"Now you, and anyone one else, has your 'stamp' to do with as they wish in any software, including pasting it in AutoCAD."
I hear that ALL the time, but still don't understand why it matters if the only "legitimate" stamp is the "wet-stamp" (those with the PE's actual signature).
Where wet seals are strictly adhered to, you are correct.
Where a stamp/signature image are used with or without the knowledge of the author seems to be of concern to the OP here and simply locking a PDF as noted by them in the 'letter' example offers no security at all.
It doesn't matter if the file is password protected against copying, printing, or extracting since the protection can easily be turned off by relatively cheap software.
Your best bet is to print pdf's as an image rather than as a line drawing since that is the more difficult to edit, but file sizes grow astronomically. A 200 k file could easily end up 4 meg. One other trick is to watermark almost white on white, usingg that same color as part of the desired image and then if the issue of counterfeiting comes up you can at least show that only part of the watermark is present or part of the image is missing and therefore the image was clipped, and in the latter case color filters were used to hide the act of clipping.
embrace the world you currently live in and share and share a like.
anything and everything can be copied today so if soemone wants to use and copy your data they will and no doubt you would do the same, don't tell me you have never copied anything from the web
While you are absolutely right that you can't prevent 100% the illegal use of information, the problem here is the illegal use of a professional seal which constitutes identity theft.
Reminds me of a time when I got a set of plans that were on sheets with a P.E.'s logo. Needed to ask some questions and called the P.E. He had never seen the sheets and had nothing to do with them. Apparently a draftsman had once discussed with him using him to seal his drawings. Never went further than discussion, but the draftsman got a copy of his logo and used it to legitimize his sheets. Real problem since the draftsman was working for a good customer. But wasn't our fault. Conversation ended with P.E. asking to talk to a co-worker that was one of his best friends.
Another draftsman got a raoiised seal that only said he was a draftsman. Slipped a lot of drawings past the building department who felt the seal but never read what it said.
Once anything leaves your control (rock, tablet, papyrus, paper, email, tweet, or electronic format print) it's subject to theft. A reality that's not suddenly dead because it's 2011
Anyone selling you anything claiming an ability to stop the above is kidding you: the burden is on the creator to be able to prove the theft has taken place.
Seek legal counsel on how to conduct business sharing files with outsiders and writing contracts that spell it all out up front. Then be dilligent about knowing what happens to everything you publish and issue.
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