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View Poll Results: What opinion do you have for/against Watermarks as opposed to full-scale DRMs
Both are equally BAD. 38 25.68%
Watermark is better than DRMs. 108 72.97%
DRMs is better than Watermark. 1 0.68%
Both are equally GOOD 1 0.68%
Voters: 148. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:22 PM   #46
Elfwreck
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Originally Posted by Billi View Post
I'm not the other single vote - that voted in favor of drm over watermark - but against the general trend here that's my opinion too. If you think you should protect your files then do it "as properly" as possible and not some half-hearted way. Maybe I have come to this opinion because I've made better experiences with drm than with watermarks. At the moment, we can manage drm, but the word of "watermark" brings back worst memories of pdf files similar to these lines:
Wowio.com and Drivethrurpg both use watermarks (dtrpg only on some books) on their PDFs. Wowio puts a customer number on the left quarter-inch of the PDF; it doesn't interfere with the text (but may interfere with reflowable PDFs in ereaders, but their books have weird other encryption too); DTRPG puts a small line at the bottom of each page indicating the buyer and order #.

These don't interfere at all with reading on a computer, but could interfere with reading on a mobile screen. They're also locked PDFs--uneditable--which means you can't crop out the margins etc to fit them on small pages.

I wind up stripping the lock and manually removing the watermark when I want to read them on an ereader. I suspect that most people don't have the tech skills or the patience for this; the watermarking, with the buyer's name/ID clearly visible, will prevent them from being widely shared on filesharing sites. They may get handed around among friends, but gaming groups have *always* shared books; that's not a drastic change from the pre-ditigal business model.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #47
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That's one point which I DO angst over, as I think encryption based DRMs WILL hinder long-term cultural conservation...
Just curious as to how?

Asssuming you are referring to content distributed with DRM, ebooks, Music and video DVDs etc. as not being accessible on any device in the near or far future, I find it a bit unlikely.

Ebooks in particular as they are generally distributed in more than one format including paper.

Also music/video. As many containers such as Vinyl, BetaMax, 8-track became inconvenient for the average consumer, the works themselves were remastered on CDs and DVDs.

Not saying that the death of epub or mobi would not be a blow to many consumers, just that the works themselves would probably not become totally unavailable to conservationists or anyone else.

Helen
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #48
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Just curious as to how?

Asssuming you are referring to content distributed with DRM, ebooks, Music and video DVDs etc. as not being accessible on any device in the near or far future, I find it a bit unlikely.

Ebooks in particular as they are generally distributed in more than one format including paper.

Also music/video. As many containers such as Vinyl, BetaMax, 8-track became inconvenient for the average consumer, the works themselves were remastered on CDs and DVDs.

Not saying that the death of epub or mobi would not be a blow to many consumers, just that the works themselves would probably not become totally unavailable to conservationists or anyone else.

Helen
I'm talking long term there, literally hundreds of years. I think that in the "ebb" of civilizations, it will already be difficult for historians to read our data, and if it IS additionally encrypted, it will be completely impossible.

What if the Rosetta Stone had been encrypted ? Would we be able to read old Egyptian ?

Should we count on conservationists to keep our data ? Will that be enough ? Didn't the Ancient Library of Alexandria fall ?

And much shorter term, I'd like my children and grandchildren to be able to sift through my e-library without having to hunt down the "last remaining functioning Kindle" and maybe finding out the files unavailable to them.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
Asssuming you are referring to content distributed with DRM, ebooks, Music and video DVDs etc. as not being accessible on any device in the near or far future, I find it a bit unlikely.

Ebooks in particular as they are generally distributed in more than one format including paper.
Books published by large publishers are generally distributed in paper. Self-published books and small publishers are, these days, often not published in any physical form; if the publisher chooses to use DRM when distributing, those may effectively vanish from our cultural history in a handful of years.

With most works, I grant this is not much loss, except to historians and anthropologists who'll want to use that info to track trends. However, in the long run, the torrent networks may be the best cultural repositories we have for early 21st century texts. Libraries, after all, don't have a way to carry most ebooks at all.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:04 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
However, in the long run, the torrent networks may be the best cultural repositories we have for early 21st century texts. Libraries, after all, don't have a way to carry most ebooks at all.
That's why we have copyright deposit libraries. In the United States, for example, it's a criminal offence not to send the Library of Congress a copy of any copyrighted work. Whether or not they choose to keep it is up to them, but you MUST send them a copy of your eBook.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:23 AM   #51
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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.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:28 AM   #52
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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.
That sounds like a benefit to me, not a disadvantage.

Last edited by HarryT; 09-30-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #53
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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.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
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.
DiapDealer has heard correctly. I have no interest in helping people to remove personally identifying information from ebook files.

— Alf.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:55 AM   #55
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Watermarking sounds allright, it would let the author know how their ebook has travelled around the network, perhaps sending a list of emails to the author so that the author can inform readers about future books, or ask for donations I suppose

But I don't like things that restrict reading potential.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:57 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
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.
The overwhelming majority of people here at MR, certainly, remove DRM to allow them to freely read books on any device they wish to, not because they want to "share" them with 10,000 of their closest friends on the internet. Watermarking gives you that freedom to move books between devices.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #57
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The overwhelming majority of people here at MR, certainly, remove DRM to allow them to freely read books on any device they wish to, not because they want to "share" them with 10,000 of their closest friends on the internet. Watermarking gives you that freedom to move books between devices.
Completely agree.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #58
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The overwhelming majority of people here at MR, certainly, remove DRM to allow them to freely read books on any device they wish to, not because they want to "share" them with 10,000 of their closest friends on the internet. Watermarking gives you that freedom to move books between devices.
True. At least watermark won't prevent you to read. Or buy a book if I don't have digital edition at hand.
But, I hate to see my book messed up with useleess text.

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #59
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True. At least watermark won't prevent you to read.
But, I hate to see my book messed up with useleess text.
Watermarking isn't visible text in the book; it's digital data inside the file.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:32 PM   #60
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Watermarking isn't visible text in the book; it's digital data inside the file.
I've seen visible watermarking. On the Harry potter books for one. I'll rather it be visible... So you can remove it. I hate though that my e-book could be traced to me, more on principle than acctual fear of getting the reader stollen or anything. It's mistrusting your customers.

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