Originally Posted by Jellby
I don't think the current ePUB standard allows for passwords. But let's assume it will someday.
You protect your book with a password, John Doe buys it, he has the password and can read the book, he gives the book to his daughter, along with the password so she can read it too. But the daughter's ebook reader does not work fine with passwords, so she extracts the files from the epub file (which is a zip) and packs them in a new epub, with no password. Then she shares the now unprotected file with her husband and brother-in-law... and the snow ball keeps rolling.
Yes. That's exactly
what happens. I have a client who had it happen to him something like 27K times (in 3 major urban school districts with a YA novel). Think he didn't care about that?
@cybmole: With regard to the casual theft numbers, by the way--the numbers I cited were from the Digital Watermarking Alliance, which based that "nearly 4-out-of-5 figure" NOT on retailer estimates, or anything like that, but on the responses provided by those users/consumers taking the poll
, about their own
level of legal and illegal usage. If the numbers are bollocks, then it means that people exaggerated their own level of casual and piratical theft. Given people's ability to rationalize ripping other people off, I'd be surprised if that were the case; 99 times out of a hundred, someone is rationalizing how what they're doing is NOT theft; not overstating how much of it they do. The whitepaper is still on their site, I believe. I can find the link if you'd like.
My experience (and I've discussed this with other paid bookmakers of any size; their experience is identical, mind you) tells me that theft is FAR MORE RAMPANT, not less, than extrapolated by those purveying digital goods. If you think I'm angry about this topic, I am. It's not "victimless," which you're free to verify with the guy I nearly had to lay off the first quarter of this year because "authors" routinely walked away without paying their edits to the tune of his monthly salary
, until I put my foot down and turned into a harridan about it, forcing everyone to pay for their edits before we made them. I see no bloody difference between the position I'm in (I make a digital product and people don't pay my contract, thus "not-stealing" the money from me, for having made it; it's not "theft," it's "breach of contract") that that of an author or publisher (who makes a book, puts it in digital form, and people "infringe" his copyright, thus "not-stealing" the money from him for having written and published it; it's not "theft," it's "copyright infringement," right?). It's a nice, victimless "crime" if you don't happen to be the one from which the money is being STOLEN.
Anyone who wants to argue with me that it's not THEFT is welcome to try. Cute semantic argument if you're not the one who has to pay the salary of the guys making the books. But, hey? So what if that guy HAD lost his job?
It's not THEFT, right? Noooooooo, it's just "breach of contract," and it's a victimless crime, just like copyright infringement. Nobody gets hurt, right?
People will rationalize ANYTHING. And now, I really am done on this topic, because I know that my belief that copyright infringement = theft is not a popular one on this particular set of forums, and people will continue to tell themselves that they are not thieves for so long as it's not their