A Reader-Friendly Approach to Combatting eBook Piracy

Custos for eBooks provides publishers with a new way to protect their eBooks against piracy by leveraging Bitcoin and the blockchain. Based on a patent pending technology used to protect screener copies of movies, this unique system turns pirates on each other by embedding hidden Bitcoin bounties within eBook files. Bounties can be claimed instantly from anywhere in the world by a network of “bounty hunters” using a free extraction tool thus enabling rapid detection of compromised publications.

How it works

  • Imperceptible watermarks which do not affect honest users are embedded within eBook files
  • The watermarks contain a bounty which is a Bitcoin private key which gives access to a wallet
  • Anyone with the freely-available extraction tool can decode the watermark and claim the bounty
  • Bitcoin allows the hunter to claim the bounty instantly and anonymously, from anywhere in the world
  • The publisher is immediately alerted the moment the bounty is claimed and the infringing customer (uploader) is uniquely identified
  • This attacks the economy of piracy by targeting uploaders rather than downloaders, turning downloaders into an early detection network

Resources and links

  • Press releases
  • Frequently asked questions (PDF) – Click here
  • Walk-through and screenshots (PDF) – Click here
  • Product information page – Click here (opens in a new window)
  • Logos and images (Zip) – Click here
  • Demos and examples
    • Informance direct sales catalogue – Click here (opens in a new window)
    • Practising the Piano – Click here (opens in a new window)
  • Other coverage
    • Teleread (Chris Meadows) – Click here (opens in a new window)
    • Copyright and Technology (Bill Rosenblatt) – Click here (opens in a new window)
    • Bookseller / FutureBook (Molly Flatt) – Click here (opens in a new window)
    • Byte the Book (Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone) – Click here (opens in a new window)
    • The Literary Platform – Click here (opens in a new window)