[pdftex] Re: pdftex-pdfcrypt - The Missing Link(?).

Greg Black gjb at gbch.net
Wed Apr 18 18:08:14 CEST 2001

Michael Chapman wrote:

| 1. I am treasurer of the WWW Virtual Library project. I am due to publish the 
| accounts. I will now do so not only by plain text e-mail but 'for the record' 
| as a PDF document.
| Obviously any inspired 14-year-old cracker could 'forge' a look-alike balance 
| sheet, but by closing the file to alterations it stops anyone innocently 
| (officiously) fiddling with them -the gratuitous correction of a seeming 
| typo' before passing them on, etc. There is thus one document (with all its 
| typo's :-)> ) as a document of record.

This goal is much better met by attaching a digital signature
with PGP or GPG and leaving the document in a form that allows
its readers to use it in ways that are comfortable for them.

| 2. We publish a (free) newsletter. This has split into a plain text version 
| and an on-screen (was HTML, now moving to PDF on-screen) version. 
| Printing out the sreen version looses you all the link information. I will 
| lock out printing on the 'colour edition' to force naive users to use the 
| better edition for them. (I think that is constructive and not over nanny-ing 
| ?)

Again, this is just absurd.  If you don't want people to see the
contents at all, encrypt the document (but with a purpose-built
tool like PGP or GPG).  But, if you want people to read it,
don't patronise them by deciding that you know best how they
should go about it.  It's perfectly reasonable for somebody to
choose to have a printed copy for reading or reference and to
accept that she can't click on links that way.  Give up on this

As the idiot commercial sector continues to demonstrate (surely
people still remember the DVD nonsense), trying to lock stuff up
simply doesn't work.  It just annoys legitimate users and does
nothing to stop determined people from getting at it anyway.

How long do you think it would take me to produce the printed
version of your version that is supposed to prevent printing?

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