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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 10-02-2012, 01:53 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
You don't see a problem that someone can arrange to get your personal account information, accuse you of something you didn't do, and put you in a position of having to finger other people who may also be innocent? Really?
Who said anything about personal account info? We were talking about an ID that can be traced back to the buyer. And seriously, what kind of people.are you loaning your books to? The point is that it should be a very small circle of family and the best, most trustworthy friends, only.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:59 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
You don't see a problem that someone can arrange to get your personal account information, accuse you of something you didn't do, and put you in a position of having to finger other people who may also be innocent? Really?
I see a problem with that. I just fail to see how watermarking would make that sort of thing any more likely to happen than it already (always) is.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:22 AM   #93
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The problem I see with watermarking, is when someone has their ebooks stolen without their knowledge.

Someone hacks your amazon account, B&N account or any other store account and downloads a copy of the book with your information in it. Since they used your user/pass you're the one fingered unless the IP used comes from some obscure place like china, but then, maybe you were using a proxy, prove otherwise.

There's numerous other ways too. Email that you sent a book to your kindle via gets hacked (that happens quite frequently and it's not always down to a mistake the owner of the email account made such as having malware on their device).

Of course I'm assuming the person involved is after much more than just your ebooks, it'd be rather unlikely for someone to do this just to get a few books to upload, but as a "bonus" for their efforts, I could see it occurring.

In all those cases, the time/cost to prove you didn't do it would be quite a burden. Likely involving turning over every device you own for investigation and that would only prove you didn't use those devices. Plus, who's going to do that investigation, since it's not really a police matter, but a court matter.

What is more realistic, is some people will be innocently fined and will just pay up and never buy digital products again.

All that said, I still favour watermarks over encrypted DRM because it's a step closer to no DRM. Only a step mind and in some ways it's a misstep.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:35 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
Who said anything about personal account info? We were talking about an ID that can be traced back to the buyer. And seriously, what kind of people.are you loaning your books to? The point is that it should be a very small circle of family and the best, most trustworthy friends, only.
An ID that can be traced back to the buyer, yes--that means that ultimately your personal account information is looked at and released to whoever accuses you of being a pirate.

I am not in the habit of loaning my books to anyone. But mistakes can be made in computerized systems. Or I might lose my e-reader, or my backup drive. Or if I do make a copy of a book for someone, that other person might make a copy for a friend, who makes a copy for a friend, who makes a copy for a friend ... and someone down the chain might either upload it or lose his e-reader, and then what? I'm going to be targeted for making my single copy?

What about a library book? Suppose the watermark shows the uploaded book came from your public library. Is the library going to have to release records on borrowers? Suppose you're one of the borrowers?
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
An ID that can be traced back to the buyer, yes--that means that ultimately your personal account information is looked at and released to whoever accuses you of being a pirate.

I am not in the habit of loaning my books to anyone. But mistakes can be made in computerized systems. Or I might lose my e-reader, or my backup drive. Or if I do make a copy of a book for someone, that other person might make a copy for a friend, who makes a copy for a friend, who makes a copy for a friend ... and someone down the chain might either upload it or lose his e-reader, and then what? I'm going to be targeted for making my single copy?

What about a library book? Suppose the watermark shows the uploaded book came from your public library. Is the library going to have to release records on borrowers? Suppose you're one of the borrowers?
Yes, that's a distinct AND bothersome possibility. However, as stated earlier, it's exactly the same with fullscale encryption based DRMs.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:55 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
The problem I see with watermarking, is when someone has their ebooks stolen without their knowledge.

Someone hacks your amazon account, B&N account or any other store account and downloads a copy of the book with your information in it. Since they used your user/pass you're the one fingered unless the IP used comes from some obscure place like china, but then, maybe you were using a proxy, prove otherwise.
No, because a book can only be downloaded to a Kindle (or whatever) that is registered to your account, and you're going to notice if a device that you know nothing about suddenly appears in your device list.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSFReader View Post
Yes, that's a distinct AND bothersome possibility. However, as stated earlier, it's exactly the same with fullscale encryption based DRMs.
But ... we can remove the DRM.

I guess what bothers me is that watermarking seems much more benign than the current DRM, but it really might not be.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
But ... we can remove the DRM.

I guess what bothers me is that watermarking seems much more benign than the current DRM, but it really might not be.
Yep, but when you remove the DRM, and unless you've modified the available tools, you don't remove the identifying information contained...
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:14 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
But ... we can remove the DRM.

