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Frequently Asked Questions: Digital Rights Management (DRM)



Single-User Documents

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.

Why does IPC DRM-protect standards?

IPC is protecting the intellectual property that has been developed by industry for industry. This protection also provides an added level of security for ensuring the documents you purchase or receive as a free member benefit are not being pirated or stolen for use by others. The DRM protection matches the agreements of our single-user license agreements.

I am an IPC member company. Can I change the end-user for the documents I receive as a free member benefit?

Yes. To reassign a document or documents to a different end-user, email DRM@ipc.org. If you are the primary contact for multiple sites of an Enterprise Membership, IPC encourages you to provide separate contact information for people from those other sites who should receive the documents that are part of your member benefit.

How does FileOpen DRM work for single-device documents?

For single-device documents, 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 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.

How does FileOpen DRM work for multiple-device documents?

For multiple-device documents, when the user attempts to open the document, the plugin will not prompt the user for credentials. The FileOpen permission server will register the device and eliminate one allowed device from the number of devices purchased. This will continue for all opens on additional devices until the total number of devices for the order has been satisfied.

Note: To open a DRM-protected document for the first time, you must be connected to the Internet.

Can I open my DRM-protected document on multiple devices?

You can only open a DRM-protected document on multiple devices if it is a multiple-device DRM document.

If you purchased a single-device DRM document, 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 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.

Troubleshooting Topics

FileOpen provides helpful troubleshooting topics for installing and using FileOpen. Visit https://www.fileopen.com/products/troubleshooting-faq.

Multi-Device Documents

What login credentials do I need to provide our employees who will use this document?

Users of multi-device DRM products will not be prompted for login credentials to open the PDFs.

How are device limits controlled?

Each time the DRM-protected PDF is opened on a device, that will count against the total number of devices for the multiple-device product order. For instance, if you purchased a 25-device product, and that PDF is opened on 13 different devices, you will have 12 devices remaining on your account. Note that even if one person opens the document on multiple devices, the devices and not the individual are counted against the total number of devices on your product order.

How can I check our account status?

To verify how many devices have been used for an order, email DRM@ipc.org.

Where can we store this document for distribution to employees?

There are no restrictions on where you can store the document (e.g., shared server, document library, etc.), and you can also email it as an attachment. Just keep in mind that you should make employees aware of the document device restriction so individuals who may not need the document do not open it and count against your device limit.

The FileOpen plugin for Adobe

Before any users attempt to open the document, be sure they have installed FileOpen DRM plugin for Adobe from https://plugin.fileopen.com/all.aspx. They may already have it loaded on their device, so check the third-party plugins list in your PDF reader before attempting to install.

The plugin will contact the IPC FileOpen permission server when you attempt to open the document. 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 is over TLS 1.0. Your IT department can contact DRM@ipc.org with any questions.

FileOpen is supported by Windows, Macintosh, iOS Android and Linux. Visit the FileOpen plugin installer page for system requirements.

Important information for defense agencies and contractors

IPC DRM document users from defense agencies and contractors have reported that their version of Adobe does not support DRM. These agencies use Nuance Power and/or Edge, which both support DRM. If Adobe does not work, try these apps, consult with your IT department and/or contact DRM@ipc.org for assistance.

IPC FileOpen DRM and I.H.S. FileOpen DRM

If your company has an I.H.S. subscription, and you have issues accessing a document on the I.H.S. server, contact your I.H.S. representative. Although IPC and I.H.S. both use FileOpen, the credentials are different. You can also contact DRM@ipc.org for help.

Do I need to be online to open the document?

Users only need to be online the first time they open the document, so the IPC DRM server can verify your permission to open the document. After that first login, they do not need to be online to reopen the document.

Printing, screen shots and watermarks

The IPC DRM protection prevents printing, as well as copying and screen shots. The document also includes a watermark with the user’s name. None of these features can be disabled.

More troubleshooting topics

FileOpen provides helpful troubleshooting topics for installing and using FileOpen. Visit https://www.fileopen.com/products/troubleshooting-faq.