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Allistar
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      03-23-2006
impossible wrote:

> "Allistar" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Matty F wrote:
>>
>>> I hate PDF documents but sometimes I'm stuck with them.
>>> There is a site with a bunch of PDF documents, and I wish to copy
>>> text from them. But the facility to copy text has been turned off
>>> by the person who created the documents. They say that this is to
>>> prevent tampering with the documents on the website.
>>> Is this a reasonable excuse, or is it the load of bullshit that I
>>> think it is?

>>
>> I'm not sure what OS or desktop environment you are using, burt KPDF
>> for KDE
>> has great features for cutting either the text or an image out of a
>> PDF
>> document. I'm not sure if it pays attention to security
>> restrictions.
>>

>
> Security restrictions in pdf documents are not a function of which OS
> you use, If the user has editing/copying/printing rights to the
> document, then a range of tools are available for either Linux or
> Windows to handle those tasks. If not, then the only option is to
> either persuade the author to change the document's security settings
> or (heaven forbid!) crack them yourself.


I'm sure a PDF viewing application could be developed that ignored such
security settings. Unless cut'n'paste protected PDF files contain only
graphics of text and not the text itself, and even then OCR software could
do the job.

Are there any laws or restrictions on creating PDF viewers that means you
must implement such document security?

Allistar.
 
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impossible
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      03-23-2006
"Allistar" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> impossible wrote:
>
>> "Allistar" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>> Matty F wrote:
>>>
>>>> I hate PDF documents but sometimes I'm stuck with them.
>>>> There is a site with a bunch of PDF documents, and I wish to copy
>>>> text from them. But the facility to copy text has been turned off
>>>> by the person who created the documents. They say that this is to
>>>> prevent tampering with the documents on the website.
>>>> Is this a reasonable excuse, or is it the load of bullshit that I
>>>> think it is?
>>>
>>> I'm not sure what OS or desktop environment you are using, burt
>>> KPDF
>>> for KDE
>>> has great features for cutting either the text or an image out of
>>> a
>>> PDF
>>> document. I'm not sure if it pays attention to security
>>> restrictions.
>>>

>>
>> Security restrictions in pdf documents are not a function of which
>> OS
>> you use, If the user has editing/copying/printing rights to the
>> document, then a range of tools are available for either Linux or
>> Windows to handle those tasks. If not, then the only option is to
>> either persuade the author to change the document's security
>> settings
>> or (heaven forbid!) crack them yourself.

>
> I'm sure a PDF viewing application could be developed that ignored
> such
> security settings. Unless cut'n'paste protected PDF files contain
> only
> graphics of text and not the text itself, and even then OCR software
> could
> do the job.


You're probably right about OCR not being hindered by security
settings -- myself, I've never run into a pdf image that couldn't be
rescued for editing by OmniPage. In any case, all I meant is that the
OS wouldn't be the key thing in determining what you can and cannot do
with a pdf file.
>
> Are there any laws or restrictions on creating PDF viewers that
> means you
> must implement such document security?
>


Implement? I think you mean "not hack" -- I don't literally know, but
I suspect not. There are perfectly legal tools you can buy now to
"recover" passwords, for instance, or decrypt. I'm guessing that once
someone makes a pdf available to download, it's fair game to take it
apart any way you wish. But what you could almost certainly NOT do is
then re-distribute the pdf, or pieces of it, to anyone in this hacked
form.


 
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Gordon
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      03-23-2006
This is an interesting thread.

PDF is good because readers are available for all platforms. The idea of
making tamper proof, if desired, is also good as it will stop people
altering the meaning of your document/ideas.

However, when it is a document which is really a RFC (it asks for
submissions) then surely the ability to cut and paste from the document is
a good thing.
 
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Allistar
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2006
impossible wrote:

> "Allistar" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> impossible wrote:
>>
>>> "Allistar" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>>> Matty F wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I hate PDF documents but sometimes I'm stuck with them.
>>>>> There is a site with a bunch of PDF documents, and I wish to copy
>>>>> text from them. But the facility to copy text has been turned off
>>>>> by the person who created the documents. They say that this is to
>>>>> prevent tampering with the documents on the website.
>>>>> Is this a reasonable excuse, or is it the load of bullshit that I
>>>>> think it is?
>>>>
>>>> I'm not sure what OS or desktop environment you are using, burt
>>>> KPDF
>>>> for KDE
>>>> has great features for cutting either the text or an image out of
>>>> a
>>>> PDF
>>>> document. I'm not sure if it pays attention to security
>>>> restrictions.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Security restrictions in pdf documents are not a function of which
>>> OS
>>> you use, If the user has editing/copying/printing rights to the
>>> document, then a range of tools are available for either Linux or
>>> Windows to handle those tasks. If not, then the only option is to
>>> either persuade the author to change the document's security
>>> settings
>>> or (heaven forbid!) crack them yourself.

>>
>> I'm sure a PDF viewing application could be developed that ignored
>> such
>> security settings. Unless cut'n'paste protected PDF files contain
>> only
>> graphics of text and not the text itself, and even then OCR software
>> could
>> do the job.

