Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What kind of Idiot thought changing the text was OK ?

(Reaction to the "brand new idea" http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2013/06/13/new-drm-promises-to-ruin-a-good-ebook-in-the-name-of-protecting-it/ for watermarking ebooks by changes in the text)

There's DRM and DRM.

First one, you usually find out at Amazon's, Apple's and othere places is "Encryption based DRM", meaning, the reader needs a key of some sort to read. Usually this key is hidden inside of the readong platform.

Secondly, there's "Social DRM", where the ebook's content is changed to add information about the customer who purchased it, without locking anything. The ebook can be transferred, transformed, trans-formatted, without losing the personal identification.

Social DRM (aka Watermarking) schemes exist for a long time, some of them complicated and difficult to get rid of, other much more simple.
And hackers have so far NOT widely published solutions to bypass them as they did for encryption based DRMs.

Why ? because when they talk about DRM being bad, almost all of them are talking about Encryption based DRMs.

If you go and look at the major "anti-DRM tools" provider, you'll find out that they explicitely CHOOSE not to remove personally information, as they provide the tools for Personal use of the books and not for widespread dissemination. They EXPLICITELY don't touch the personal information already contained in the Encryption based Kindle DRMs...

All I'm saying is "Social DRM" doesn't have the same rejection as Encryption DRM has.
And solutions already exist for Watermark. with I guess the same (if not lower) cost as Encryption based DRMs.

Just, big resellers don't use them. (some small ones DO).

What is proposed in the new scheme, is a new way to hide the personal information. While clever, it has NO respect for the authors.and readers (readers are accustomed to that though... DRM are widely used after all), and it adds NO additional value to existing schemes (such as http://www.booxtream.com/  (not afiliated in any way) or simply "home made" watermarks).

My only (and paranoïd) fear is that this IS published as a way to paint Social DRMs with a black mark and have authors/publishers flock towards encryption based DRMs again...

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