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Custos for eBooks

Leveraging the blockchain to protect eBooks from 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 patented 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
  • 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



User friendly

Protects content without restricting access or inconveniencing legitimate users


Cost effective

Decentralisation of detection network enables penetration of hard to reach places at a minimal cost



The incentive to upload pirated files is diminished over time by turning pirates on each other



Leverages a patented technology for the use of Bitcoin protocol which has been tried and tested in the film industry

Business applications

Use cases

  • Secure, user-friendly distribution of promotional or free eBooks e.g. galley, review, desk or inspection copies
  • Protection and monitoring of new sales channels and opportunities e.g. bulk distribution, print eBook tokens, retailers in new markets
  • Deliver a better reader value proposition on direct sales of eBooks and online marketing campaigns
  • Complement existing protection measures e.g. crawling and monitoring

Implementation options

  • API integration - Integrate seamlessly into your existing fulfilment and distribution workflows using a robust, comprehensive API.
  • Erudition Direct - A stand-alone web-interface for promoting, selling and distributing eBooks without any integration requirements.


Further information

Please click on any of the buttons below for further information on our solutions or to get in touch to discuss your requirements: