Download protection

Is there a way to publish PDFs of a CMS page that uses cannot download it? We have publications that we need to protect against piracy on the internet and want to see if there is a way to do this within XOOPS?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Download protection

Realize that in reality if you have it available to be browsed in a browser a user can download it. There are tricks you can use to disallow a standard user to download a file but in reality if you allow a user to look at it they can download it one way or another. This is not a xoops issue but an internet issue.

This is a big problem in many areas because there is no good solution other than not to give the full document online.

You can use CSS and HTML tricks to place a transparent object over the top of a document you don't want downloaded. This is the method Flickr uses to protect pictures from downloading and many sites do as well. What happens is the user tries to click on the picture and they instead are clicking on the transparent object. There is also a browser supported way to display a picture without allowing it to be saved. In both of these methods however it is very easy to bypass. You can download a module that will allow you to save any picture you can view and to get around the flickr protection you simply disallow the temporary block with an ad blocker or view the page source code to find the URL for the picture and download it directly.

Even something like Netflix streams can be easily copied by most users with 5-10 minutes of research.

Problem is that in order to display something on a browser it requires the user to download the item to display it. And regardless of any type of protection there is a way to copy it one way or another. It may require a specialized module or some sort of hacking of a proprietary protocol.

Your best bet is to not offer the item all in one place and make it a pain to try and compile the whole document. If you have a 455 page document then you want to only display a partial page or 1 page at a time. If a user wants to download all 455 pages and compile them together as one then there is nothing really you can do to stop them easily.

You can also incorporate watermarks or other type of technology to make it harder to pirate but realistically as I already said, if you allow them to view it they can save it one way or another. (I use screen shots all of the time for instance. Would be a pain and would be low quality to do a screen shot of 455 pages though... )

Good luck!

Re: Download protection
  • 2013/7/18 1:32

  • Mamba

  • Moderator

  • Posts: 11251

  • Since: 2004/4/23

Rodney is totally right - it's a mission impossible to achieve that.

Just look at www.slideshare.net - some of the presentations "blocked" to download. But you can still take a screenshot of each of them and and re-assemble into a presentation.

The best way to protect the content is to incorporate a "watermark", as Rodney said, but with the name of the viewer into each page they view. Of course, you couldn't use cache for any of these documents

Then, even if they do a screenshot, it would be very hard for them to remove their name without damaging the content, and they would be concerned that you could trace them.

Going step further, you could also incorporate a second watermark or fingerprint with their name, but in an invisible way, and make them aware of it. Something like a hologram, that you could only see with a special reader

This way could you have a proof who downloaded it.

But then again - would it be worth all the hassle?
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