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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. 37 25.17%
Watermark is better than DRMs. 108 73.47%
DRMs is better than Watermark. 1 0.68%
Both are equally GOOD 1 0.68%
Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-30-2012, 11:45 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
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.
If you could simply remove it with an editor, it wouldn't be much of a watermark, now, would it? The whole point of it is that it CAN'T be easily removed.

Sadly, the minority of dishonest people who think it's a good idea to "share" their books on the internet spoil things for the honest majority.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
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.
The visible watermark in the Harry Potter books (in the frontmatter) is the smallest part of the watermark in the books. The books have the watermark throughout them using some of the methods previously mentioned, and quite possibly others as well.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
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.
Online-only publications are exempt. From the US Copyright office's PDF about mandatory deposit:

Published Electronic Works Available Only Online
Effective February 24, 2010, the Copyright Office adopted an interim regulation governing mandatory deposit of electronic works published in the United States and available only online. The regulation establishes that online-only works are exempt from mandatory deposit until the Copyright Office issues a demand for deposit of copies or phonorecords of such works.

This includes ebooks, blog posts, emailed newsletters... I imagine they were getting swamped by a few diligent organizations' efforts to comply, and someone realized that they don't actually *want* a complete archive of Twitter posts--sent in by random individuals in different formats. (I'm not sure what they do about digital content distributed offline--as in, "it's in my computer; people who visit my home are welcome to download to a flash drive." My first thought was "that's not publication;" but on further consideration, it's no different from "I've printed these books, but you have to come to me to get one.")

Also, the criminal penalties for the ones that *are* required to be deposited, only kick in after a demand-for-deposit. The penalties are for not complying with the demand, not for failure to deposit in the first place:

If the required deposit is not made within three months of the demand, the person or organization obligated to make the deposit is liable for a fine for each work plus the retail price of the copies; if the refusal to comply is willful or repeated, an added fine may be incurred.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:24 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
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.
This a billion % !!!!

I'm not interested in sharing.

I just want to be able to have an archive copy that I can format shift to whatever devices I may have in the future without hassles. I insist on being able to have a copy of my book that I can use even after devices change, vendors go out of business, etc.

That's why I'm not buying into Amazon, B&N or anyone else's DRM vendor lockin.

i don't want a vendor telling me where and when and how I can read a book that I bought -- if you expect me to give you my money, you'd better let me read it on the device of my choosing without me having to ask your permission.

(And yes, I know, I didn't buy it, I licensed it, blah blah blah -- bottom line, I paid money for it, I bought it.

So now I only purchase from non-DRM vendors, like Baen, Smashwords, Book View, Angry Robot, Black Library, etc.--because I have an uncrappified backup copy.

Ultimately, I have NO problems with Watermarks because they in no way prevent me from reading MY book on different devices.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:39 PM   #65
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DiapDealer has heard correctly. I have no interest in helping people to remove personally identifying information from ebook files.

— Alf.
Thanks for chiming in, but most of all for your great work.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:43 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
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.
Yep, and I also found out that That same entity also quite specifically chose not implement DRM removal from library ebooks. A choice I fully support too.

When I was asking about personal information that was NOT removed (if present), it was for the express purpose of checking if in fact Encryption-DRM was a superset of Watermark. And from what I gather (but still no real proof), it IS.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:55 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by BillSmithBooks View Post
Ultimately, I have NO problems with Watermarks because they in no way prevent me from reading MY book on different devices.
This. I totally agree with every word you wrote but especially this. Encryption based DRM takes what should be a *book*, and reduces it to a mere "service". Yes, I know about the "tools". But when I purchase stuff, I should not need external tools to make it useful my way.

I don't mind paying for my books, because I actually have the final say in how long I own them. I still have books that I bought 30 years ago.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #68
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Just that, or as we tend to repeat to non-understanding ones in the other important community:
"Free as in freedom, not as in 'free beer'"
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:16 PM   #69
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Digital watermarking is a slippery slope. They certainly have the ability to make it visible, for example, when you try to print the ebook, or once a book has been transferred to more than 10 devices, or under any other arbitrary circumstances. And 99% of users will not read the terms to know when this stuff will kick in.

I don't upload my purchased stuff to torrent sites and still much prefer not having watermarks in it, and if there was software available to "cleanse" it, I wouldn't think twice about running the files through it. Same goes for allowing Windows Media Player to tag your own CD rips with license information it finds on the Internet--it's just not something you want to do.

