- Vitrium Adds Secure Document Encryption for Microsoft Office Files to DRM Platform
- DRM & Analytics Are Essential to Content Marketing
- 6 Steps to Creating Positive Reader Experiences – Part 2
- Finding the Delicate DRM Balance
This is a continuation of 6 Steps to Creating Positive Reader Experiences – Part 1.
For some content providers, leaving documents unprotected is simply not an option. However, it is difficult to create document security systems that do not frustrate readers. Document security, inexpertly applied, can quickly become a deterrent for readers, especially as many people often feel they can most-likely find the information they need from another, more accessible source. Therefore, a balance must be struck between creating a positive experience for readers and maintaining document security.
Here are the remaining three of six points we think you need to consider when determining the level of reader experience when choosing DRM.
4. Understand your reader’s behavior
Readers often want to download a document on one computer and read it on another. For instance, a reader might need to have the document on a desktop at work but may also want to transfer it to a laptop for travel. With many DRM solutions, this is not possible and the user’s attempts to access the document legitimately are impeded.
5. Understand your commitment to maintaining the reader record
How long should you maintain a record that a reader has authorized access to a document? Vendors and publishers must balance the need to keep systems simple and databases clean against readers’ expectation that once authorized access rights have been granted they will persist for a reasonable period of time.
6. Maintain a tolerable level of document security
All DRM is susceptible to circumvention. How much security is enough varies from application to application. A blogger responding to a post in the weblog of Adobe’s Bill McCoy, General Manager, ePublishing Business sums up accepted wisdom about the effectiveness of DRM. Blogger Ben Trafford comments:
“Let’s face it – any DRM can and will be hacked. DRM should be like the Club – it deters your basic thief from stealing my car, but doesn’t stop me from driving. If more people could grasp this idea, we’d have a much happier world…and doubtlessly, a lot more eBooks on the digital shelves. It’s a real pity that big business seems to think that strong DRM is anything but a burden to customers.
The strongest DRM gets hacked all the time – and at about the same speed as weak DRM. The only difference between the two is that one is a pain for the customer, and the other…is not.”
What is at issue here is the common belief that DRM is “a pain for the customer.” In this context, it is important that reader’s feel that the level of security is balanced out by the perceived value of the document’s content. It is also vital that content owners understand readers’ attitudes to online content sharing. Owners must not get “in the way” of the experience that consumers of online data expect to have, whilst still protecting their property.
Each company must evaluate the approach that best fits the needs of its readership to ensure the widest possible readership, the most leads or the greatest revenue.
This was an excerpt from our white paper: Beyond DRM – 6 Steps to Great Reader Experiences. You can read the full white paper here.
WebWorks and Vitrium Systems would like your help! We are hoping to get your opinion on a new business partnership that may benefit your business – but you’ll need to tell us!
You invest in Web Works so that you can create beautiful content. No other technology allows you to convert your single-source documentation to 16 different premium outputs with just one click. But you already knew that. And now with WebWorks Reverb – you can publish HTML5 to any device, present or future, from a single file set. Create awesome, customized PDF’s that can be published to any device in HTML5 – total control for you and no custom coding.
Now that you have your content – and you know you are proud of it… what are you going to do with it? If you have created this content to support a training program or any revenue generating action, then don’t you want to make sure it’s safe? If you have created content to keep your team up to speed on the latest developments with your product (not to mention the road map!) don’t you want to know that the right people, and not the wrong people, can read it?
WebWorks and Vitrium Systems have a combined solution that can help. Combining the power of content creation with Reverb and pushing HTML5 to your consumer’s devices is great. Pushing secured HTML5 to your consumer’s devices that is secure and will not be accessed by the wrong people is peace of mind!
If you want to share your content with the world, then do it! But some content needs to be shared ‘selectively’ – some content is proprietary, or revenue generating or just plain confidential and in these cases, it makes sense to protect your hard work. Have control over your content without limiting the experience for the intended audience.
