Look but don’t touch’ technology will end smash-and-grab on the net

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Technology that allows firms to place intellectual property onto the web without losing control of it, has been launched in the UK by Vyou.com. 
Site content protected by the software, Vyoufirst, can only be cut, copied, or saved, printed or distributed with the permission of the owner - a ‘look, but don’t touch’ policy. It can be applied to all types of content, including images, text or streaming audio and video. Images, articles and stories will stay on your site, and on your site only. 

The software should help boost e-commerce by making it impossible to copy and forward. Research shows that five per cent of users forward content on to 13 people, which means a 50 per cent shortfall in potential net traffic. This software allows customers to try before they buy, so that they can make more informed decisions, with more confidence.
Millions of people visit the web for everything from daily news to financial information. Quite often they find something that will be of interest to their friends, family or co-workers, as well as themselves. It is common practice to highlight material, copy it to an e-mail message and send it on.

When information is transferred this way, you have no way to measure the actual number of viewings of your material. In fact, research shows that you may be counting less than 50 per cent of the people who actually see your content. No one receiving the e-mail copy ever sees your site’s advertising, and may never even know the source of the content.

With the new software, you can allow visitors to e-mail links to the information rather than the information itself. This means all views of your content will be at your site, in context, and will be counted as site traffic. 

People have been understandably reluctant to place sensitive intellectual property on the net because of the potential for unauthorised use. Now, Vyou.com claims that companies can display their products and services or information in full, without fear of corporate theft. 
Peter Levy, CEO of Vyou.com, conceived and developed Vyoufirst after he discovered that a competitor had stolen a copyrighted database from the web site at his own previous company.

“After cost, one of the biggest factors holding back the growth of e-commerce in the UK is fear of copyright fraud”, said Patrick Regester, vice president international at Vyou. “All too often visitors to web sites are treated to nothing more than window shopping. Companies, fearing smash and grab style raids, leave all their most valuable information firmly hidden from public view. Vyoufirst is, in effect, a secure shop-window for the internet.”

The software allows the user to establish content access policies – viewing, printing, copying and saving rights – for any object, page, folder or even the entire site. Even source code can be protected, assuring that a site’s look, feel or particular techniques can never be copied and reused.

The company claims that the software is easy to install, and that in under an hour, you can have it up and running on your web server. It supports sites on NT and Solaris web servers, and is simple to use. As it works in tandem with current site structure, there’s no need to re-format or change anything. Both static and dynamically generated pages can have the same protection. 

The Vyoufirst solution is made up of three components. Vyoufirst Director allows you to create and manage content access policies. Vyoufirst Server implements the policies you establish. Lastly, the Vyoufirst user component enables browsers to ‘see’ Vyoufirst protected content.
Until now, all sites have shared the only available content access policy – in other words, if you can view it on screen, you can also copy and save or print it. Using Vyoufirst Director, you can designate an image as ‘view only’. It can’t be copied and saved, e-mailed printed or used at another site. It’s quick, simple and allows for incremental changes or additions on the spur of the moment.

If you have different people creating content at different locations, Vyoufirst Director lets each of them create new access policies independently from their desktops, and then have the policies implemented according to your schedule. It synchronises policies so that once an object is assigned a content access policy, that policy is automatically applied to the object wherever it appears on the site.
Vyoufirst Server runs on your web server to execute the policies established with Vyoufirst Director and manage the communication with any browsers requesting content. 

It identifies incoming requests for Vyoufirst-protected material. It determines if the requesting browser is Vyoufirst-enabled and then transmits the requested content with assigned access policies. This entire process is transparent to the site visitor. If a requesting browser is not enabled, s/he is offered the opportunity to download Vyoufirst immediately. If they decline, they can be directed to an alternative unprotected content page that you have previously designated. 

Vyoufirst Server does not require any modification to a site’s production or delivery process, nor does it affect a customer’s experience in any way. No personal information is collected and no cookies are installed, ensuring privacy.

Vyoufirst Server includes customisable statistical and logging tools, and notification services. Log data can be compiled from multiple servers and you can export results to a spreadsheet or another analysis tool. Vyoufirst Server logging supports all standard web server log formats.
Vyoufirst is the plug-in for browsers. When users access Vyoufirst protected content for the first time, the system automatically detects which browser they’re using and installs the correct version for them. The user doesn’t need to do a thing, not even re-launch their browser. Best of all, the plug-in is so small, downloading usually takes only seconds and never interferes with the user’s experience at your site. From this moment forward, the user is Vyoufirst-enabled for all sites.

Intellectual property may be your company’s most valuable asset and protecting it is a difficult and ongoing task, especially on the web. Corporate names and logos, images, proprietary data and financial data are just a few of the most visible assets that should be protected. Yet every time you post your intellectual property, you may be inadvertently allowing others to copy and use it. 

Competitors and vandals alike target intellectual property assets, often at great expense to the company that owns them. Appropriate content access policies prevent them from being modified or duplicated without your authorisation.

Digital image sales on the web have the potential to soar but many sales are conducted without the viewer seeing the actual product. Instead, decisions are based on seeing low-resolution thumbnail or watermarked images. Many artists and photographers can’t even afford to create low-res images, so don’t display their wares at all. Now publishers can show any digital image in any resolution, without watermarks, and feel confident that no one will copy, print or redistribute the image in any way.

New opportunities abound. In the US, one publisher has been selling archival news stories for $4 each. The user sees the headline and must then decide whether to purchase the story. With Vyoufirst, the publisher can offer the story in ‘view-only’ mode for $0.50, or offer ‘view and print’ for $1 and continue to offer the story ‘view, print, copy and save’ for $4. As a result, net revenue and customer satisfaction go up.
Vyoufirst supports Microsoft® NT® and Windows® 2000 with Internet Information Server or Netscape® Enterprise Server and Sun® Solaris™ Web servers running Netscape Enterprise Server. Vyoufirst Director runs on Windows 95/98/NT systems.

Vyoufirst uses COM/DCOM to maximize performance across systems and networks, ensure effective load balancing and maintain extensibility.
Dynamic generated content as well as static pages can be fully protected by Vyoufirst. All popular forms of dynamic generation are supported including: Perl, ASP, EXE, BAT, CGI, VbScript, JavaScript, ISAPI extensions, ColdFusion®, Servelets and Generated HTML.

Vyoufirst is equally effective on images, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, streaming media, AVI, (MOV, and WAV and MIDI and text) and HTML. Vyoufirst can protect objects on a page, entire pages, folders and entire sites. Vyoufirst can be implemented without changing site architecture or directory structure.

Vyoufirst supports Netscape Navigator® and Microsoft Internet Explorer Browsers, versions three and above on both the Macintosh® and PC platforms. The ActiveX user component is auto-sensing and auto-loading. No user re-launch of the system is required after download and installation.

Vyou.com is a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, established in 1999. 

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