Google Alters Functionality To Comply With DRM

    May 16, 2006

Google has changed the way Gmail displays PDF files, in order to prevent it from circumventing Adobe’s DRM.

Previously, if you had a content-protected PDF and wanted to copy-and-paste portions of it, you could email it to yourself, and click “View as HTML” to get a plain text version with zero restrictions. Now, if Gmail sees that it is protected, all you get is this:

The attachment cannot be viewed as HTML because the author has placed restrictions on its content. Download the attachment to view it in its original format.

Either Adobe complained when the story made the rounds (most prominently Boing Boing), or Google decided it didn’t want to risk it.

Not that a simple Google search won’t reveal plenty of more sinister means of cracking PDFs

Also, since I’ve got a lot of news to catch up on (damn wedding!), here’s something else that changed in Gmail: Google added pictures. You can give yourself a picture, not unlike the buddy pictures in IM, and you can create ones for your friends as well. When you create one for your friend, you can send a message to your buddy suggesting he use it himself. So find those pictures of your friends embarresing themselves at keggers, and get cracking!

Coverage on that by Garett Rogers.

Also, Gmail chat now has little ping sounds, so that you can hear whne you get a new IM. Very good idea, since a lot of people were missing IMs that arrived in other browser tabs.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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