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Protecting a PDF document from being hotlinked

  1. Hi,

    I'm providing PDF documents I own in my blog for downloading. The problem is that anyone can copy the link to a PDF and post it in their web site or blog and the download might work just fine for them using WP's bandwidth. Is there a way to prevent that from happening? I've seen many topics here discussing hotlinking, but they're all related to images, not documents.

    Thanks in advance.

    http://overdoc.wordpress.com

    PS: here in my blog, you can go to for example http://overdoc.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/analyse-des-donnees-travail-dirige-3/ , the download link is provided below the displayed document as "Télécharger".

    The blog I need help with is overdoc.wordpress.com.

  2. I suggest using Scribd for uploading and displaying pdf-files, and deactivating the 'Save' function in Scribd, such that the documents can only be viewed, but not saved. It works well on my blog.

  3. Sorry...I answered this without even looking at your link, since you did not mention Scribd. I see now that you are using it. All you need to do is to disable the 'Download' function.

    Go to your document list in Scribd, Click 'Edit', then under 'Permissions and Licenses' make sure all boxes under 'Allow users to download as a' are unmarked. Also consider to mark the boxes under 'Prevent users from' 'Printing' and/or 'Copying and pasting text' if you really want to protect your docs as much as possible.

  4. Thanks for the reply. I have no problem with my documents being downloaded, I just don't want it to be done outside of my blog if you know what I mean.

  5. @overdoc-Anyone who downloads/saves a file to their computer can upload it somewhere else and offer it for download. Just so we're clear; also this isn't the same as hotlinking.

    You might want to think about a CC license and/or a very prominent copyright notice with a link back to your original site.

  6. You could put a watermark or tag across the middle of each page of your pdf files.

  7. husdal, thanks
    scribd is now hosting a pdf that is available for view on my blog.

  8. @justjennifer: Thank you, I'll consider a CC license as you said.
    @ johnlvs2run: I had that idea, but it will be a pain to watermark and re-upload all the 200 documents already uploaded :D I'll think about it for future documents. Thanks!

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