Re: can Acrobat files be edited?

Subject: Re: can Acrobat files be edited?
From: Mitch Berg <mberg -at- IS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 11:21:30 -0600

> I don't know about software conversion of Acrobat files, but there are a
> lot of scanners out there. Anybody could just dump the files to a
> printer, and run the paper through a cheap scanner with OCR. I bought
> (for strictly legitimate purposes involving my own artwork) a very nice
> scanner for less than $400 including OCR software. And then there may
> well be hacks that route printer files directly into OCR, and skip the
> hardware altogether.
>
> Technology is not a cure for plagiarism. If it can be read by a person,
> it can be duplicated.

And in this case, Acrobat technology doesn't add much to the plagiarist's
capabilities. Yes, you can copy and paste from Acrobat. It's no different
than any other online medium (except a few nifty, Java-based presentation
systems I've seen that are NOT copy/pasteable)

And these days, ANY book, brochure, letter or other printed matter can be
scanned and OCR'ed. Failing that, the traditional method (read and retype)
is still available.

Technology has NEVER impeded plagiarists (although I'd hate to try to OCR
the Algerian font through a low-end scanner...). Any manager who thinks
that keeping things on paper protects from plagiarism is living in the dark
ages.

Enforcement is the only answer - and that was difficult in the days when
monks copied books one at a time by hand.

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