look at EncTest sample project
(www.pdftron.com/net/samplecode.html#EncTest).

An alternative is to implement a custom PDF viewer that would be able
to read you PDF documents (but these PDFs would not be readable in
Acrobat or any other third party viewers). You could use PDF viewer
from PDFNet SDK (see http://www.pdftron.com/net/samplecode.html#PDFView)
to implement custom security permissions behaviors (such as time
expiration, the number of times a document can be printed, whether a
document can be emailed/saved etc). You can also use the same SDK to
customize the viewing experience for your reading audience (e.g.
eBooks, CAD/CAM, interactive content, etc). The custom viewer can be
distributed as an integral part of eBook download, through 'one-click'
deployment, or as a traditional desktop application. Using PDFNet you
can also create custom security handlers to create and process PDF
documents with non-standard encryption.

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