Protect a Photoshop PSD file to allow it to be opened only by a licensed computer


I’d like to address a significant concern shared among designers seeking to sell PSD files exclusively to authorized users. Is it conceivable to establish a solution within a UXP plugin framework that guarantees PSD files can only be accessed on authorized computers?

One theoretical approach to tackle this challenge involves embedding a logic within the PSD file. This logic would be triggered upon opening, prompting the verification of a registration key or other authorization criteria. If the system detects an unauthorized user, the PSD file would remain locked, preventing access to its contents.

Thank you for considering this pivotal matter that resonates with many professionals in the design community.

Best regards,

I do not believe that to be possible.
Even if it were, what’s to stop me duplicating the layers into a new file and re-saving it?

Even registration keys can be shared. The two ways I see this working:

  • File tied to the Adobe account(s) and no one else would be able to open it (internet access required)
  • Somehow checking the hardware configuration hash or something like that (which makes the file compatible only with a single system)

yes presently this is not possible atleast through direct ways but it is really required for all the content creators especially related to PSD artworks, templates.
if i only have one thing solved , (Photoshop file once opened for the first time it run a script automatically) rest we can achieve through in direct ways,
can we atleast do it that Photoshop launch script file once opened first time

I think this would require encrypting the file, its content or obfuscating parts of it. Otherwise it would be straightforward to open it with another application that’s capable to read a Photoshop file (and may not care about the logic you’re proposing).

I see too many holes in that to ever really protect anything. For example, once the person opens it, what prevents them from copying the layers over into a new blank unprotected document, saving as a new unprotected copy, and the giving that copy away?

Well… you could use C++ SDK to introduce your own file format… maybe like encrypted PSD file. You can write plugins to open and save custom file formats and call it via scripting. So you could decide within compiled C++ code whether to allow/deny file opening in a similar way as Adobe denies you to open images of dollar banknotes. That could be hard to beat. But resaving opened file PSD… that is a whole different story and I don’t see a solution here.

I remember once I saw a piece of code (I would bet from the late Mike Hale, unforgotten legend of the ExtendScript era) where he used custom shapes, embedded in binary .dat files with missing headers—that he added back at runtime.
Still, when the thing you’re trying to protect is eventually open, it is freely available.