How can I prevent links to my pdfs for general download?

Category: How To

cynthia
Asked:
2012-01-19 11:23 am EST

Hits: 4,327
Several papers on my website have started to appear on eBooks publishers that enable download. Is there a way that I can prevent downloads of pdfs from my site, or does that prevent everyone from accessing them? How can I limit the extent of downloading?

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Tim S.
Staff
9,967 Points
2012-01-19 11:46 am EST
Hi cynthia,

Thanks for posting your question. I'm more than happy to assist you today. How you handle your specific situation really has to do with how these other sites are using your files and how they are offering your PDFs to their visitors.

If they have your PDF and allow people to download them directly from their own site, there's little you can do to prevent it other than contacting the site and asking to have your copyrighted content removed.

If they link to your website, that may not be a bad situation. If these sites are driving traffic to your site through a link, ultimately this can help you. However, this wouldn't be fruitful if they are simply giving the link to the direct download of the PDF.

You can always "brand" your PDF files with your business logo and a watermark. That way, those who are reaching your files will know they are yours and possibly look into you and your business.

You also may be able to enable "hotlink" protection to keep your PDF files from being downloaded from an outside source, however, I have not tested this scenario with PDF files. Generally, hotlink protection is used to keep other websites from leeching your image files. Here's a link to our guide on enabling hotlink protection.

I hope this helps! If you need further assistance please feel free to contact us.

Thanks!

Tim S

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