Adobe Locks Down PDFs, Releases Acrobat 7.0

LiveCycle Policy Server, which debuted in February 2004, at the Demo 2004 conference, lets organizations set rights policies to PDFs, including those distributed outside the enterprise.

The software determines who can view a PDF document, and whether that person can change, copy, print, or forward the document via e-mail. Permissions can be changed or even revoked at any time, and are implemented the next time the user tries to access the document, since the Policy Server is called on to provide authentication.

Policy Server, which sells for $50,000, runs on Windows, Red Hat Linux, IBM's AIX, and Sun Solaris. Support for Novell's SuSE Linux and HP-UX will be added in the first half of 2005.

Adobe's new rights manager integrates tightly with the new Acrobat 7.0, which also debuted Wednesday. The new version, which comes in Professional, Standard, and Reader editions, ranges in price from $449 to free. Among the changes to v. 7.0, said Adobe, are the ability to create PDF documents from multiple sources, build smart forms, and collaborate on PDF files from both inside and outside the firewall.

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The free-of-charge Windows and Mac OS X versions of Adobe Reader 7.0 can be downloaded from the company's Web site. Although one for Linux is not yet available, users can register for the beta test program here.