Bug with Tablet PC snipping tool and Office 2003 DRM (Digital Rights Management)


There appears to be a bug or short-coming with the very useful Snipping Tool that comes with the Tablet PC powertoys (Microsoft Powertoys for Windows XP Tablet PC Ediition.)

It seems that the Digital Rights Management functions (DRM) in Office 2003 are bypassed when using the Snipping Tool - which is a pity. This means you can open a super secret restricted document - which you can't usually forward or print - and grab a picture of it without restriction.

See picture here - take a close look:

You can see this is a protected document (see the restricted sign top-left), but the Snipping Tool allows me to take a screen grab nonetheless. Maybe a future version of the Snipping Tool will fix this? If so, I claim to have helped this!

Postscript: Some might contend that no document is really secure if it appears on a screen - after all, you can always take a digital photo of what you see (or even put your CRT on top of the photocopier and grab a copy!). And of course, you can always install a third-party screen grabbing tool which does not honour Office DRM. However, the Snipping Tool mentioned above is a "killer app" for the Tablet PC and it's a public download from Microsoft. So arguably we should make reasonable efforts to respect DRM in this useful tool which might be included in standard Tablet PC build images.

I love the potential of the Tablet PC - see my other post about its goodness.

Technorati Profile

Skip to main content