Watermarks are actually worse because the hacking/cracking communities will be less motivated to crack a DRM system that's not as aggressive as a full-blown copy lock.
There's nothing to "crack" on a watermarked ebook. It's social drm. It doesn't restrict the user's use of the ebook on any device using any format they can imagine. It doesn't even restrict (I'm speaking practically/physically
here, not legally
) a user from "loaning" their copy to someone. It just encourages them to be damn certain that who they choose to loan it to is trustworthy. In that regard alone
, I find watermarking vastly superior to most encryption-based DRM.
You might be surprised to learn that most people contributing code to DRM-removal programs aren't really interested in helping people remove any and all identifying features of an ebook that could be traced back to an individual person/purchaser. They're not interested in any zeitgiest-y "all knowledge should be freely available/exchanged
" movement. That kind of idealism is mostly limited to a small subset of the users
of such DRM-removal tools. No, most code contributors are only interested in granting the ability to format shift and to move ebooks freely from one device to another. Nothing loftier than that is involved.
I'm not saying nobody's ever
going to write software that "cleans" watermarked ebooks ... I'm just saying I'm fairly positive it's not going to come from any entity you might have come to "know and trust." That
entity fully supports the use of digital watermarking in place of current encryption-based DRM schemes (for personal "purchases") ... or so I've heard.