Using DRM to Control Document Usage: Stop Sharing, Stop Forwarding, Prevent Copy & Paste
Stop forwarding, stop sharing, stop printing, prevent copying
Many people think that encrypting a document stops it from being stolen. And they are right – only whilst it stays encrypted. That’s why hackers never attack SSL, and always attack the endpoint when the secrets have been revealed.
The point about DRM is that it controls what happens next – what the recipient is licensed (allowed) to do with the information after it arrives. And that is what makes DRM a much more powerful tool than encryption.
As everyone (especially the music and film businesses) knows, it is not easy to stop forwarding and stop sharing. (You’d think some web sites had that as their only objective?) But unless you do something, once a document has been opened by the recipient they can do just what they want and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Typical DRM controls stop forwarding by making sure that only encrypted files can be forwarded. So even if someone tries file forwarding, all the recipient gets is an encrypted file. Then file forwarding as a method of file sharing doesn’t work. Locklizard protected files are always encrypted to stop file forwarding from being successful.
To further stop sharing, a DRM system will prevent a recipient from being able to transfer their own license to use the file. If this is not done then the license can be passed from one user to another (rather like a password can be passed on). So to stop sharing you need this control as well as others.
Another key requirement of any DRM system is to stop sharing by preventing copy and paste. To prevent copy and paste also means you must prevent screen grabbing, which is the same thing but done by software. If you do not prevent copy and paste then anyone opening a document can transfer the contents out into another application (Word, a publishing package), either a screen at a time or many screens.
And this leads us to the need to stop printing. Some of the DRM controls, such as those to prevent copy and paste or stop screen grabbing are obviously to stop forwarding and stop sharing. But a major weakness that does not stop forwarding is printing. Obviously one way to stop printing is to disable printing. But it can be essential to control printing rather than to stop printing. If you do not stop printing then it is possible for the user to ‘print’ to a PDF driver, and create a PDF file – so you did not stop forwarding or stop sharing. But with DRM, rather than stop printing you can prevent use of file drivers, which is more elegant than acting to disable printing. But to stop printing to make a real print out, and then scanning it back in to make a new document, may not be practical. You may have to allow printing. So if you cannot stop printing you must take other steps to prevent sharing and stop forwarding. The most obvious step is to add non-removable watermarks to the printout. This does not stop printing, but can link the identity of the user to the document. And despite what people say about copying, they don’t want their name to be on the copy. The end result is you do not have to stop printing in order to stop forwarding or stop sharing.
Download DRM software to stop sharing, copying, forwarding, printing
Download DRM software that uses digital rights management (DRM) controls and US Government approved AES 256 bit encryption to prevent unauthorized use and misuse of your documents.
With Locklizard DRM software you can control access to your documents and what users can do with them – stop sharing, stop printing, stop copying and stop forwarding. You can prevent copy and paste and expire documents so they can no longer be viewed after a certain time. To stop sharing of printed or photographed material you can apply dynamic watermarks (username, company, date/time stamp) which are displayed when documents are viewed and/or printed. Use Locklizard DRM software to stop sharing, stop printing, stop copying, prevent copy & paste, and stop forwarding of your documents.