Lyme and Cancer Services provides support and educational materials to patients with cancer or Lyme disease. They use Protectedpdf to protect their educational materials.
“We needed to streamline our process while keeping it user-friendly for our clients to access – cloud and HTML5 based documents was the way to go.”– Brendan Filler, Wellness Advisor.
Due to the widespread availability of free information online, readers expect to be able to share the content they have and often measure the relative ease of access to new documents against documents with no DRM at all.
In this context, it is difficult to create document security systems that do not frustrate readers. Document security, inexpertly applied, can quickly become a deterrent for readers, especially as many people often feel they can most-likely find the information they need from another, more accessible source.
For some content providers, leaving documents unprotected is simply not an option. Therefore, a balance must be struck between creating a positive experience for readers and maintaining document security.
There are no set rules governing how best to do this – the balance will depend on the specific needs of different content providers and readers. Nevertheless, a few fundamental issues should be borne in mind.
Here we’ll discuss the first three of six points we think you need to consider when determining the level of reader experience when choosing DRM.
1. Balance reader privacy vs. your “need” to know about them
Content publishers must find a balance between gathering information about the reader (in order to validate the reader’s right to access the content) with the reader’s right to withhold personal information. Many content publishers feel the allure of asking for additional data during a transaction, but asking for more information than is necessary for the transaction can leave the reader feeling that security system is needlessly time-consuming and invasive.
2. Consider content persistence vs. content protection
Unencrypted content can be widely and easily transferred. As discussed above, easily shared information is shared – and often. For the online content sharers in this study,
“The most popular content is humorous material, with 88% forwarding jokes or cartoons. The second most popular category is news (56%), followed by healthcare and medical information (32%), religious and spiritual material (30%), games (25%), business and personal finance information (24%), and sports/hobbies (24%).”
While unprotected digital information can be freely shared, it is usually of less value than information from protected sources. Encrypted content, on the other hand, is only accessible for as long as the reader recalls how to unlock it and is therefore easily lost to posterity. We all know how easy it is to lose – or forget – usernames and passwords.
3. Consider document protection vs. infringing on private property
In 2005 the Sony CD copy protection scandal brought the controversy surrounding DRM right into the public view. In short, Sony/BMG created software which was silently installed when customers used their desktop computers to play music CDs.
This opened security holes on the PCs, causing a range of serious problems. Sony/BMG faced many lawsuits and were forced to recall the affected CDs.
In this instance, a well-known corporation neglected to find a balance between copyright protection and consumer privacy. Specifically, they failed to realize that many consumers are reluctant to have proprietary software installed on their computers, particularly if it’s done surreptitiously.
Check back with us in a couple weeks to read part 2 of this post where we’ll discuss the 2nd three points you should consider when picking your DRM solution.
Don’t want to wait? You can read the full excerpt in our white paper: Beyond DRM – 6 Steps to Great Reader Experiences.
iData Research offers business intelligence on the healthcare industry. They use Protectedpdf to manage their subscription-based reports.
“We had to find a way to manage our single user license reports so that they could only be accessed by authorized users.” – Aggie Taylor, Human Resource Generalist.
It’s easier than ever to share content and your readers could be freely distributing your materials without consent, cutting into your revenue streams. While you want to protect your content against uncontrolled distribution, it’s also important to maintain a positive user experience so you don’t lose customers or subscribers.
In this webinar you’ll learn:
- Protect your content
- Maximize your revenue
- Keep your customers happy!
Your customers share business documents, learning/training materials, legal documents, contracts, sensitive information, and other assets that are critical to their operations. In this webinar we take a detailed look at a leading document security solution you can add to your offerings that will let you help your customers avoid the hassle and high costs of losing or accidentally leaking critical documents.
In this webinar you’ll learn:
- How to help your customers avoid losing critical documents
- How to integrate this product directly into your offerings
- All about Vitrium’s partner program