All Wet From Watermarks

Dave H. sends a link to a press release from mPacts (which is different from the planet Kevin Spacey is from, but I am not sure how).  The link contains an, erm, special feature at the end:

This PDF shows its pedigree.
Click for full size

Dave says:

It’s always frustrating to me when I see someone in the software ‘business’ comes across as not being license-compliant.  When it’s this obvious and out in the open for anyone with a careful eye to discover, I believe it is an issue that is beyond the people that did the proofreading.

Dave is an optimist, or perhaps a fantasist, who believes  in the mythical creatures called proofreaders.  They stand about eight inches tall, have dragonfly wings, and carry little red pen wands, or so I hear.

No doubt the marketing team put this document out there on its own, and your marketing team is probably dumber than a sack full of developers.  You in QA should get a look at the documents your company puts out whenever possible, assuming the roles of proofreaders and watching out for the standard PDF goofs (non-supported characters showing up, document properties revealing too much, and so on).

You also have to look for watermarks like this one throughout the sites and applications you develop.  It’s not just PDF files created with unlicensed software; watermarks can show up in stock photographs, in comments, or other bits of content created with third-party applications.

It shouldn’t be beyond the responsibility of anyone looking at the document to notice stuff like this or to flag it as a problem.  You need to educate your company as best you can, given your coworkers’ inherent limitations as not QA, to keep them from embarrassing the company and, by extension, you.

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