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Old Mar 4, 2013, 02:25 PM   #1
macaddict23
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Looking for an online service to serve PDFs (no print or download)

I'm looking for a way to upload PDF articles and not have viewers download or print them. Based on my research, it's not possible because once a browser shows a PDF it's already been downloaded and a viewer can use the Print and Save command from the browser application.

Another option is to turn my PDFs into JPGs or Flash, but that requires a lot of time because my PDF library is pretty extensive.

Is there an online company that provide the service I'm looking for?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 04:32 PM   #2
estorstenson
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Even in image format, someone can capture it, as long as they know a little about how the browser works (and with chrome, it's very easy to get to any element in a page no matter what sort of javascript tricks you try to use). If all you want to do is prevent them from being able to use normal text functions like search and copy/paste, you might try printing or converting to postscript (in the print menu you can choose "print as pdf" and postscript is an option).

I'm not sure why you would want to do this, though. If you don't want people to be able to copy the files, Adobe probably has ways of preventing that. I bought a PDF that required Adobe's special reader due to DRM. It interfered with my ability to use it as I expected (search functionality was broken). I complained, and will only purchase future eBooks from them because they apologized and sent me a normal pdf that worked on my desktop and an epub that I was able to load on my nook.
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 08:32 PM   #3
macaddict23
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Originally Posted by estorstenson View Post
I'm not sure why you would want to do this, though.
Because these PDFs are part of paid-subscription.
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 08:45 PM   #4
sjinsjca
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Check out Adobe Digital Editions. It's used by libraries to distribute ebooks which expire.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 10:05 AM   #5
960design
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macaddict23 View Post
I'm looking for a way to upload PDF articles and not have viewers download or print them. Based on my research, it's not possible because once a browser shows a PDF it's already been downloaded and a viewer can use the Print and Save command from the browser application.

Another option is to turn my PDFs into JPGs or Flash, but that requires a lot of time because my PDF library is pretty extensive.

Is there an online company that provide the service I'm looking for?

Thanks!
I can take your money, $70/hour or you can do it yourself. Save all of your PDF's using AdobeAcrobatPro with a password. Disable print. Disable download. Easy peasy. Or am I missing something?

User's can always screen print. You could try your hand at media queries to generate a blank page when screen printing is attempted, but that still will not prevent a truly determined person with a smart phone and a camera.

You may need to rethink your entire 'sharing' process. Could you share an excerpt for free? A couple of examples of the pdf information you have that will prove it's worth to a paid subscriber? Trickle release for non paid members? Make the text very big so that printing would become obnoxious, but easy to read on the screen ( just thought that one up after chugging a coffee, so probably best to just ignore that last one ). So many questions so little coffee.

I do it all the time to our 'office' documents.
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Last edited by 960design; Mar 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 01:55 PM   #6
macaddict23
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Originally Posted by 960design View Post
I can take your money, $70/hour or you can do it yourself. Save all of your PDF's using AdobeAcrobatPro with a password. Disable print. Disable download. Easy peasy.
How do I go about disabling the download feature? I'm looking under Document Properties in Acrobat Pro 10.0.1 and I'm not seeing it.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 03:00 PM   #7
macaddict23
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I'm basically looking at a PDF subscription model:

You log in to the Website, and you can view the PDF articles online (whether it's the browser, or some third party digital distribution service). But you can't download or print the articles. I understand people can always take screen shots or even take pictures of their screen. I can't control that.

For a price, downloadable high-res PDFs of each article will be offered.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 06:46 PM   #8
bbeers
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Box.com

I would take a look at box.com. It is very similar to dropbox, except it is a little more geared toward the enterprise business. With the free account you can share file, but limit them to preview only. This will prevent them from downloading it. I have shared a file and limited it to no download below so you can see how it functions.

https://www.box.com/s/cgflqss5uqyi3nhme1xg

There is also a whole bunch of paid options that give you a ton of controls, including control over the user interface and branding of the page. It will look like your own custom cloud service,. I also just tested, and if you disable the download function for the file in box.com it take away the print the file button. And after trying to print the page I ended up with only blank pages. No PDF printed.

Here is box.com's video tour.
https://www.youtube.com/box

Hope this helps.

Last edited by bbeers; Mar 5, 2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: *edited to add info about printing
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