My Idea To Impede The Info-Pirates...

by Thomas 12 replies
Note I said "impede", as I don't think it will stop piracy of info-products outright but could help alot (at least to encourage semi-honest people to be even more honest).

I mentioned this before a long time ago and in another context but, since that post has been lost in the mists of time (and was on the old forum anyway), I thought I'd mention it again to see what people think. It's quite simple and has probably been thought-of by others many times... however, I've never seen it been done (doesn't mean it hasn't been, just that I've never seen it) and would like to throw it out there (I don't believe in the "it's-too-hard-so-why-even-bother-trying-to-stop-it" school of thought regarding piracy).

Here it is:

Scripts and services like e-Junkie and DLGuard are great to prevent people accessing your download page but, once someone does, there's nothing to stop them distributing the actual files themselves.

I'm specifically thinking of PDF reports here: I have seen branding scripts that let you enter your affiliate link into a webpage and a PDF is created on-the-fly with that link embedded in it.

What if the same technology was used to automatically brand a PDF on-the-fly using the order details entered by a customer at the time of purchase? Something along the lines of:

"This report was purchased by <CUSTOMER NAME> ON <DATE>. The purchase
receipt number is <RECEIPT NUMBER> and the order e-mail is <E-MAIL ADDRESS>.
It is forbidden to copy or distribute this report... blah...blah...blah..."


Although it probably wouldn't deter the most hard-core pirates, I believe very few people would want a report circulating the web that identifies them as a pirate. Also, as it would identify the source of the pirated copy, it would assist a prosecution for copyright infringement, if things ever went that far.

Of course, any such script would have to also lock the PDF to prevent any changes being made (like you do when creating a PDF manually).

Maybe it's impossible to do this; I lack the technical knowledge to know one way or the other but, if it is, and it was
integrated with your download-page protection script, I think you'd have a humdinger of a security system to protect your intellectual property.

Tommy.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #idea #impede #infopirates
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  • Profile picture of the author jlandells
    Hey Tommy,

    That's a great idea!

    As you say, it's not necessarily something that would be easy, but there ARE sites out there that create PDF's on the fly, so it's definitely possible. Once you get it working, let me know and I'll happily beta-test it for you!

    -John.
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Hi Tommy,

    I know it's technically possible, as someone mentioned a similar idea to me some time back (and I guess he had the technical know how to program it). Only difference is, this guy was going to include their CC# and details with the receipt.

    Anyway, I agree -- it would deter those casual folks who share on forums and such. Great idea.

    Cheers,
    Becky
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  • Profile picture of the author bottomline11
    Hi Thomas,

    It sounds like a great idea, I am going to look into it as I am sure it could be done.

    To a Great '09
    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Lewis Turner
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      I already do this at work for PDF reports generated for doctors. Of course, that's in a ASP.NET environment, not LAMP, where most Internet marketers operate.

      For PHP, you would need to use something like the open source iText converter and gather the branding information after payment but before download, generate and secure the branded PDF file and then make it available for download to the customer. It's not a particularly tough thing to do, it's just a matter of integrating all the right components so they work together smoothly.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I agree, auto-generated PDF is good. If you don't want to go to that extent, storing the PDF as a blob in the database works as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author CWreports
    Hey Thomas,
    What about all the free programs that convert pdfs to docs. It could be used to circumvent the 'their personal data' tag you inserted. Remove your page then recompile as an ebook...most likely killing any links from the original..

    Yeah, you'd make it a little tougher on them, maybe slow them down a bit. But you won't stop it. Sorry to say.

    Somehow there should be a way to capture a unique characteristic from the buyers
    computer 'not ip as it's subject to change' and allow the ebook to only open on that unit. I don't know enough about computers or programming to know if such a method is doable... it's just an idea.

    Carol
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    “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” W.Blake
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    • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
      Originally Posted by CWreports View Post

      Hey Thomas,
      What about all the free programs that convert pdfs to docs. It could be used to circumvent the 'their personal data' tag you inserted. Remove your page then recompile as an ebook...most likely killing any links from the original..

      Yeah, you'd make it a little tougher on them, maybe slow them down a bit. But you won't stop it. Sorry to say.

      Somehow there should be a way to capture a unique characteristic from the buyers
      computer 'not ip as it's subject to change' and allow the ebook to only open on that unit. I don't know enough about computers or programming to know if such a method is doable... it's just an idea.

      Carol
      If I am not mistaken, (but I can be since this is not my area of expertise), you can backtrace through the browser info and pick up the machines mac address which is unique to each machine. Now, how you would use that to make the pdf open only on that machine is another story all together.
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  • Profile picture of the author nick1123
    I like the idea but am not sure it's worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alp Bozkurt
    Pirates will buy throu disposable email addresses, fake names and will refund immediately.

    You can't dictate someone to open the pdf only on one PC. Maybe his printer is connected other someother PC? Maybe he will read the PDF on his laptop, or ebook reader device...

    Multi-billion movie industry hasn't solved the exact same problem yet. So don't bother just let it go.
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    It's perfectly doable, you can dynamically create PDF documents with PHP. However it would only serve to keep honest people honest, and these aren't the people that you will have a problem with. Blackhatters wouldn't have a problem advertising that they were the ones making the copy available, in fact it's common for hackers who crack software programs to leave their signature on the cracked version as a symbol of accomplishment.

    Still it's a nice idea, you could even advertise it as a feature (download your own personalized copy).

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.G
    JAROX affiliate manager has this feature already and so doe a few other affiliate sw products
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  • Profile picture of the author Micheal Perkins
    I'm not sure if it's still available, but the Internet Marketing Center (MarketingTips.com) had some sort of ebook protection software they sold. It would allow you to protect your ebook from being passed around by only allowing one download to be made per purchase.

    It came with some sort of program that you had to have to open it. If I remember right the program was in the book automatically, so there was no second download to make or software to figure out how to work. The book would only open on the computer you downloaded the book onto, so passing it would be useless.

    It also had a feature that would allow you to automatically send out a message to that specific book and disable it at any time. So if someone downloaded then refunded, you could stop them from being able to access the book anymore.

    I don't remember the cost, but I remember it was more than I was willing to pay at the time. I have not researched it again since then because I've not been concerned with protecting anything yet.
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