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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Missouri, USA
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    Protecting Information

    I'm working on a project right now that has a problem i'm having trouble solving. Let me describe the situation to you. I would like to be able to display entire books on my website. However, a user should not be able to do anything but view the book which means no copying, no saving, no printing, etc. Another constraint of the problem is that the content in the books also need to be indexed by our search engine.
    I'm currently using the sphider search engine (

    Solutions i've come up with and their problems:
    1. Display the books in pdf format and use something like this:

    But everything i've found along this lines is excessively expensive.

    2. Use flash to display the book. Problem with this is that i'm not aware of anyway to index the flash document for our search engine. I've been told that keywords will not be sufficient, the person i'm makign this for wants the entire book indexed.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    West Springfield, Massachusetts
    198 Post(s)
    3 Thread(s)
    Sounds like a "Catch 22". You want everyone and everything to be able to access and download the content for viewing. But for viewing only, and only from your site.

    The problem is, once the content is "out there", it's "out there".

    IMHO the best way to protect it is through legal means, not through technology. You can use technology to restrict initial viewing (logged in, subscribed, etc.), and you can limit the format of the content (PDF, streamed, etc.), but once a file is downloaded to the user's computer as it must be to be viewed, AFAIK it is impossible to control what's done with it. Hence legal safeguards are needed.

    If you want search engines to find the content, it becomes even more complicated and impossible to do. i.e. Show the content in a search result, but don't show the content.


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