Friday, December 16, 2011


On December 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM Jay Shilstone <> wrote:

For others who are not familiar with the ACI electronic document process, when you order an electronic document form ACI it warns you the PDF files are not printable, then sends you to Scribd for the download. It doesn't warn you about the lack of cut-and-paste.


Yes, that is my complaint - that, and the fact that isn't (yet) available for iOS which does NOT support Flash. If you are familiar at all with the state of things regarding website content, Flash is now considered something of a tired old technology whose overhead and resource requirements don't play well with the emerging mobile world of tablets and smartphones.


Apple refused to support Adobe Flash on iOS (their operating system for the iPhone/iPad), and put their considerable resources and cachet behind HTML5. Even Adobe has now said that, in essence, "Flash is dead" going forward.


So you get certain content providers caught suddenly in a backwater. I assume that put considerable work into their iPaper technology, and to have the underlying platform for that technology, Flash, suddenly become a hiss and a byword (which makes their own product outmoded) has got to be a source of considerable angst for them.


And you cannot really characterize the document as a "download," because it's not. It's not a PDF, it's not a file of any kind, it's actually a dynamically-rendered vector image. Fancy that.


Without the ability to print or cut-and-paste, I understand Bill's complaint. I also understand ACI's concern that their documents were being downloaded and placed on free and warez sites. I don't know what the solution is.


Obviously since this is an argument that has been raging for a decade now (really, since the advent of the DMCA - see "Napster"), it's not likely that you or I are going to be able to find an easy solution. Better minds than ours, etc.


Portability and accessability should not be compromised. Electronic documents are supposed to ADD convenience and value. Otherwise it's like taking a Ferrari and hitching a mule-team to it.


BTW, you do not have to be a member to access the online MCP, you just have to pay a lot more. In fact, it is cheaper to become a member and get the member discount than it is to access it as a non-member. For those that are interested, ACI has a Member's Benefit page here:

Between free downloads of select ACI documents (not including 301 and 318), free CEU presentations online, and member discounts, I think it is well worth the money (especially if your company is paying for it).


As we now speak, I have within the hour already paid the $222 dues plus the $409 1-year subscription fee for ACI with MCP. As you said here, it is cheaper to join and pay the member rate for MCP.


I have no company that pays for anything; I'm on my own, so the money came out of my checking account - in essence, straight from the mouths of my wife, granddaughter, dog and cat. Not that I'm being melodramatic or anything. Over $600 is a lot of money. I told my wife, that's my Xmas present for this year. (She couldn't answer, being weak from hunger and all).