Publisher Solves the Problem of Delivering Secured PDF Format Books on Apple’s iPAD

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Taxbooks GmbH, based in Switzerland, publish a range of books, many of which are 1000 pages or more in length and need to be re-printed annually. To augment their print editions they wanted to provide electronic copies to their customers in standard (but secured) PDF format on Apple’s iPAD. They have achieved this using software developed to their specification by Drumlin Security Ltd, the UK-based specialist provider of secure PDF solutions for Windows PCs, Mac OSX computers and now for iPAD devices.

Taxbooks catalog

Taxbooks Catalog - built into the iPAD app

Drumlin Security Ltd developed an outstanding iPAD app solution for us. Daniel Gygax, CEO Taxbooks GmbH

A long-standing problem for book publishers and training organisations is how to leverage and protect the value of their existing catalogue by developing new media offerings without huge costs, complexities and risks. One option is to convert their catalogue of publications into ePUB format and outsource the technicalities to the major distribution channels such as Amazon’s Kindle Publishing facility or Apple’s iBookstore. However, there are several major issues with this approach: the net revenue received by the publisher from the main channel, Amazon, is typically very low; the format of many of the reader devices so widely used – Kindle, Nook, iPhones etc are unsuitable for larger and more complex documents, especially those that have a lot of formatting and images; and it can be relatively costly, complex and unsatisfactory to convert existing files to the ePUB format. The ideal solution is to publish files in PDF format, direct from a publisher’s or training organisation's own website or via third parties, in the confidence that this will be inexpensive and secure and with a cost model that is affordable for even the smallest organisation.

Since 2006 Drumlin Security have been delivering cost-effective PDF security solutions to a wide range of organisations ranging from training enterprises and international engineering companies to traditional and non-traditional publishers. These solutions provide delivery to Windows PC and Mac computers, but until now, not on mobile devices such as the iPAD. However, in a major breakthrough, working closely with their client Swiss-based publisher Taxbooks GmbH, Drumlin Security have devised a very simple, effective and efficient solution to this long-standing problem. This comes in the form of a very small and fast app for the iPAD (available from the iPAD App Store) coupled with Drumlin’s well-established in-network Digital Rights Management (DRM) service. The Taxbooks app includes a built-in (updatable) catalogue of selected Taxbooks titles (see iPAD screenshot) with a one-touch download process and simple DRM authorization using a 9 character code issued to customers. The new Taxbooks app is used for the imprints of the publisher Verlag Steuern und Recht GmbH, a sister company of Taxbooks GmbH.

A free general purpose app: "Javelin reader" is also now available from the App Store and enables both standard PDFs and secured PDFs to be downloaded or synch-ed to the iPAD and then read by users (with DRM authorisation when required). Publishers can load their own catalogue (or a subset) onto the iPAD and test the process using standard PDF files with Javelin right now. A brief User Guide explaining how this works is available within the Javelin reader app and directly downloadable from:

http://www.drumlinsecurity.co.uk/ipad/userguide.pdf

Bespoke applications for specific publishers, file conversion to the secure PDF format, and the delivery of DRM services for the iPAD are provided by individual quotation. The end-user apps (Taxbooks and Javelin) are provided free of charge. Details of pricing for many of Drumlin's services are shown on the Products and Services page of the Drumlin Security website.

Secured PDFs can have a wide range of controls applied: date expiry, user-specific watermarking, prevention of various forms of copying (file copying/emailing, cut-and-paste prevention, screen capture protection etc) and controls over printing rights. Drumlin Security's software is available for all MS Windows OS platforms, Apple’s Mac OSX, and for mobile tablet devices (for Apple’s iPAD right now, and in due course for Android devices). For courseware providers and publishers there is no need for special software on their websites or in-house servers and usage of the DRM facility can be easily integrated into any eCommerce/shopping cart facility with little or no extra work. The secured version of PDFs created using the Drumlin software can be placed on a web site, CD or emailed to a user or customer.

Drumlin Security provides several options that offer an easy and cost-effective way to manage materials in PDF format and ensure that those receiving the files cannot onward distribute them. For Training organisations this applies to documents provided on training center facilities and to documents supplied externally to subcontracted trainers and to students taking part in Distance Learning programmes. For Educational publishers, like Management Pocketbooks, their entire catalogue in secure PDF format is already available online for PC and Mac users. For more details please try out the Taxbooks and Javelin apps via Apple’s App Store for the iPAD and visit the Drumlin Security website, http://www.drumlinsecurity.com

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Michael de Smith

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