Infraworks Inks Deals to Protect Content
Calvin Reid -- 12/4/00

Infraworks, a software developer specializing in the protection and deletion of digital documents, announced three agreements with publishers to use InTether, the software that Infraworks claims is state of the art for protecting digitally distributed content.

The company has secured agreements with Time Inc.; Lucky Gold Star, an Asian conglomerate with interests in print and Web publishing; and, a startup e-publishing firm with a proprietary process (developed in collaboration with Adobe) to extract text from PDF files and create scrollable e-books with bibliographic and reference features embedded in the document.

George Friedman, founder, chief technology officer of Infraworks ( and an author, said the deals point to a growing market for his product: "Each publisher has a different vision for using InTether. Everything is up in the air. We can enable so many different business models." Friedman said the agreements will allow Time "to create digital updates of magazines," while ByteSizeBooks will use InTether to protect textbooks offered to students online. And Friedman noted that Lucky Gold Star is one of the 10 biggest companies in Asia and will use InTether in a variety of its subsidiaries to sell and protect intellectual property.

Friedman is the author of several books on geopolitical strategy and technology and founded Infraworks to develop software for the defense department (E-publishing, April 4). InTether came out of that research. Tested successfully by National Software Testing Labs (, InTether anchors itself within the computer's operating system and, if hacked, will not only destroy the content but lockup the computer. The software has flexible access restrictions (publishers can set time restrictions, print only, view and print, etc.), allows content to be forwarded to other consumers with its protections intact and can be used to protect books, music and other content. The program is compatible with a wide variety of DRM applications.

"It's hard and expensive to hack. It will prevent the napsterization of books," Friedman claimed. Infraworks was founded in 1997 in Austin, Tex. The company has approximately 65 employees and has received about $9 million in private funding to date.