PDF is an excellent format for distributing documents with the guarantee that anyone will be able to read it with the appropriate reader while respecting the original format. Sending a document in Word or Excel, to give two examples, assumes that the recipient has the same reading program as the source, because if this is not the case (in the case of using Google Docs or LibreOffice, for example), they may see the format “broken” and the document unreadable.

The problem is that we cannot put PDF documents in the cloud if we want them to be private, as it is very easy to share them without the creator noticing.

This issue is well known in the world of book piracy, as there are many ebook readers that support PDF format, so unauthorized distribution of PDF content is the order of the day.

To avoid that you can create a PDF that contains copy protection, and we are not talking about putting a password on a pdf, we are talking about preventing the PDF from being read by more than one device.

To that end they have just released PDF Unshare version 1.0, a free-to-download PDF copyright protection software that encrypts and protects PDF and UPDF files with permissions and authorization settings through programmatic interfaces to prevent unauthorized users from printing, editing and copying sensitive information.

It is aimed at organizations looking for easy-to-use encryption solutions to protect sensitive data. The program does not use passwords to protect PDF files, as they can be easily shared or deleted using decryption programs. Instead, PDF files are protected using individual encryption keys that are transmitted to authorized devices from a web server and encrypted in a keystore on the local device. The keystore is locked to individual devices, so it cannot be copied or moved to another location.

PDF Unshare has several built-in security features and restrictions to protect PDF files from being shared with unauthorized users, to control how they are used, and to define the duration of their use by authorized parties.

Key features of PDF Unshare software include:

  • Programmatic protection (encryption) of PDF files with specified RMS rights policies. Protects implementation details, allowing the user to programmatically protect and unprotect PDF files using a single application.
  • The user can set the text and color of the security watermark for the PDF to prevent authorized copying of file content using screenshots, cameras, cell phone cameras, video capture or othr similar methods.
  • Generation of activity log files that keep a history of which files are protected/unprotected and when they were protected/unprotected.
  • Restricted user access. Restrict authorized access to a single Windows PC / laptop or iPhone / Android device.
  • Allows document editors to expire PDF files so that they can no longer be viewed after a certain period of time.
  • Multilingual user interface. Languages include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Czech, Greek Portuguese, Hungarian, Turkish, Russian, Japanese and Korean.

Commercial use is not allowed in the free version, and it is necessary to pay $49 per year to unlock that limit.

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