asks: "I just received an email from one of the executives. Of course I really can't say who or where, but he wants to know how we can protect our ebooks from 'crooks'. The publishers that are contracting with us to publish their books in digital format are concerned because they feel that we do not protect the material 'enough'. One of the publishers noticed that if they told their browser to save every page in an online text, low and behold they now had a copy. In early design conversations, I always pushed for not spending time on encryption and watermarking, but just leaving it open. I wanted the utilities and add-ons to be enough that a 'stolen' copy would be of much less value then the original. The argument was that it was not only of lesser value but also the same risk as having a copier in a library. Well this thought seemed to have been enough until this morning. After watching the current court battles, I feel this would be a great waste of devel resources to even attempt to secure the ebooks. So I have couple of questions I could really use Slashdot's input on."
Read on for an excerpt of the email that sparked the question and the questions themselves.
"Here is an excerpt of the email message that started this train of thought:
'...think the issue comes down to the industry (Publishing, Digital Book Providers) creating a monitoring body to pursue such postings of "stolen" content...The only other thing I can think of is digital watermarking, which will identify the account through which the book was stolen. Again, it can't prevent dissemination, but does make it easier to track down the infringing party.'
And after thinking on this a bit, I have the following questions:
- Is there a legitimate way to secure the texts to prevent dissemination but still not require a plugin or proprietary browser (we want everyone to be able to read even on the cheapest of library terminals)?
- Does anyone have a solid argument for why encryption/protection will not be necessary?"