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[liberationtech] Auto expiring document/files & 'rights to be forgotten'

Brian Conley brianc at
Thu Jan 26 10:52:44 PST 2012

I've asked for the specific use-case because I think most of what has been
said by others should be obvious, and I think it may not apply to what
Frank is asking. But I guess we will see!!

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM, M. Fioretti <mfioretti at> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 16:08:15 PM +0000, Frank Corrigan wrote:
> > Does anyone know of any free resource that can make a PDF document, for
> > instance, inaccessible after a certain data, Most Digital Rights
> > Management (DRM) software prices are too prohibitive to make them a
> > practical solution to individuals.
> I think the request is simply impossible to satisfy at any price, both
> for technical reasons, and for reasons of other kinds not mentioned
> yet here.
> The technical reasons, already mentioned, all come down to the fact
> that the only way to do what you want is to have full, absolute
> control on ALL the computers that may ever receive the document, in
> order to reduce them to dumb internet kiosks or Web-TVs. Otherwise it
> would be trivial to roll back the clock, or **automatically** take
> snapshots and feed them to an OCR program, etc.. And people would race
> to do it and break the format, just as it happened with the
> "green-because-unprintable" WWF format (which I covered at
> Then there is the fact that, at least for certain classes of
> documents, PDF is wrong to begin with, and there is an active movement
> to get rid of it, at least as the only format in which documents are
> published online. I am talking of public sector information, and of
> the Open Data movement that is pushing worldwide to have all those
> data (also) in raw, machine readable, open formats available online.
> Which means that, if it became ever possible to make such a PDF, it
> would be irrelevant for those data, because people would simply make
> their copies of the same data in those other formats.
> Marco
> --
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Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

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