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A Reader-Friendly Solution for eBook Piracy

Tackling eBook piracy is a major challenge for publishers but traditional approaches to protecting content, such as “hard DRM”, have a number of drawbacks for both publishers and their readers. Besides being easily broken and therefore ineffective in many instances, “hard DRM” restricts legitimate use thus inconveniencing and punishing honest customers. It also limits the options publishers have for selling and distributing their eBooks, making them reliant on a few dominant retailers and thereby reducing competition and customer choice. Erudition Digital, in partnership with Custos Media Technologies, has developed a novel solution to the piracy challenge called Custos for eBooks. Based on a patent pending technology used to protect screener copies of movies, it leverages Bitcoin and the blockchain to protect eBooks without impacting honest customers in any way. This provides publishers with an alternative means of combatting piracy whilst avoiding any of the downsides associated with current, widely used DRM measures. Custos for eBooks differs from traditional “hard DRM” by embedding imperceptible Bitcoin bounties in widely used, open file formats rather than requiring the use of proprietary formats and viewing applications. These bounties can be claimed instantly from anywhere in the world by a network of “bounty hunters” using a free extraction tool. “By using Bitcoin bounties, anyone can be a bounty hunter. This not only means that we can detect piracy faster, and deeper in the dark web, but it also sows distrust within tight-knit piracy communities, effectively turning pirates on each other”, says Fred Lutz, COO of Custos. It also serves as a valuable complement to “soft DRM” approaches such as social DRM by providing a more robust means of monitoring and detecting infringement. “Because we protect eBooks using open formats, readers […]

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Series of visual eBook tours through major movements in art launched.

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Enhanced eBook series featuring popular back garden experiments launches.

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