Ebook Security: Using PDF Watermarking to deter copying

When looking for ebook security software it is wise to consider what features you might require in a security system that will provide
the upmost protection against theft of your works.

Most publishers look for a solution that will prevent copying and forwarding of an ebook to unauthorized recipients (those that have not purchased). But there are other security measures to consider, such as whether to allow printing or not, and if printing is allowed, the ability to use PDF watermarking to deter photocopying.


gold copyright pdf documents symbol

One vital component of an ebook security solution that is often overlooked, is the ability to use dynamic watermarks to deter copying of content either by using screen shots, or, if printing has been allowed, by photocopying the printed output.

A simple solution to this is the ability to apply dynamic watermarks. Dynamic watermarks enable the publisher of the ebook to protect it just once using generic user and system variables that are inserted on-the-fly when the user views and/or prints your ebook. The most common watermarks used by publishers today to protect their intellectual property against theft are the user’s name, company name, email address, and a date/time stamp. These can act as a strong deterrent since most users would be unwilling to circulate material when it clearly identifies them as the source.

So why not use the free PDF watermarking features that come with Acrobat? Firstly, the watermarks you apply using Acrobat are static rather than dynamic watermarks. You have to protect the document each time for each individual user if you want to apply specific user details. Secondly, the password
protection used in Acrobat to secure PDF files can be easily removed using ‘password recovery’ tools readily available on the Internet. Once you have removed the password you can then remove any watermarks applied to the document. So if you are looking for an ebook security solution that will prevent theft of your ebooks and provides PDF watermarking with dynamic variables that cannot be removed, then look for one that does not rely on passwords for security.