>
> You're probably right about OCR not being hindered by security
> settings -- myself, I've never run into a pdf image that couldn't be
> rescued for editing by OmniPage. In any case, all I meant is that the
> OS wouldn't be the key thing in determining what you can and cannot do
> with a pdf file.


Agreed, although I never did imply nor infer the OS was relevant (only that
KPdf, which only runs on one OS, may do the trick).

>> Are there any laws or restrictions on creating PDF viewers that
>> means you
>> must implement such document security?
>>

>
> Implement? I think you mean "not hack" -- I don't literally know, but
> I suspect not. There are perfectly legal tools you can buy now to
> "recover" passwords, for instance, or decrypt. I'm guessing that once
> someone makes a pdf available to download, it's fair game to take it
> apart any way you wish. But what you could almost certainly NOT do is
> then re-distribute the pdf, or pieces of it, to anyone in this hacked
> form.


If the viewer has access to the text to be able to render it using the
specified font, then it can put that text in the clipboard. The only way
this would not work is if the "text" is actually embedded as a graphic -
which I highly doubt as I've not heard of restricted PDF files being any
larger in size.

Allistar.

 
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Mark Robinson
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      03-23-2006
Matty F wrote:
> This one, last changed on 17 March 2006, has not been fixed yet:
> http://www.transport.govt.nz/busines...effeb7341eaa00


pdftohtml -nodrm arpes-chapters-5-6.pdf

worked a treat for me

 
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Matty F
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2006
Mark Robinson wrote:
> Matty F wrote:
>
>> This one, last changed on 17 March 2006, has not been fixed yet:
>> http://www.transport.govt.nz/busines...apters-5-6.pdf

>
>
>
> pdftohtml -nodrm arpes-chapters-5-6.pdf
>
> worked a treat for me
>


Does that work on Windows machines? I think not.
I'd really rather the offending PDF documents were changed so
they can be copied by anybody on any platform.
It makes me wonder about the quality of the reports if they
cannot understand the technical details of PDF documents and the
ordinary security of their site.

 
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Mark Robinson
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2006
Matty F wrote:
> Mark Robinson wrote:
>> Matty F wrote:
>>> This one, last changed on 17 March 2006, has not been fixed yet:
>>> http://www.transport.govt.nz/busines...apters-5-6.pdf

>> pdftohtml -nodrm arpes-chapters-5-6.pdf
>> worked a treat for me

> Does that work on Windows machines? I think not.
> I'd really rather the offending PDF documents were changed so they can
> be copied by anybody on any platform.
> It makes me wonder about the quality of the reports if they cannot
> understand the technical details of PDF documents and the ordinary
> security of their site.


Yeah - you are completely correct. I am sure that this practice is at variance
with the requirements of the e-gumblement strategy too which is probably why
the documents are being changed.
 
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Dave Taylor
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      03-23-2006
Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news(E-Mail Removed):

> This is an interesting thread.
>
> PDF is good because readers are available for all platforms. The idea
> of making tamper proof, if desired, is also good as it will stop
> people altering the meaning of your document/ideas.
>
> However, when it is a document which is really a RFC (it asks for
> submissions) then surely the ability to cut and paste from the
> document is a good thing.
>


Very logical IMHO. I agree.

--
Ciao, Dave
 
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RJ
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) says...
> Matty F wrote:
>
> > I hate PDF documents but sometimes I'm stuck with them.
> > There is a site with a bunch of PDF documents, and I wish to copy
> > text from them. But the facility to copy text has been turned off
> > by the person who created the documents. They say that this is to
> > prevent tampering with the documents on the website.
> > Is this a reasonable excuse, or is it the load of bullshit that I
> > think it is?

>
> I'm not sure what OS or desktop environment you are using, burt


bUT MOST people here use Windows LOL
 
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Enkidu
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2006
Dave Taylor wrote:
> Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news(E-Mail Removed):
>
>
>>This is an interesting thread.
>>
>>PDF is good because readers are available for all platforms. The idea
>>of making tamper proof, if desired, is also good as it will stop
>>people altering the meaning of your document/ideas.
>>
>>However, when it is a document which is really a RFC (it asks for
>>submissions) then surely the ability to cut and paste from the
>>document is a good thing.

>
> Very logical IMHO. I agree.
>

No, it's rubbish. If you want me to read your document, I expect to be
able to read it the way *I* want. Without any of the fancy eye-candy
that you feel makes it look 'good' and I think makes it look 'trashy'. I
want to read it in a font I choose, especially if I've got bad eyesight
or you choose to use a 'paper' type heavily seriffed font. And I want to
be able to see the whole page without scrolling sideways or up and down
multiple columns. I don't want to have it skip down the screen because I
scrolled over a page break!

I especially don't want to have to print it out to read it properly! I
received a price list by email the otherday, which had multiple columns,
small font. Unreadable unless printed.

Fixing the format of an online document is sheer vanity, nothing else.

I exclude from this purely technical documents which *sometimes* justify
fixing the format of the document.

Cheers,

Cliff
 
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