Watermarking is just a more passive-aggressive version of DRM, and there's a large group of people who will always fight DRM no matter what.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:31 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Mahoney View Post
Digital watermarking is a slippery slope. They certainly have the ability to make it visible, for example, when you try to print the ebook, or once a book has been transferred to more than 10 devices, or under any other arbitrary circumstances. And 99% of users will not read the terms to know when this stuff will kick in.
Depends on how far a publisher is willing to slip. From what I've seen, most watermark-based DRM schemes are more passive than that.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:42 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Mahoney View Post
Digital watermarking is a slippery slope. They certainly have the ability to make it visible, for example, when you try to print the ebook, or once a book has been transferred to more than 10 devices, or under any other arbitrary circumstances.
There is no way to add watermark that "kicks in when you print" an epub or mobi, because there's no native print-ability; they have to be converted through something to print--and for a "watermark on print" to work, it'd have convince the printer software to add it. Most print setups go for simplicity; adding details from metadata is an advanced feature.

There's no way to identify "transferred to more than 10 devices," either. A digital file has no way of tracking how many types of hardware it's been copied to; that would take an extra program attached to it. (I'm not sure it's possible anyway. What, it would notice if the file were copied from a hard drive to a backup server? To a flash drive? Burned to CD, and then recopied to another hard drive?)

Does it notice if it's on a memory card that moves between a Sony and a PEZ? Does it notice if it's on a flash drive and read with EPubReader in Firefox, and then opened with Sigil?

Files don't collect info about the storage media that hold them.

There are plenty of ways that personally-identifying info can be hidden in an epub, and probably a mobi file; if the epub isn't DRM'd, a dedicated user can find all that info. Most people won't ever bother.

Knowing how the technology actually works would lay a lot of paranoia to rest. A digital watermark could indeed be hidden in the metadata, in a way that probably sticks around through standard format conversions--but there's no way to make that info stick through, for example, a conversion to HTML files which are then printed to PDF. The resulting PDF won't carry the metadata.

Quote:
I don't upload my purchased stuff to torrent sites and still much prefer not having watermarks in it, and if there was software available to "cleanse" it, I wouldn't think twice about running the files through it.
If you open a watermarked epub with Sigil, you can go through the parts and remove identifying data... if you can figure out what it is. (You may not recognize your purchase ID number, for example.)

Quote:
Same goes for allowing Windows Media Player to tag your own CD rips with license information it finds on the Internet--it's just not something you want to do.
Very different situation. That's using specific software to add information; that software also inflicts additional information into its database. However, the files themselves are untouched; it's only the program that collects the info.

Quote:
Watermarking is just a more passive-aggressive version of DRM, and there's a large group of people who will always fight DRM no matter what.
There are people who cover their windows with mylar to prevent flying saucers from spying on them, too. Not all privacy measures are reasonable, or based on rational concerns.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:22 PM   #72
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and there's a large group of people who will always fight DRM no matter what.
You may need to rethink your definition of a "large group." I'd be willing to bet the size of that particular group is rather miniscule compared to the size of the group of people making use of digital media in general.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:18 PM   #73
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Just that, or as we tend to repeat to non-understanding ones in the other important community:
"Free as in freedom, not as in 'free beer'"


But free beer is also good...just not as likely.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:40 AM   #74
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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.
It depends on the annoyance level of the watermarks. If they're visible during actual reading, I expect tools will follow before long to remove it. If they're just on the first set of copyright pages in visible form and then hidden in the rest of the book, there'd be little incentive to make removal tools although they may still be made by someone just because they can.

As Harry says though, that's really a good thing. There's less need to remove watermarks unlike DRM, since you can still format shift and use the content as needed.

Regarding having your kindle stolen, hopefully the police report will be sufficient evidence should pirated copies start to show up. HOWEVER, it's clearly important that any identifying information is not PERSONAL. The water mark should be an ID and at the very most your name on the first page. There should be no email, no postal address, no credit card numbers, nothing of that kind, because ebooks will be lost/stolen.

Last edited by JoeD; 10-01-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:43 AM   #75
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The books from Adlibris in Sweden uses watermark. In the beginning there is a text saying something like "Thank you Tommy Persson for buying this book". This text is repeated once or twice in the book after a chapter.

I think this works very well. You get reminded that its is your book and you will only lend the book to people that do not distribute it. And if you borrow a book from a friend then you will not distribute it further since you see the text and you do not want to distribute your friends book against their will. So i really think that this will work as paper books with respect to how many people read each copy.
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