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Re: copyright

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Regarding Greg's question, acrobat distiller's security preferences 
(set under the Settings->Security pull-down menu) are exactly the same 
as acrobat writer.  I honestly wasn't aware you could get distiller 
without the full package.  

On Chris' comments:
Yeah, you can password protect the document itself, but then nobody 
can view it without the password, or print it since you have 
to open it to print it.  That defeats the prupose of sending it 
electronically.  Or, if you give the password, then whoever has the 
password and access to the file can open it, take a screen shot, and 
then follow the lengthy process I described to you over personal mail
to get *just* the parts they want out of the image.  

As far as the encryption hacking route, it only adds the additional 
security of having to hack through one more password.  Which can be 
substantial, assuming a well-picked password, if you haven't got access 
to pretty fast computers.  The skill set necessary to do encryption 
hacking pretty much eliminates your average contractor.  People who
do this professionally usually end up working for (or running from) 
the NSA.  

Finally, with scanners being as cheap as they are, a detail can be 
scanned, modified, then exported to acad as an image file, with 
printed copy leaving basically no one the wiser.  Still not as simple 
(or probably as cheap) as paying the engineer to do the job in the first 
place.  Well, unless one were to steal details routinely.  That would 
be bound to get around, however.  

It's just like PGP encryption for email: pretty gooed privacy, but not 
proof against the determined or the moderately skilled.  It all comes 
back to doing business with people you feel you can trust, and taking
reasonable steps to be able to thrash the ones who turn out to have 
hoodwinked you.  I'm not sure any (tolerable) level of security would
eliminate the problem.  However, distributing files as PDF with 
copy protection turned on is probably the highest tolerable level of
security available at this point.  It maintains ease-of-use, while 
discouraging the easily tempted.

Charles Hamilton, EIT                   Graduate Student Researcher
Department of Civil and                 Phone: 949.824.8694
    Environmental Engineering           FAX:   949.824.2117 
University of California, Irvine        Email: chamilto(--nospam--at)