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What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

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  • What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    A friend of mine had mentioned that some of the PDFs were password protected. He'd been trying to cut and paste into a presentation for a trip report, and discovered it then. I hadn't really paid attention until that, but then went off and looked.

    Not some. All. What on earth is that for? Of all things I can think of that were worth spending time on, password protecting the presentations of various and sundry folk was probably one of the least important.

    Were the presenters aware ahead of time that this would be done?

    As has already been pointed out elsewhere, using any portion of these PDFs appears to be a DMCA violation. Weird it is that Defcon, one of the biggest EFF contributors, would put innocent little me in that position.

  • #2
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Shrdlu-
    which ones were locked?

    I have my CD in and am randomly opening speaker's presentation PDFs...
    I managed to get into all the random ones I tried and Joe Grand's...
    ======================================
    DJ Jackalope
    dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

    send in the drop bears!
    ======================================

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

      Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
      Shrdlu-
      which ones were locked?

      I have my CD in and am randomly opening speaker's presentation PDFs...
      I managed to get into all the random ones I tried and Joe Grand's...
      I tried random ones, but know for sure that FX and Fyodor were locked. Please note that opening them is not the issue. Cut and paste (or any kind of copying) is the issue. Examine the document properties, and then go to the Security tab (or look at security for the document directly, under the Document->Security menu).

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      • #4
        Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

        Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
        I tried random ones, but know for sure that FX and Fyodor were locked. Please note that opening them is not the issue. Cut and paste (or any kind of copying) is the issue. Examine the document properties, and then go to the Security tab (or look at security for the document directly, under the Document->Security menu).
        Hmm.. they were not supposed to be. We used to lock them to try and prevent plagiarism. Let me see if what is put on-line is locked.
        PGP key: dtangent@defcon.org valid 2020 Jan 15, to 2024 Jan 01 Fingerprint: BC5B CD9A C609 1B6B CD81 9636 D7C6 E96C FE66 156A

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        • #5
          Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

          Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
          Hmm.. they were not supposed to be. We used to lock them to try and prevent plagiarism. Let me see if what is put on-line is locked.
          Is it possible then for you to simply share the current password for each of these? I assume it's the same one for all of them. You might also consider a small announcement on the web site.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

            any chance it's a default adobe password that was set by accident?
            anyone try "password"?
            according to the internetz it's an "owner " password level ( can be read but not copied)

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            • #7
              Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

              time to fire up the tools from Elcomsoft
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

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              • #8
                Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                time to fire up the tools from Elcomsoft
                There are those for whom that would be a problem. Personally, I can think of any number of ways, but my preference would be to see it made right on defcon's side.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                  To officially answer this question.... for the past several years Dead Addict, Black Beetle and myself have been locking the presentations on CD. This has been protocol on the past several Defcon CD's mastered by myself and any updated materials on the website. This has never been a reported issue or complaint before. The information is still readable, viewable and printable in high resolution as well. ONLY the Cut & Paste rights have been disallowed. In order to change this going forward the speakers would have to consent to making their presentations "unlocked". Time does move forward and so does the ability to unlock these PDF's via software, etc. I do realize this, however please respect the wishes of the speakers who have requested their presentations be locked to disable cut & paste. If this is an issue that greatly frustrates and agonizes the community please understand it is not our intention nor the speakers. If DT wishes, we may go with "unlocked" presentations for next year so long as we have received the authors consent. However this may also mean that we do not get speakers consent and therefore the results will be inconsistent. As of now, this years content will remain "locked" to disable cut & paste as many speakers appreciate the gesture and have not consented otherwise.

                  Thank you,
                  Nikita
                  "Haters, gonna hate"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                    I knew you had the answer. Thanks for clarifying for everyone!

                    Originally posted by Nikita View Post
                    As of now, this years content will remain "locked" to disable cut & paste as many speakers appreciate the gesture and have not consented otherwise.

                    Thank you,
                    Nikita
                    PGP key: dtangent@defcon.org valid 2020 Jan 15, to 2024 Jan 01 Fingerprint: BC5B CD9A C609 1B6B CD81 9636 D7C6 E96C FE66 156A

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                      Mac OS X:

                      Apple + P -> PDF -> Save as PDF.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                        Originally posted by Nikita View Post
                        To officially answer this question....
                        I appreciate your answer. Makes perfect sense. Truthfully, I'd have never noticed. It was only a comment from someone else trying to write a report; I'm sure he's already just typed in whatever it was he was working with.

                        Originally posted by Nikita View Post
                        If DT wishes, we may go with "unlocked" presentations for next year so long as we have received the authors consent.
                        Oh, no reason to change what already works. I note that a few people have suggested methods to unlock it, but getting around it was never the issue. Understanding why it was done was what I was after.

                        Thanks again for the explanation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                          Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                          Oh, no reason to change what already works. I note that a few people have suggested methods to unlock it, but getting around it was never the issue. Understanding why it was done was what I was after.
                          Might I suggest that if a speaker does not want to at least CC license their presentation, we don't need to hear them? This one is pretty restrictive http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ and in any case

                          EVERY HACKER KNOWS DRM DOES NOT WORK - except to get people arrested.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                            Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                            Thanks again for the explanation.
                            No problem, sometimes things just appear to be silly before a detailed explanation is given :-)
                            "Haters, gonna hate"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

                              I was the one that brought up the issue of the locked PDF's on the dc-stuff discussion list. Shrdlu was kind enough to relay and anonymize my comments here since I didn't have a forums account at the time.

                              This seems so ironic to me. At Defcon 9 Dmitry Sklyarov was jailed for distributing a tool that broke Adobe eBook DRM. Today, Defcon distributes its presentations using Adobe PDF DRM. I understand that eBook DRM and PDF DRM are very different but breaking a copy protection mechanism is a violation of the DMCA. It doesn't matter that PDF DRM is lame and can easily be broken.

                              DRM doesn't change the author's rights to their material. They are fully protected under copyright law. DRM doesn't change the right to fair use. What is the purpose of using DRM on the presentations? What message is being sent?

                              Defcon has long been a gathering for the free exchange of information. I guess it is the idealist in me that thought this would never be compromised. I'm sure to many this all sounds very melodramatic and trivial but I think it deserves a bit of reflection.

                              Thanks.

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