Supporting our clients and content partners

Supporting our clients and content partners

Red Overlay
Red Overlay

BSI is fully committed to improving the digital security of our standards, protecting our clients from potentially fraudulent activity and our Standards Development partners from copyright and intellectual property breaches. To help us achieve this, we added an extra layer of security to our documents.

BSI’s documents will only be opened with the FileOpen plug-in installed on your device. It will help us keep your documents and experience more secure.

Since the way you access your documents changed, we’ve created helpful guidance to guarantee that you are able to access and use your documents quickly and efficiently.

What does this mean to you?

You are required to have the FileOpen plug-in installed in order to access all electronic BSI documents, that are purchased from the BSI Shop or accessed via BSOL.

FileOpen document rights management solutions are trusted by publishers, corporations, universities and governments worldwide to protect their digital assets from copying, piracy, and unauthorized sharing.

You will need an internet connection to open the documents for the first time. Once your documents have been authenticated, you will be able to access the documents offline.

How to download and install the FileOpen plug-in

To download the plug-in, please click here. In some cases, you may need to contact your IT department to install the plugin.

FileOpen is supported by the following PDF readers:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Reader

Please note: PDFs will not open in-browser. Some browsers will open PDFs in-browser as default behaviour. This will cause an error, as the document is not being opened in Adobe. To avoid this error, please save the document on your device first and then open it.

Operating system requirements:

Windows 7 or later
Mac OS X 10.9 or above
Linux Kernel 1.4 or later
iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, iOS 4.0 or later
Android 2.2 +

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When will this change happen?
BSI will gradually start introducing digital rights management from March 2021.

I already have the FileOpen plug-in installed, do I need to re-install it?
If you already have the latest FileOpen plug-in, you will not need to re-install it.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to open the documents?
You will need an internet connection to authenticate the documents for the first time. After that, you will be able to access the documents offline.

How do I access documents if my operating system isn’t compatible with FileOpen?
For Google Chromebook users, please use the FileOpen Viewer available in the Google Play store. For other users please contact our Subscription Support team on or call +44 345 086 8037 (option 1) for us to assist.

When I try to install the plug-in, I am told to contact my administrator. What shall I do?
If you are trying to install the FileOpen plug-in on your company or organisation’s device, please get in touch with your company's IT department for support in installing the plug-in.

When I open the PDF in my browser, I get an error message. Why is this?
The FileOpen plug-in does not support opening encrypted PDFs in-browser. In order to view the PDF, it must be opened in Adobe PDF viewer, FileOpen viewer, or similar PDF viewer applications. Please see section 3 of our guide for further information.

I’d like to share the document with my colleague. Can I?
An individual document (in this case, a PDF file) viewed after download from Shop or BSOL is licensed to a sole named user who is permitted to install a single electronic copy of it, for use on a single computer. We understand that users often view their standards from multiple computers however and have built-in flexibility for you to open documents on up to three devices to allow for this.

How many times can I print the document?
You are permitted to print a single copy of a document. Printing one or many pages, or the entire document will count as a single print so we recommend that if you need a printed version, that you print the entire document.

Do I need to install FileOpen for documents that I have purchased in the past?
No, the FileOpen plug-in won't be necessary to open previously bought or download documents.

Can I make annotations to the PDFs and save them?
Yes, you can. However, we recommend adding a small annotation to your document, save it, close it and reopen again to make sure this functionality is fully working. If you encounter any issues, our customer service team will be able to assist you.

What information does the plug-in collect, and where is it sent?
When a user attempts to open a document encrypted by a publisher using FileOpen's software, the client reads information from the encrypted document and performs the following steps:

  • Obtains information about the document being opened and the publisher's authentication requirements, from the document. Depending on those publisher requirements, the plug-in then retrieves one or more of the following authentication tokens from the local machine context.
    • A cookie from the user's login to the publisher's server.
    • A username and password from a dialog presented to the user.
    • A MachineID from the local context.
  • Makes a request over http/https to the publisher's server, passing the document identifier, authentication token, and some data about the context in which the document is being opened.
  • Retrieves a response from the publisher's server either granting or denying the user permission to open the document.
  • Manages the use of that document according to the instructions given by the publisher's server.
  • The FileOpen client reports data regarding the use of the PDF download and shares this information with BSI. No third party, including FileOpen, receives any data. This data is used for only two purposes;
    • To ensure that the user of a standard is solely the appropriate customer; and
    • To enhance the user experience through improvements to our systems.

A trace version of the FileOpen plug-in is available and allows you to identify exactly what information is captured and sent between the plug-in and BSI. The trace plug-in can be found here.

More information about BSI’s use of data can be found here. If there are concerns around how BSI use customer data, please do share them with us.

How can we help?

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.