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NFPA removes DRM on PDFs

Move to allow easier use of digital codes

In an effort to make digital versions of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards easier to use across multiple platforms while maintaining necessary copyright protection, NFPA announced it will no longer use digital rights management (DRM) that locks down PDFs to a specific device but instead will employ a social DRM strategy.

iPads, Androids can now be used

“We have removed the software that locked our digital products because it was making it too difficult for our customers to do their work. With the increased use of mobile technology, it is important to be able to use codes and standards on multiple devices with ease,” said Kim Fontes, NFPA’s director of Product Development. “We are adding a new watermarking system that allows appropriate use of our digital product licenses geared to our customers’ needs.”

According to Fontes, the change simplifies access to codes in that individuals could not use the PDF products on mobile devices like iPads and Android tablets because of technical issues. Still more could not use them because of corporate or government security measures. Now they will be able to use the code on any PDF-capable device.

The new watermarking tool will increase the ability of customers to protect their investment in NFPA products.

Fontes said this latest move is in line with NFPA’s Content Strategy to be a leader in offering wider and easier access to its basic codes and standards content, and employ a “digital first” approach that focuses on solution-based products and services.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA's website at for more information.

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