Originally Posted by Jellby
And while a user might not willingly distribute the file to millions of people, he might give it to a friend, the friend will store it in his/her large library, copy the library for other colleagues next week and in a blink the file appears in the net for anyone to download.
Yes. If you've read the whitepapers on digital watermarking, as I have, seeking just such a solution, to satisfy those clients who want some type of protection for their IP, but do not want to interfere with their clients' ability to move a book from device to device, etc., it's not easy to do, firstly (well nigh impossible), and the "casual theft" phenomenon rate is shockingly high.
It's the same problem that drove software companies to licensing and keycodes, etc., back in the floppy days, etc. John Doe would take home a copy of Lotus 1-2-3, from his office, which had purchased it, and install it on HIS home computer. Then he'd load the disk to his buddy, who'd lend it to his wife, who'd lend it to her nephew, and his best friend, and, and and. That's the casual theft problem in a nutshell, and it doesn't get the respect, from the anti-DRM folks, that it deserves as a genuine problem for the copyright holders. We're not even talking about people who would think of themselves as thieves or pirates; they simply do it because they're "helping a friend," or "read a cool book," etc. Don't give it a moment's thought, and the spread tends to be geometric.
I truly do wish some type of efficient digital watermarking could indeed come to the fore. I'd support an effort, but I just don't see the technology lending itself to it at this time--maybe never.
Just my $.02