PDF files : printing protected !

Vincent Trouilliez vincent.trouilliez at modulonet.fr
Wed May 4 12:34:00 UTC 2005

A friend downloaded a big 30MB PDF file (a workshop manual for his
motorbike). The problem is that it is apparently PROTECTED ! Acrobat
reader refuse to print it, it is explicitely print protected.
I tried googling for a third-party PDF viewer, but even that, refuses to
print. He uses a laptop with Windows XP.

However I tried in Ubuntu with Xpdf and it prints perfectly, it doesn't
seem to care about the protections.

I remember someone on this list recently, who seemed very knowledgeable
about the PDF and PS file format. How is this printing protection
implemented ?
Is just a couple bytes in the header of the file that could be
overwritten with a HEX editor, provided we know the exact
address/offset ?
Or is there some PDF editor or utility I could use to remove this
protection ?

I never knew PDF's had protection mechanisms ! :-/


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