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Sir Penguin
01-07-2003, 04:20:23
Does anybody know of a free utility that can convert a .pdf document to an MSWord document? (not the pdf2doc that you get when you type "pdf2doc" into Google)

There seem to be loads that convert to PDF, but none that go the other way.

SP

Sean
01-07-2003, 10:43:06
Go via pdf2html?

Darkstar
01-07-2003, 18:53:29
Adobe tends to sue people and companies that make PDF to whatever converters out of existance. Unlike Microsoft, they fiercely defend their file format. They don't mind people that make utilities to convert whatever to PDF however...

What that means is, if you find something, save it. It will be gone soonest as Adobe finds out about it...

Sean
01-07-2003, 19:05:18
Except the one they provide to HTML. (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/access_simple_form.html)

Darkstar
01-07-2003, 19:14:33
That's Adobe provided. But don't be surprised when they jerk it. That is their track record. They used to provide PDFtoRTF and PDFtoWord as well, but those got pulled in the past.

Sir Penguin
01-07-2003, 19:18:55
Yeah, I tried pdf2html, but it didn't work at all, the document was too complex.

How about postscript to Word .doc? I know you can convert .pdf to postscript using GSView.

SP

Sir Penguin
01-07-2003, 19:19:57
I guess one could just take screenshots and run it through OCR. :nervous:

SP

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
01-07-2003, 23:12:59
But PDF is an open format, DS. They can't go after anyone.

http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/acrosdk/docs/filefmtspecs/PDFReference.pdf

Read 1.1 They specifically state that you can create apps that modify or interpret the contents of a PDF.

Darkstar
02-07-2003, 20:48:19
Funny, they still sue people in court for using PDF without their licensing and permission. That isn't open, that's owned.

They have sued using DMCA as well, recently, so I do not see how you can fall for their claims of being 'open'. When things are open, noone can sue you for sticking to the standard... and there is no licensing/royalties owed.

Sean
02-07-2003, 21:59:29
What does the DMCA have to do with open formats?

Darkstar
02-07-2003, 22:34:13
Because PDF uses a copy-protection schema, and circumventing any copy-protection is a violation of the DMCA. Adobe has twice used this fact against people that made PDF to (format) converters. (One a PDF to straight Txet, the other Digital Rights included PDF to plain PDF.)

You can legally declare your format is open, and then use the DMCA to crush anyone that uses your format because you included 'copy-protection' in the open declaration. Fun with DMCA....

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
02-07-2003, 22:34:51
Wasn't their DMCA case about breaking encryption? Base PDF isn't encrypted.

Sean
02-07-2003, 22:35:58
Yeah, it was about some kind of ebooks thing.

Darkstar
02-07-2003, 22:52:11
Their case against the Russian firm was about the conversion program that converted a Digital Rights PDF (that's encrypted PDF in common talk) to plain PDF. However, they also sued another time under the DMCA. That was against a coder that had made a simple PDF to TXT file converter. The basis is that PDF itself is an 'encrypted' format, and therefore he was getting around their copy-protection; ergo, DMCA violation. The guy had to jerk his converter off the net, as he didn't want to pay lawyers to try and protest the case.

So, as it stands right now in American courts, any data format that isn't straight text is 'encrypted' and therefore protected by the DMCA. Until such a time as a real test case come up and is carried through the court system so the American courts can decide what constitutes encryption and what constitutes simple "packaging" (formating), there is no such thing as a public domain data format.

Sean
02-07-2003, 23:22:45
Can you give us a link to the other case, DS?

Darkstar
05-07-2003, 09:56:29
The PDF to TXT case? I'll check my archives and see if I have a link recorded to it, once I get my workstation restored. Right now, I'm trying to get it up and running, and that's where I keep all that material...