I guess what bothers me is that watermarking seems much more benign than the current DRM, but it really might not be.
I agree with the potential consequences of false positives through watermarking. When I was new to understanding encrypted drm, however, I was horrified and offended at the very idea, that I bought a book at "real book" prices, and (prior to discovering the tools) could NOT manipulate the book and/or read it on the program (calibre and or whatever reader I was using) of my own choosing.

I'm less offended at books with encrypted DRM when the price is free or next to nothing, yet somehow don't feel ripped off buying a book for as much as $10 that is sold without encrypted DRM.

All of the downfalls with watermarking have a smaller chance of happening to me, but would be equally as horrifying if they did. So I may "change" my answer somewhat to "both are equally bad".

My main answer is I just want to have incentive to buy stuff if I could be guaranteed to be left the heck alone after the transaction is made.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #100
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Yep, but when you remove the DRM, and unless you've modified the available tools, you don't remove the identifying information contained...
So you're telling me that all the books on the file-sharing sites and in the torrents have identifiying information that can be traced back to individual sources? Then why aren't the publishers/authors going after those specific individuals?
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:57 PM   #101
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Even if the watermark only discloses the bookstore where the book was purchased, I don't see how the bookstore has any right to disclose information about the purchaser in the absence of a subpoena.
Depends on the privacy policy of the bookstore. If their policy is "we can share your data with third-party organizations as we deem necessary for the health of our business," or something like that, they can hand it over to anyone they want. The EFF has an ongoing campaign to sort out which sites and platforms are user-friendly vs "just hand over the data to anyone who says he needs it for legal reasons."

Amazon's privacy policy says:
We release account and other personal information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law; enforce or apply our Conditions of Use and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of Amazon.com, our users, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Emphasis added. "Protect the rights or safety of others" is a broad category. That means Amazon can share your personal purchase history and whatever other data they have, if they say it was for the purpose of ending fraud or protecting someone's rights. They certainly *don't* say that they only release personal data after a subpoena or other official legal order.

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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
So you're telling me that all the books on the file-sharing sites and in the torrents have identifiying information that can be traced back to individual sources? Then why aren't the publishers/authors going after those specific individuals?
Because there's no direct evidence that those specific individuals copied or distributed the files. (There isn't with watermarking, either; all it is, is a way to find out who *might* be responsible for copyright infringement.) "I found a file with your name on it listed on a torrent network" is nowhere near as direct as "I found a knife with your fingerprints on it at the crime scene"--and even if they do believe that person shared the files, if the other files in a given collection are not also marked the same way, those can't easily be included in the same complaint.

Stripped-DRM ebooks may-or-may-not have identifying data in them. It depends on the exact method used to place the DRM, and the method used to remove it... and whether and how the file has been altered after that. Some metadata will remain through multiple conversions; other is lost after a single shift.

But for user security, there is no difference between a DRM'd file and a watermarked file; if you don't know what info the seller is putting into the file, you don't know what info remains while you're using it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:26 PM   #102
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But for user security, there is no difference between a DRM'd file and a watermarked file; if you don't know what info the seller is putting into the file, you don't know what info remains while you're using it.
Exactly. Same sh!t but with the ability to easily transfer it to any device you want to read it on (and maybe even let your sister read it) without having to download potentially elicit software from potentially law-breaking programmers. In other words... better.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #103
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Exactly. Same sh!t but with the ability to easily transfer it to any device you want to read it on (and maybe even let your sister read it) without having to download potentially elicit software from potentially law-breaking programmers. In other words... better.
Also, useable even by those of us who don't have an ADE-compatible PC or Mac (i.e. crazy Linux users). As a rule, I don't buy encrypted ebooks, but I would start buying watermarked ebooks if they replaced the encrypted ones.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #104
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #105
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No, because a book can only be downloaded to a Kindle (or whatever) that is registered to your account, and you're going to notice if a device that you know nothing about suddenly appears in your device list.
There's download to PC option which lets you pick an existing device as the target (so the DRM can be applied) but doesn't need a desktop reading app registered so could occur from anywhere. I'm pretty sure you can remove a device from your account with a few clicks too, which you'd assume they'd do after pilfering your entire library even if they did register a device.

Also consider, you can use a kindle and buy books for years without ever logging in and looking at what devices you have registered if you're buying from the device itself.

Not saying it's likely, in fact I find it rather unlikely, but it's a possibility and that does mean someone could be receiving hefty fines when they've done no wrong.

Last edited by JoeD; 10-03-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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