PDF Security, DRM and Encryption


PDF Distribution and Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Fully protect your valuable PDF files and PDF books - use our free software and very cost effective DRM services - full support for PCs, Mac computers, iPADs and Android devices

Our software and services enable any PDF files - for example books, reports, technical manuals, or training materials - to be protected and distributed securely anywhere in the world. Our solutions provide:

  • True PDF display: correct fonts, layout, images, tables and pagination provided using our free Javelin PDF readers - no need for conversion to HTML5 or Flash
  • Offline reading: view documents anywhere, anytime, on any PC, Mac, iPAD and Android device - no need for an online connection
  • PDF Security ensured: your PDFs never need to leave your own site, so no need for uploading to 3rd party servers. Permission controls include protection against piracy, copy protection, date expiry, print control, intelligent watermarking.. and centralized authorization and tracking
  • Fast, clear, zoomable content, even with 1000+ page documents; no restriction on the number, type or length of documents
  • Offline catalogs of books or other publications supported as standard for mobile devices, plus bookmarks, document markup and annotation
  • Perfect for technical and procedures manuals, reference books, courseware materials, educational books, formatted ebooks, legal documents, picture books, novels and much more...
  • Low costmanaged serviceavailable for publishers and authors wishing to self-publish books in PDF format

We have been providing secure PDF distribution for individual publishers and authors, training organizations and corporations of all types and sizes since 2006. Our software is free and the services are free to try. They are available as low cost per document subscription services or single-purchase packages for individuals and publishers who wish to create and manage their own secured PDF files, or as fullyManaged Servicesif you wish to leave everything to us - the business case for the Drumlin/Javelin solution is compelling.

Javelin PDF readers: Windows, Mac OSX, iPAD; and Android

Javelin PDF readers, which are all provided free of charge, are designed for end users. Javelin readers are small, fast, high quality PDF readers with built-in security.

To download our Javelin PDF readers simply select the reader required from ourJavelin downloads page. Javelin for iPAD is available for download from the iPAD App Store. The Javelin for Android reader is available via the Google Play App Store

The secure versions of PDF files are created using ourDrumlinsoftware, which is also free

What is DRM? How and Why Digital Rights Management Works

With a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system the PDF publication to be "controlled" is protected using either device-specific information and/or an authorization process. In the case of a device (e.g. a proprietary ebook reader like a Kindle, or a pre-registered device like an iPAD) the file is enabled based on the deviceID information, transmitted automatically to the DRM of the device service provider (e.g. Amazon). For generic devices - PCs, Mac computers, iPADs/iPhones (not using iBooks) and Android tablets and phones, entry of an authorization code is typically required, although this can be addressed via a prior user and device registration process. JavelinPro is a version of our Windows-based software which incorporates optional device/user registration thereby enabling offline authorization via a simple but highly effective document licensing process.

The process of checking the authorization code or license file is the key to DRM operation and document security. A valid deviceID or code is required in order to view the PDF. Once a valid code has been used it is effectively disabled for subsequent use on the DRM server, so sending the secured file and the code to someone else will not enable them to access the file. Likewise, a device-specific license file offers similar protection. This is entirely different to simply applying security to a standard PDF files, since that (may) protect the file content but does not prevent it being passed on to others or provide date/time protection. The Drumlin Security DRM service and the Javelin secure PDF readers go hand-in-hand to provide this authorization process and the PDF viewing facilities, with security controls, that deliver true copyright protection. This enables one to deliver PDF ebooks and other documents to Android, iPAD/iPhone, PC and Mac devices with confidence and ease.

More about Portable Document Format (PDF) files

PDF vs ePUB? - we are often asked whether publishers should opt for PDF or ePUB. The quick answer is that they are not mutually exclusive. If your source material is relatively uncomplicated in terms of formatting - graphics, table, fonts etc., then ePUB is definitely an option. The core difference between ePUB and PDF is that ePUB documents are re-flowable, so the format is not fixed and the page layout changes according to the screen size and font size selected by the user. The range of fonts available is generally smaller than with PDF documents. PDFs are page-centric and fixed layout i.e. fixed-format, not re-flowable and the font type and size cannot be amended by the end user. The second consideration is the distribution channel for a document. All the main eBook channels (e.g. Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc) are ePUB format based - they do not support DRM-protected PDFs. Drumlin and Javelin are designed to provide solutions for publishers whose preferred form of output is PDF - i.e. with the correct layout, fonts, pagination etc for their documents - as such, our solutions can be used on their own, or in conjunction with other channels of distribution such as ePUB services and print media.