I cannot answer the first two questions, but I can give you some feedback regarding your third question.
Basically, brute force passwd crackers like ElcomSoft can find out your password through processing power. They have 2000 plus computers in parallel devoted to a cracking task, so even if a 10 digit password might require 2 years of single computer processing to crack, with that many computers, they get results fast. As for 1000 passwords, I don't know if ElcomSoft can crack that, but I am NOT optimistic.
Actually, I was originally thinking of using pdf combined with Virtual Vault. The trouble with pdf is the big file size. Also, it seems from what I have read of Adobe security that their security system is based upon "respect", that when forced open, might compromise any external security as well. I don't know how true this last bit is, but it does add another negative to pdf.
As for the advantages of pdf, that it can work on Macs; well, Virtual Vault and all other security systems are Win only, so that is a redundant matter.
I am rooting for Activ because I can have a smaller download size, next allow the prospect to read a small amount for free, and go to WorldPay direct from within the book, and using the Microcreations script open the book on the password level. simultaneously, Virtual Vault can make the whole bit even more secure. All of these are automated tasks, so that I need not intervene manually,i.e., if I were to manually generate each buyer's serial/passwd/key and email them. I think the seamless function should score points over the extra price of virtual vault.
This is my general plan of action. Experts who have already worked this out, please comment if you feel there is anything amiss.
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