Where is the best place to ask the question below? Based on Where can I ask about Software Licenses/Licensing? I tried Programmers but they don't want it. Naturally I'm partial to inside the Stack Exchange network, but in the end I just need good answers. ;-)

Background: We were informed that our organization might be in breach of Adobe licensing in our use of fillable and saveable PDF forms, and that this might result in significant additional licensing fees (up to $10,000 for each form) if we want to continue using them.

The PDF licensing restrictions pertained to the use of "Extended Documents," which are PDF documents created with Adobe Acrobat with special features for use in the free Adobe Reader.

For users of Adobe Reader 8-10, fillable PDF documents had to be Extended Documents in order to be filled in and submitted to us, whether saved and submitted electronically or printed and submitted on paper.

There is a fillable form method in Acrobat that doesn't use Extended Documents, but it can only be used by Adobe Reader 11+.

Question: What options are available for serving our clients (the general public mostly) with fillable and saveable PDF forms who are unable or unwilling to use Adobe Reader 11+?

I note in particular the phrase "...created with Adobe Acrobat": what if Acrobat was not used to create the form? It is not the only tool able to create a fillable pdf. I don't see those other tools being taken off the market subject to take down requests from Adobe. (Maybe that is happening though and I just don't hang out in the right circles.)

I'm not looking for specific legal advice which our organization may or may not act on. I'm looking for information, examples, and feedback in order to be better informed and equipped to deal the inevitably long conversations with legal and managerial people over the next months.

  • 2
    The only place I can think of where this sort of question might be appropriate would be Software Recommendations (as it's asking about alternatives to Acrobat), but check the site guidelines first - they're pretty strict about what they allow.
    – Ken White
    Nov 8, 2014 at 1:42


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