[free-sklyarov] Re: Adobe violation of the DMCA?

Oscar Wilde gaolbait at home.com
Sun Jul 29 13:29:49 PDT 2001

<< Just think how interesting this would get if the FBI were looking at a 
complaint against John Warnock for a violation of the DMCA by Adobe. 
The damn law is so absurd that Adobe may well have violated it themselves. >>

It is a fact that PDF document security protections applied with earlier versions of Adobe Acrobat (3.x, 4.x) using "Adobe Standard Security" can be *entirely removed* by anyone using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 -- without knowing the owner password. With Acrobat 5.0, the protected document can be saved as a naked PDF -- which is exactly what Elcomsoft's Advanced eBook Processor can do with a protected Adobe eBook. 

For example, a local non-profit association to which I belong has been publishing our *copyrighted* member directory in electronic form as a PDF (created with a purchased copy of Acrobat 4.05). We disallowed text selection to make it harder for people to extract our names and addresses en masse and spam us with unsolicited offers (and also because we *sell* our mailing list). Now we find that anyone with the later version of the software can defeat the digital content protections that we, as publisher, imposed on our copyrighted digital work -- protections that are in principle no different from those on Adobe eBooks.

Adobe *sells* this software. It would be amusing if Adobe had no better defense against a "trafficking" charge under the DMCA than the other legitimate uses for Acrobat 5.0.

(It is not necessarily relevant that, even before Acrobat 5.0 was released, PDF security protection against text selection only could be defeated with a free plug-in from Adobe for the visually impaired . . . which does not work in the latest version of Acrobat).


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