Technology that prevents copyright content being stolen from websites has been developed by UK start up Breakertech.
Designed to prevent copyright theft, the Softseal software could be used by image libraries, high value content providers such as market and financial research companies and organisations wanting to bring content archives to new retail markets.
Breakertech's software disables the copy and paste commands for content on a sealed website. It also restricts printing and viewing options depending on conditions imposed by the publisher, the company said.
Company chairman and chief technology officer Martin Lambert said: "The issue off digital rights management has long been a stumbling block for the growth of the IT industry," he said.
"For artists and authors, the Internet has been a double edged sword, offering a global audience but also threatening livelihoods by its vulnerability to copyright theft and piracy."
Lambert explained: "Softseal acts as a secure 'briefcase' for content. Unlike encrypted content where the security is actually embedded in the file, publishers using Softseal can change the access permission at will - this offers both the content owner and the consumer the flexibility to receive content in the most economical and relevant manner for their needs."
For example, he said, a student may want to read a section of a book online but not to print it, or alternatively a newspaper could offer free access to its archives disabling the print function and blanking and blanking out the pictures but also offer the ability to print and view the images at a low cost.
The company said it will launch the technology in the first half of next year and has already had enquiries from major publishing house, record companies and newspapers.
Lambert added: "The millennium looks like being a watershed year for the online publishing industry. We are confident that Softseal will be adopted by authors, artists and archive owners who realise the massive benefits to be gained from offering their content to an online audience, free from the worries of piracy and copyright theft."
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