e-mailing a .doc with copyright protection?

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
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Hello
Is it possible to e-mail a .doc with copyright protection so that:

  • receiver cannot copy/cut/paste from the text
  • receiver cannot print the document
  • receiver cannot do anything but look at the .doc

:confused:

I am using NeoOffice but that can change if need be to achieve this goal!
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,163
346
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Word is, I believe, capable of doing that (except for the printing--I forget if you can turn that off), but it sounds like you'd be better off with the full version of Acrobat--it can "lock" copy/etc operations on a particular document.

Of course, all this is just a minor annoyance if somebody REALLY wants to copy text out of it or print it out. If they can view it, they can obviously extract the text from it one way or another.
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
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Using Acrobat is a good idea. I will look into that more. I believe you're right that print function can be disabled. I don't know if I can do that with Word (disable print).

Locking the document would force someone to transcribe information instead of the quick and easy copy and paste. It would therefore do the trick for now unless I come up with a better system.

Thanks
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,593
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just to point out; if they can display it on their monitor then they can take a screen shot of it and print it
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
263
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Word is, I believe, capable of doing that (except for the printing--I forget if you can turn that off), but it sounds like you'd be better off with the full version of Acrobat--it can "lock" copy/etc operations on a particular document.

Of course, all this is just a minor annoyance if somebody REALLY wants to copy text out of it or print it out. If they can view it, they can obviously extract the text from it one way or another.
I was just wondering--If the receiver also had Acrobat, coudln't they then convert the file to .doc and do what they want with it?
 

Bern

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2004
1,855
1
Australia
On a personal level if someone emails me a .doc file I bounce it and tell them to send me a pdf. Word files are for the office, pdfs are for emails.
 

devman

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,235
4
AU
On a personal level if someone emails me a .doc file I bounce it and tell them to send me a pdf. Word files are for the office, pdfs are for emails.
Absolutely! You should only e-mail a.doc if the receiver needs to edit. Here the OP specifically doesn't want that.
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
263
0
Not if the PDF has been both edit/copy/print disabled and password protected for everything except reading
that's great. is there any way to create a locked PDF without forking over the big money for Acrobat?
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
263
0
third-party software?

Is there any third-party software designed specifically to copyright/protect a .doc--in whatever way (a password nec to open the file; locked functions; parts of the text blacked-out; whatever!)???
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
263
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Print a copy, hand it to them, and don't let it out of your sight.

That's your only option.
it's not an option for me at all. i don't work with any hard copies and i don't hand anyone anything physically.

there must be a third-party software that does something that can lock/protect a document or even black out certain parts until full access is given?
 

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
there must be a third-party software that does something that can lock/protect a document or even black out certain parts until full access is given?
There is, but you ultimately want someone to read this thing. At that point, it's free game and they can do whatever they want.

Either you trust the other party or you don't.
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
263
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There is, but you ultimately want someone to read this thing. At that point, it's free game and they can do whatever they want.

Either you trust the other party or you don't.
Yes, but I want to be able to control when they can read it, which would be after I get paid. Until then I just want to show them that the work is done, but not give them the opportunity to stiff me. Two people have stiffed me lately and now, I don't trust anyone.
I write customized copy for people; I'm not pitching articles so the piece is useless if they don't pay.
 

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
PM me a sample of what you do and I might be able to help.

Your best bet is a huge-ass watermark, but what you're asking to do is technically flawed in that, once it's on-screen, you've lost control.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Are we not talking about creating 2 documents then -- one 'sample' document with portions missing or blacked out, and one 'finished' document when the job is paid for?

And why are you not getting a substantial, non-refundable down payment before starting work?
 

Objectivist-C

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2006
414
20
but it sounds like you'd be better off with the full version of Acrobat--it can "lock" copy/etc operations on a particular document.
Does it actually use any sort of encryption, or does it depend on the recipient's pdf reader respecting the "locked" flags?

Also, even with a watermark, it should just be a matter of running screenshots through OCR software, unless it's so garish it actually makes it hard to read.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
Are we not talking about creating 2 documents then -- one 'sample' document with portions missing or blacked out, and one 'finished' document when the job is paid for?
I think that's a good idea, as is asking them to select some percentage of the pages to be sent to you - say 10% of them - and then sending them only those pages until you're paid.

But, as the he-sheep says, you should be pre-paid, at least some amount.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
Does it actually use any sort of encryption, or does it depend on the recipient's pdf reader respecting the "locked" flags?

Also, even with a watermark, it should just be a matter of running screenshots through OCR software, unless it's so garish it actually makes it hard to read.
Adobe Acrobat Pro allows you to password-protect your files. Adobe Reader and Preview requires the reader to enter the correct password to open such documents. However, it seems to me that your fundamental problem is that you have an unethical customer base. Also, if your customers receive acceptable value by OCRing a screenshot, then maybe your work is not as valuable as you think it is.
 

sunsnewmac

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2007
263
0
Are we not talking about creating 2 documents then -- one 'sample' document with portions missing or blacked out, and one 'finished' document when the job is paid for?

And why are you not getting a substantial, non-refundable down payment before starting work?
Yes, it is a good idea to send bits and pieces of the finished product until payment is made in full. I would love to be able to send a watermarked copy that is locked.

I have started to ask for 50% up front but I still want that other 50% before the customer can cheat me. For five years I have had no issues with customer ethics. This is a new thing.