How to create password for Exporting the Collection

Dear All,

Need your help urgently!

Specificly, I would like to create the password when exporting the Collection. Mean that the Collection is not able to exported without my password.

Is there anyway to do this even if i pay the cost for Anki?

Please help to advise for this. Thank you so much for your help!

I’m not aware of such a feature as a part of Anki and it sounds like a hard thing to implement. You can easily make the exported deck/collection file password-protected by using a zip folder, but this won’t stop anyone who has unzipped it from exporting.

If you wanted to share a premium/exclusive deck that couldn’t be shared freely, then the best way I can think of doing that on the spot is to have the cards point to data on a site instead of containing the data itself, and make that site password protected.

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Please see Can I use Anki in a company or school? - Frequently Asked Questions

The solution depends on what exactly is your purpose. Do you want to protect your collection from being exported for privacy reasons (ie. you want to keep your files for you), or do you intend to sell or share in a way the deck, and you don’t want people to access your deck without your authorization?
For the former, the only solution would be not to sync your collection through web and encrypting your data outside of Anki (this could be automated with an addon, but it also could be easily done outside of Anki, and if you intend to encrypt other data, then it would make to sense to write a specific addon). Indeed, the simplest solution would simply be to encrypt your hard disk (on boot, you have to enter a password to decrypt it. When your shut it down, it becomes impossible to access your information – which is not true if your hard disk is not encrypted).
For the latter, it’s impossible, or rather it would be very very difficult and not respectful of the privacy of whoever you intend to share your collection with to enforce DRM. This is mainly because there is no way to prevent a user to simply share with other users your deck, even if the content were to be online. However, this also applies, for example, to Anki addons, and yet some are still behind a paywall (and it works). This is simply because even if you don’t protect what you sell, not everyone will automatically try to screw you by sharing it. Since Anki is niche enough, IMO no one would take the pain to setup a sharing service to massively distribute your deck.

Dear Chartokai,
Thanks for your help to share the knowledge!

Honestly speaking, my purpose is using the deck for teaching for company and hire the other people to do it. However the both proposals are not valid in case if they export offline and copy the collection to other computer through some device like: USB, cabble… and then there is no way to prevent it.

Hope I got you mean exactly!
If so then is there any other way to prevent them to export the collection offfline as well?

Thank you so much once again!

Dear BlackBeans,

Here is further explanation on this topic!

I have created a deck for helping other people to learn English with a lot of datas: Pictures, Audio Records, Text…Which was invested a lot of money and effort on it.

Actually, there is no problem when using this desk on my computer by myself.

However, my intention is that I would like to hire other people to do it instead of me.
Mean that I will install Anki into their computer and import this deck into their computer and then they can use this deck to teach other people…And I probably will hire a lot of more people to do this in future.

What I’m worry is that they will export this deck and using for their own business (same as mine) without my authority. So that I would like to make a password for exporting the deck to prevent them to do this task.

I’m willing to pay the cost for Anki to implement this feature, it is mainly for business purpose but I’m not sure whether if Anki can has this feature or not.

Do you think we have anyway to do this?

Thank you so much for your kind help!

It seems to be that it is going to be hard to prevent other peoples to cheat, even with the right add-ons. Even if Anki implemented this “feature”, it wouldn’t be very robust, as explained here.

So, overall, preventing other users that already have access to a deck from having full control over the deck seems to me impossible (however other people might find solutions I haven’t seen).

Your best bet would be, I think, to trust people. This implies that your business cannot grow too much IMO.

You could also patent your deck (or apply an kind of copyright), and if someone tries to fraud you could sue them. This could prevent big fraud, but not small cheats.

Also, here is my opinion, but take it with care, I’m far from being an expert on this stuff: your business model doesn’t really fit how Anki works. Maybe you should consider turning it into a donation-based model (ie. give the deck for free, and ask people to donate if they find it useful), which could be lucrative. You could also try to provide some kind of service, like if people fund you enough you keep updating the deck. If people really use it, they might be ready to pay. Finally, you could simply try to sell decks. Instead of renting them (which seems quite hard), you could provide an on-demand deck creation: a client asks for a deck, you create it, and they buy it. You don’t have to care about DRM anymore. Be aware that, since Anki is FOSS, a big chunk of its users are not used to pay for programs, or virtual content in general. An exception would be iOS users, since it seems to me that Apple (even more than Microsoft) makes you pay for almost everything (as an example, look at the Battle for Wesnoth – a free, completely open source game, developed by volunteers which are not even payed – costs about 4$ on iOS), and indeed AnkiMobile is the only part of Anki which is not free.

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Dear BlackBeans,

It’s so great to have a lot of good knowledge from you!

Thanks so much for your detailed explanation as well.

Have a good day and wish all the best to you!

Vào Th 5, 23 thg 9, 2021 vào lúc 23:40 BlackBeans via Anki Forums <anki2@discoursemail.com> đã viết:

You’re welcome, but I don’t think you quite got me because exporting offline wouldn’t matter. As a comparison, if I put a link to one of my Google or Microsoft documents here, it would work for me but would give a “you don’t have permission to access this document” error for anyone else until I give them permission. Sharing the link offline or online won’t change this. Anki cards are already formatted and run as web code and people (including myself) have parts of our deck’s as external links. For example, you can embed a YouTube video or iframe a Wikipedia page. Exporting such decks would only give you the embed/iframe code, not access to any private video’s or site data.

There are already some paid decks that may interest you like the “fluent-forever” decks and “DrWillBe Pathology Anki Deck”. There are also paid add-ons that work similar to my suggestion by using an API key to restrict access to web generated content, like “Language Tools” and the pro version of “AwesomeTTS”. Lastly, Glutanimate and AnKing produce premium content for Anki.

I have to disasgree. The solution you are proposing, IMO, would not solve this issue, on the contrary. First, it makes using the deck a pain because you have to be online. Second, anyone who wants to clone the deck would still be able to do so, because you are still delivering static content. They would just have to download the content, using the same API as would Anki use to render it, and could easily recreate the deck from it.
It’s like if you posted a link to a Google document, and then gave someone the right to see it. Even though technically you are not giving him the content of the document, but only a link to it and the permission to see it, that person could still copy the content of the document, and recreate it on its own.

I both accept every point you made and don’t see where the disagreement is. You quote me saying this will protect the data on export (the topic of the thread) but then “disagree” on different topics I didn’t dispute.

We are discussing ways to implement DRM. Being a pain to access without the security infrastructure (in this case the internet) is practically the point. Also caching allows for more than the simplistic no internet, no deck behaviour.

@Lammode wasn’t asking for a deck so secure that no one could possibly recreate it. Anyone with a pen, paper and time could bypass any protection. You can hardly put this expectation on me when every video, music, etc. service also doesn’t meet your standards. The point is that just having an API key doesn’t give the average person the ability to export the deck, programmatically execute each field of every card, scrape all that code, individually replace each request with the new code to then share that.
Edit: My word choice could have sounded hostile.