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Old 01-21-2008, 11:23 AM   #1
carandol
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Alternative to DRM?

I sometimes buy role-playing game ebooks from DriveThruRPG (as PDFs). They used to sell DRMd PDFs, but a couple of years ago moved to a much more user-friendly system, which seems to me be a reasonable balance between protecting the rights of the copyright holder and the freedom of the individual to make backup copies, lend books to friends, etc. When you download a PDF, each page is printed (very tiny at the bottom) with your name and a serial number. You can copy it, give it to your friends, etc., but if it finds its way onto the internet, the copyright holder will be able to track down who put it there.

Would this be a way out of the problems caused by DRM restrictions? What do others think?
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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This is what generally known as "social DRM". It is still a DRM system. DRM, after all, is about managing rights, not necessarily physically preventing copying.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
This is what generally known as "social DRM". It is still a DRM system. DRM, after all, is about managing rights, not necessarily physically preventing copying.
It might stop one from giving it away, but it won't stop you from being able to access your paid for content. Much nicer solution then the standard PDF DRM.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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I entirely agree, yes.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:43 PM   #5
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It might stop one from giving it away, but it won't stop you from being able to access your paid for content. Much nicer solution then the standard PDF DRM.
But in order for such a system to work, the format must be locked so that it can't be changed. Meaning that if your new eBook reader doesn't support that format, your eBooks are just as unreadable.

And for PDFs, it still doesn't address the main problem with PDFs: a PDF formatted for standard paper will be unreadable on most eBook readers.
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