As the US District Courts move to requiring PDF/A formatted documents for e-filling, many questions are arising from users in the various districts. The US District Court of Oregon has provided a list of frequently asked questions about PDF/A on its website.
Adobe Systems announced it will acquire EchoSign, a maker of an electronic signature service. According to Computerworld, Adobe plans to integrate the technology into the Acrobat family of PDF document services in an endeavor “to reduce the time, cost, and complexity associated with having a document signed…and plans to discontinue…a cloud-based electronic signature service, called eSignatures or eSign, that it released in May last year.”
A patch has been issued to address a flaw in how the Apple CoreGraphics frameworks handle PDF files. The patch issued by Apple fixes a security vulnerability associated with viewing malicious PDF files that would “create a way for users to jailbreak iOS devices in order to run non-Apple-authorized software. Usually, the process requires the user to download a specific tool while connected to a computer. This flaw allowed the team to develop a tool that could be executed just by visiting the JailbreakMe Website from the mobile device.”
The International Organisation for Standardization released PDF/A-2 for the long-term archiving of electronic documents. PDF/A-2 is based on PDF 1.7, which supports a range of improvements in document technology such as JPEG2000 compression, transparency effects and layers, the embedding of OpenType fonts, and provisions for digital signatures in accordance with the PADeS (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures) standard. Part two of the standard, according to the article on the Image and Data Manager website, also offers the possibility to embed PDF/A files into PDF/A-2. This allows groups of documents to be archived coherently as individual documents.
The International Botanical Congresses (IBC) has decided to embrace PDF. According to a post on the group’s website, “Electronic material published online in Portable Document Format (PDF) with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) will constitute effective publication.” Changes will go into effect on 1 January 2012. Read the full article for more information.
Developers at Google and Mozilla are working to increase PDF functionality in their web browsers. Mark Long at News Factor says, “Better PDF functions are being built into Google’s Chrome browser and Mozilla’s Firefox. Chrome 13 beta saves web pages as a PDF file for reading away from an Internet connection. Firefox is getting a pdf.js spec to render web pages as PDFs.”
US Courts are beginning to make the move to PDF/A as their preferred technical standard for electronic case filing in the Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. Though no specific deadline has been set overall, each Court may determine its own deadline–and for some jurisdictions it may be soon. According to blogger Bruce Carton, “In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, for example, the court will start posting documents in PDF/A format beginning June 1, 2011, and all court ECF filings uploaded on or after Jan. 1, 2012, must be in PDF/A format.” If the thought of such a conversion catches you unaware, a primer is available from the PIT IP Tech Blog.
New Mexico’s Bankruptcy Court has delayed implementation of the PDF/A standard until software vendors support the format in their systems and standard word processing packages. The New Mexico Courts web page says, “The Bankruptcy Clerks Office is considering requiring that all documents be filed in PDF/A format with the upgrade to CM/ECF 4.1, which is anticipated to occur in the fall of 2011.” They believe the transition to PDF/A will occur soon after and encourage potential e-filers to check the compatibility of software they may use.
Autonomy is acquiring the majority of Iron Mountain’s digital product lines, digital archiving, e-discovery and online backup businesses, for $380 million in cash, placing itself as one of the world’s top 10 data protection providers. According to eWeek’s Chris Preimesberger, “Autonomy has been quietly gathering the pieces it needs to become a big-time digital content handler. In 2005, Autonomy acquired Verity, one of its main competitors, for approximately $500 million. In July 2007, it acquired Zantaz, an email archiving and litigation support company, for $375 million.”