Frequently Asked Questions: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
What is digital rights management (DRM)?
Digital rights management (DRM) is a way for IPC to protect its published documents from piracy or other unauthorized distribution. It is an assurance that the document(s) IPC customers purchase will not be used by others who have not purchased the documents.
What is FileOpen DRM?
FileOpen DRM is a utility IPC selected for ensuring published electronic documents can be opened only by people who have permission to do so. The utility uses a free plugin for Adobe to verify with an IPC FileOpen permission server that the user is authorized by IPC to open the document. This is a similar process to opening a book purchased through Amazon or music purchased through iTunes.
IPC selected FileOpen DRM for two reasons:
1. Many IPC members and customers (i.e., those who have purchased subscriptions to IPC documents through other IPC partners) already use FileOpen DRM to access documents published by IPC and other standards developers.
2. It uses a free plugin utility for Adobe. There is no “reader” software required to open DRM-protected IPC documents, and most users already have Adobe or can download Adobe Reader at no cost.
What is the IPC FileOpen permission server?
This is a database of users and DRM-protected IPC documents which the FileOpen plugin for Adobe contacts to determine if a user has permission to open a document.
How does FileOpen DRM work?
When the user attempts to open a DRM-protected IPC document for the first time, the plugin will prompt the user for their credentials. The plugin will then ping the IPC FileOpen permission server to verify the user has permission to open the standard. If the user has permission, the document will open normally in Adobe. If not, the user will receive an error message with instructions.
Users will not be prompted for credentials on subsequent opens of the same document.
Note: To open a DRM-protected document for the first time, you must be connected to the Internet.
Is the IPC DRM-protected document stored online?
No. You can save the DRM-protected document directly to your device. The only online activity that occurs is the FileOpen plugin pinging the IPC FileOpen permission server with your credentials to confirm your permission to open the document.
Can I open my DRM-protected document on multiple devices?
No. IPC has restricted DRM-protected documents to single devices. The IPC FileOpen permission server will consider the first device you use to open a DRM-protected IPC document as your device. Consider this before opening your first DRM-protected IPC document.
What happens if I change my primary device (i.e., received a replacement work computer)?
IPC staff can assist you in switching the device for your IPC FileOpen account. Email DRM@ipc.org if you need to change your device.
Can other users open their IPC DRM-protected documents on my device?
No. FileOpen DRM is device-specific. If you attempt to open an IPC DRM-protected document on a device registered under another IPC user, you will receive a prompt from the IPC FileOpen permission server that you are not the authorized IPC DRM account for the device.
If you share a device with another IPC DRM-protected document user, email DRM@ipc.org for guidance.
How do I get the FileOpen DRM plugin for Adobe?
You will receive a link to download the FileOpen DRM plugin for Adobe when you attempt to open a DRM-protected for the first time on a device. You can also download the plugin at https://plugin.fileopen.com/all.aspx.
I already use FileOpen DRM-protected documents. Will I need to reinstall the plugin?
No. If you already have the FileOpen plugin for Adobe on your device, you will not need to reinstall a plugin. This is one of the primary reasons IPC selected FileOpen as its DRM utility.
You will still be prompted for your credentials the first time you attempt to open an IPC document with FileOpen DRM protection.
How do I know if I have the FileOpen plugin for Adobe on my machine?
Open Adobe and click on the Help drop-down menu item. Click on About Third-Party Plugins menu item. If you see FileOpen Client in that list, you already have the plugin installed.
Does FileOpen work on any device or operating system?
FileOpen is supported by Windows, Macintosh, iOS Android and Linux. Visit the FileOpen plugin installer page (https://plugin.fileopen.com/all.aspx) for system requirements.
Does a DRM-protected IPC document work differently from other IPC documents I use?
No. Aside from the plugin contacting the permission server with your credentials on the first use, the IPC document works the same. The only unique thing you will notice is the watermark on each page which identifies you as the owner of the document.
Why does IPC need my contact information for me to open a DRM-protected IPC document?
IPC needs a minimum of first name, last name and email address to set up a user with access to DRM-protected documents. The IPC FileOpen permission server uses this minimum information to verify access to a DRM-protected IPC document.
What should I do if I am ordering DRM-protected IPC documents for other people?
If you are a purchasing agent for your company, IPC distributor, etc., please plan to have the first name, last name and email address for each user when you place your order. Once your order has been processed, IPC will send the login credentials directly to those users.
Can I email myself an DRM-protected IPC document for access on another device (i.e., home computer for a document purchased by my employer)?
You will only be able to open the document on your primary device. If this is a document purchased by your employer for work use, you may be limited to the device for your company. If you purchased the document for yourself but opened it on your work computer and would like to change the device to a home computer or other personal device, email DRM@ipc.org.
What if an employee leaves our company and a new employee will need access to the documents we purchased for the original employee?
IPC can help with these instances. Email DRM@ipc.org for assistance.
Can I print DRM-protected IPC documents?
No. The DRM protection prevents printing, as well as copying and screen shots.
Can I turn off the watermark that appears on my DRM-protected IPC documents?
No. This feature is mandatory for DRM-protected IPC documents.
Do I need to open the FileOpen utility to access DRM-protected IPC documents?
No. The FileOpen plugin for Adobe runs in the background of Adobe. You will open the pdf as you open any other pdfs.
Do I need to be connected to the Internet to open a DRM-protected IPC document?
You need to be connected to the Internet the first time you open a document. After initial access, you can be offline for subsequent opens.
Are there any firewall issues associated with the IPC FileOpen permission server?
As with any server-to-server interaction, some company firewalls may block initial access to the IPC FileOpen permission server. If this happens, consult your IT department and ask them to whitelist traffic to ssl.fileopen.com over TLS 1.0. Your IT can contact DRM@ipc.org with any questions.
What if I am asked for my login credentials but I have lost or forgotten them?
You can obtain your credentials by emailing DRM@ipc.org.
FileOpen provides helpful troubleshooting topics for installing and using FileOpen. Visit https://www.fileopen.com/products/troubleshooting-faq.