Digital Rights Management (DRM) Overview and FAQs

Updated: February 14, 2013

In an effort to make digital versions of SAE International publications easier to use across multiple platforms, SAE will no longer use the digital rights management (DRM) File-Open plug-in to lock down PDF's. With the increased use of mobile technology and the release of our iPad app, it is important for our customers to be able to use SAE documents on multiple devices with ease. Therefore, you will now have the ability to view all previously purchased downloads in your MyLibrary account as well as from your hard drive.

In February 2005, SAE implemented a Digital Rights Management (DRM) security feature to help control the electronic delivery of individual SAE documents and protect intellectual property. We are no longer requiring newly purchased documents be accessed using the FileOpen plug-in. All documents purchased from February 14, 2013 and beyond will be accessed through MyLibrary.

Do I still need the plug-in to access SAE documents I've previously downloaded since February 2005?
Not necessarily, all papers that you purchased since February 2005 have been uploaded to your MyLibrary account and are also still accessible from your hard drive. For more information on MyLibrary click here.

What are the restrictions on how I can use my purchased PDF document?
All SAE papers and standards are copyrighted. Before downloading an SAE document, you must agree to a license that grants you the rights to view and print the document for your personal use from one computer. You may not alter, in part or in whole, any document, nor may you make copies in any format (print or electronic) for distribution to other users or computers.

I have purchased documents for other people in my company and these documents have been uploaded to my MyLibrary and not the end user. How can I transfer the document to the end user's MyLibrary?
Please contact SAE Customer Service at or call: 1-877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada only) or 724-776-4970 (outside the U.S. and Canada).

I accidentally opened my DRM secured document on a machine I don't intend to work from. What should I do?
Your previously purchased document is available to view or download in MyLibrary.

What if I need more than one print of a DRM secured document?
Go to MyLibrary to view, download or print your purchased document.

If documents are locked to my computer, what do I do if my hard drive crashes or I get a new PC?
Go to MyLibrary to view, download or print your purchased document.

Can I download a PDF, print it and then make copies for others in my company or department?
No. That is a violation of copyright. Documents may be shared or loaned but not reproduced in any fashion. The copyright statement on all SAE Documents read: "All rights reserved. No part of this publication, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of SAE" Or, check with your management to insure they pay fees to the Copyright Clearance Center for the reproduction of copyright-protected materials.

Are all documents that I purchase from SAE free of the DRM FileOpen security?
Technical papers, standards, and books published by SAE will no longer require the DRM FileOpen plug-in. However, there is still book content that we sell from other publishers that do require you to have the DRM FileOpen plug-in to access it.

Information on purchasing PDF documents
Information on ordering