Protective Measures for Licensing an Interactive PDF Form

Participant ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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I am looking to license an interactive PDF form I recently completed and was wondering if there is any way I can prevent a licensee from copying and using the interactive PDF form on more computer devices than the license allows or are we on the honor system here? Thank you ahead of time.

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Create PDFs , How to , PDF forms

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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The only way to achieve that is with DRM technology, which is very expensive to implement, and restricts the way your file can be used quite severely.

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Participant ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Given your reply, it looks as though I have to rely on the honor system not to mention I don't want to have any restrictions related to using the form. What say you Try67?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Pretty much, yes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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DRM is an "absolute" solution, but there techniques that are much better than the honor system.  It is possible to use a server to active, and count activations of a document.  Activation would allow the scripts on document to operate.  Since this is a scripting solution it is not 100% secure, but if the code was obfuscated, then untangling it would require more time and skill than nearly 100% of users would be willing to put into it. 

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Participant ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Thank you Thom for the additional feedback.

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Participant ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Thom, in reference to 'if the code was obfuscated' does this imply that I would be unable to implement any kind of password restriction to the PDF form to prevent one from accessing/viewing the scripts used in my PDF form?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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You can have password protection in addition to obfuscation, which is just a way of scrambling the code. The idea is to make it difficult to figure out how the activation scheme works, i.e. exactly which variables need to be set to get the document working. 

 

Password protection in this case is very weak. If the document is open, a knowledgeable user can see everything in the document.   

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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