Protecting your digital files

Piracy in the digital world is a real problem.  Digital Downloads by Uplinkly offers a bunch of protective strategies to deter unauthorized sharing.

First, let’s look into what Digital Rights Management (DRM) is.

What is Digital Rights Management DRM?

DRM is intended to safeguard or lockdown your digital assets by adding an extra layer of protection to prevent the unauthorized use or sharing of your work.

This sounds fantastic, but in practice using DRM systems can be difficult for both you and your customers.

To develop a great reputation and large customer base, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to access and enjoy their purchases.

Problems with DRM:

The main issue with enabling DRM, is that it can’t stop all piracy.   And that it may also harm legitimate purchasers as well as cost you time and expense.

Anyone can take external recordings

  • Anyone with a mobile phone can take videos or photos with ease. Or use readily available software (which is often free) they can make screenshots
  • Despite recordings or screenshots being possible, it’s still really challenging to capture a complete book or the full resolution of the page.

Specialist software requirements

  • For dedicated pirates, it’s not hard to find workaround software to strip the DRM.

Increased costs

  • DRM software systems can be very expensive to implement, especially on your own.

Technical issues

  • DRM software suites can be difficult to use and are notorious for containing bugs.  This can further cause you a lot of customer service issues which is a real time sink.

How Digital Downloads By Uplinkly helps deter sharing

Audio and video streaming:

  • We have built-in the capability for streaming of audio and video as an alternative to delivery by downloadable file.
  • This helps by making it easy for customers to view their legitimately purchased video and audio.
  • While also making it much more difficult for customers to simply download and share with others.

PDF Stamping:

This is a very strong social deterrent against piracy.

Technically, your customer could still share it – but the copy shared will have their own personal credentials embedded into the PDF for others to see.

And people don’t like sharing their details.

  • PDF files don’t support DRM in any way that can be used to lock content to a specific person/device.  So,there’s just no way to stop someone from sending a copy to someone else.
  • Our Professional plan allows you to “stamp” each copy of the ebook with the customers details.
    • For example, each copy could have text embedded into the corner of every page that reads something like “Purchased By Customer Name, Order #1234. Property of You and Your Company, All Rights Reserved”.


You can easily turn on protection for PDF files with encryption.

  • This doesn’t suit everyone depending on your customer base – since not all PDF software can read encrypted files.

Allow only view, copy, print:

The app allows you to stop certain actions by the purchaser.

  • Copy function -allows the viewing, and copying the contents to their clipboard to paste elsewhere.
  • Print function – Allows for viewing and printing, but not copying the contents to their clipboard to paste elsewhere.
  • Editing function so they can “View Only” – takes away the ability for people to manipulate the contents of your PDF.  Your customers can view the PDF, but not print or copy the contents to their clipboard.
  • All – Allows customers to view, copy, print.

You can add another layer of protection by requiring that customers are logged in before accessing their purchases.   There’s no other way to know who exactly is clicking the link that leads to the download page.

Limiting Maximum Downloads

Limiting the number of downloads allow you to control how many download attempts there are for each delivery, improving security.

Download limit counts are triggered based on each attempt to download. And this limit is subject to a 5 minute grace period – during the grace period, all downloads within a 5 minute period are treated as a single download.

There are a few technical reasons for the grace period, but in general, it’s to avoid issues that mobile phones introduce. For example, download manager software and Facebook’s browser downloading files twice by default.

Protection vs usability

We’ve added deterrents into our app without compromising ease of use for both you and your customers.

DRM can be annoying to the customer and may even result in lost sales as some people refuse to buy products that are DRM enabled, or have real difficulty accessing their purchases.

Digital Downloads By Uplinkly uses helpful protection features using systems of DRM, without being too obtrusive or cumbersome.

Ultimately, piracy is not the biggest problem for most people.

The bigger problem facing most people is obscurity.  And this is why when work gets shared by customers, some people consider it as one form of marketing.

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