Our Founding Vision

FileOpen Systems was founded in order to make real the vision of a purely digital publishing industry, in which rights management technology would play a critical role. Over the past two decades, FileOpen has enabled some of the publishing industry's most complex digital transformations, helping to preserve intellectual property rights and user privacy in an increasingly fragmented and challenging technical environment. The same FileOpen technology also enables the rapid and secure distribution of information both inside and outside of the corporate firewall.


Our History

FileOpen Systems Inc. was founded in 1997 by a team that was involved in some of the first digital publishing projects on CD-ROM and the early Web. FileOpen's founders understood that the primary obstacle to digital publishing was the problem of copying and piracy. Since Adobe Systems had established a standard document format and viewer with PDF and Acrobat, FileOpen partnered with Adobe to develop a security handler for PDF. "FileOpen PDF," released in 1997, was the first DRM tool for PDF.

Since then FileOpen's tools have gained wide use in educational, financial services, government, and STM (Scientific/Technical/Medical) document distribution. They have also become the de facto DRM standard for international standards organizations, which are mandated to copy-protect their documents and rigorously test technologies before implementing them.

Recent Developments

FileOpen's DRM tools have been adopted by a number of large corporations for both internal and external document protection. Thanks to the FileOpen software's streamlined architecture and compatibility with the ubiquitous Adobe Reader, it has become the solution of choice for IT environments that are often hostile to unknown applications and document formats. Vendors of Virtual Data Room (VDR) solutions have also standardized on FileOpen DRM to manage access to transaction and legal documents.

FileOpen's success with PDF security tools has fueled the company's expansion into protecting additional file formats such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). The company has expanded support for secure document viewing to mobile devices, and recently released FileOpen Browser UX, which allows secure viewing of native PDFs in any web browser with no client software necessary. 

FileOpen's newly expanded product line is part of the ongoing fulfillment of the founders' vision of a scalable system for securing documents in their native file formats and viewers, originally outlined in a 1997 whitepaper "FileOpen Secure Publishing Architecture." As more valuable data moves into the cloud and into storage silos, FileOpen's mission to be an independent document security platform is more relevant than ever.

The Latest from Our Blog

Announcing FileOpen BrowserUX: Share PDFs Securely with No Plug-in Required

We are excited to announce production availability of our system to display FileOpen-encrypted PDF in any modern browser, on any platform, without installation of any software! FileOpen BrowserUX...

Why Libraries Are Taking a Page from Publishers and Using DRM to Lend Digital Books

Like many public-facing institutions, and perhaps more than most, the world’s libraries have been deeply impacted by COVID-19. Most have shut their doors to patrons and only some have developed...

4 Ways to Extend Your FileOpen Implementation for Remote Work



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