Type Setting Files Being Stolen

auchprinting

Active member
When we do a job we always Proof as a PDF. I am having customers take my PDF Proof and giving the file to another printer to print the next time the job is printed. Is there any way of providing a PDF Proof that cannot be stolen. When we typeset a book and provide a low res Proof, the file can still be stolen. I am told that the PDF can simply be open, corrected and reimaged.
 

Mike F

Well-known member
Low-res/watermarked jpg, or use an online proofing system that doesn't allow them to download the proof.
 

macgurl70

Member
Actually, you can create security settings on your PDF file that prevent them from printing, where they can view only - or just print out a low resolution version of the file.

This also prevents the file from being opened in a program such as Illustrator to pull out any of the documentation. Here is a short explanation of how to start with the security settings.

How to Change Security Settings on a PDF | eHow.com

You can have it with a password, that way you are the only one that can change the settings on the file to print out the high resolution images and text.
 

chevalier

Well-known member
Security settings are easily broken and many prepress departments have software to do so due to clients providing them locked files due to corporate policies. Digital watermarking can be removed with software but it is painful if you do it to every page.

I suggest locking the PDFs with security settings AND watermarking every page. You can only make the barriers high and hope that it causes them to be discouraged.
 

macgurl70

Member
Security settings are easily broken and many prepress departments have software to do so due to clients providing them locked files due to corporate policies. Digital watermarking can be removed with software but it is painful if you do it to every page.

I suggest locking the PDFs with security settings AND watermarking every page. You can only make the barriers high and hope that it causes them to be discouraged.

This is true - I remember doing this. However, some of the more recent PDF documents have better settings making it much more difficult. If you have some of the older versions of the programs, yes - it is definitely doable.

I do have a question though, why are you providing high resolution PDF files for proofs? (just realized this after reading the question again). Make the proof a very low resolution pdf, for layout purposes since monitors are not reliable for color proofing. If they need a color proof they can come in for an accurate one (since you never know how they have their monitor calibrated). This will 1. prevent them from providing a usable file to another printer and 2. bring them back into the shop so they can pay you ;)
 

chevalier

Well-known member
If it is all vector art and/or line/type copy outputting at a low resolution won't make any difference.
 

airyk

Well-known member
nobody likes to lose clients, but don't you think it would/could be advantages to act like a professional to let them try their hand with another printer to see if they can deliver as quickly and efficiently as the printer you work for hoping that somewhere down the line they comeback to you since this other printer couldn't deliver? Locking people out of files or giving them low rez is a sure fire way to completely lose a customer.
 

macgurl70

Member
I disagree on the files, especially if they have not paid for the services/design. The file is not theirs to have produced. It is still the print shop's property, and I see it as stolen when the customer does that.

As for the PDF, you have to print to a bitmap - not export it. This will keep the vectors from transferring and you can lower the dpi where it will not be printable.
 

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macgurl70

Member
The OP is from a print shop and is having the customer take the pdf proof created to another print shop.
If you have one print shop typesetting/designing (or it could be a design agency) and they are taking the original company's pdf file to another organization. The file belongs to the first company that created the file.

Now, here is another wrinkle in the question that you caught and I admit I didn't -
"PDF Proof and giving the file to another printer to print the next time the job is printed."

I had been focusing on the term "proof" and missed the fact it was a reprint of the same job.

In that case, yes - it is their file. And, if all else fails - you at least have their design / typesetting business which is better than nothing at all.
 

Sherbert

Well-known member
So you typeset and print the job. The customer pays for both the typesetting and the print.

What does your contract say about releasing artwork files or isn't there one in place?
 

OkiTech

Well-known member
I would advice to rasterize the file to 100 dpi. It will be readable on the screen but taken anywhere to print will look bad. If this is a common issue - this must be done.
 

Lukas Engqvist

Well-known member
I would talk to the customer about his views on ethics. Ask them their view on intellectual property and the right to get paid what you're due.
 

Mike F

Well-known member
You could also start requiring a deposit before providing a proof, so that at least if they do take it somewhere else, you haven't completely wasted your time. This is common practice in a few creative industries such as logo design and signage.
 

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