Can you make a digital download (eBook / iBook) self destruct if it's illegally passed on.

9 replies
Hi guy's.... not sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes.
I have a big client at the moment who wants me to create an eBook/iBook that can only be viewed by the purchaser.
Basically they want the book to self destruct or turn into something unreadable if it is passed on without being payed for.
I've never seen this done before and have no idea if it's possible and if it is possible how to do it.
I have heard that it's possible to make an eBook self destruct after a period of time but again am not sure how this is done and this is not what we need to achieve. It's only if it's illegally passed on that we are concerned with.
Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas and possible offers of being able to do this would greatly be appreciated.
Tanya
#destruct #digital #download #ebook #ibook #illegally #make #passed
  • Profile picture of the author Gclunis
    The only thing that I can think of would be to lock the book and have it require a randomly generated password on the first open. You can then have a script send out an email for the randomly generated password. If the passwords match then its readable...if not then it self destructs.

    I'm not entirely sure how this would be done (coding wise)..but it's a solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author SamirRastogi
    The only place where I've seen a digital message self destruct is in a James bond movie.

    Jokes aside, I think your best bet is to create a password protected PDF.
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  • Profile picture of the author linktomyworld
    Thanks heaps for your input guy's. I'm thinking password protection may be the only solution here too.
    Hopefully others may come through with some more ideas as well.
    I'll wait and see but I appreciate your comments all the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    This was an intriguing question, so I did a wee bit of research....

    How do you make Office documents self-destruct?

    might give you ideas.

    Hope that helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author linktomyworld
      Hi barbling.
      Interesting link mate and thank you for your little bit of research .
      Sounds like it's a lot of messing around and the document becomes pretty unstable anyway. I'll keep looking but I'm thinking it's not really worth the hassle pursuing it much further.
      Cheers for your time, all the comments have really been appreciated.
      Tanya
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  • Profile picture of the author mgkimsal
    Originally Posted by linktomyworld View Post

    Hi guy's.... not sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes.
    I have a big client at the moment who wants me to create an eBook/iBook that can only be viewed by the purchaser.
    Basically they want the book to self destruct or turn into something unreadable if it is passed on without being payed for.
    I've never seen this done before and have no idea if it's possible and if it is possible how to do it.
    I have heard that it's possible to make an eBook self destruct after a period of time but again am not sure how this is done and this is not what we need to achieve. It's only if it's illegally passed on that we are concerned with.
    Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas and possible offers of being able to do this would greatly be appreciated.
    Tanya
    Short answer is there's nothing that 100% able to stop copying.

    About 10 years ago we would generate dynamic PDFs with the purchaser's CC info watermarked over the content, to reduce their desire to redistribute the file (the reports used to refaxed and resold a lot in those days). It stopped much of the piracy overnight, though I'm not sure we'd be able to do that these days with PCI compliance being high on peoples' minds.

    A dynamic password unique to each PDF would be useful, maybe, at least if you had to track down where a copy came from. But... this requires extra programming.
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    Michael Kimsal
    http://heywords.com/ - for article writers

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  • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
    I am changing my recommendation because my previous recommendation changes the application icon to theirs and they take you to their sales page after your user verifies their license. For me, it is a deal breaker that I pay for a service and they take my customer to their sales page.

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    What I really like about this is remote deactivation. When someone requests a refund, you just turn off their license. Very cool.

    All the Best,

    Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author kokopelli
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