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View Poll Results: Ebook piracy and your thoughts
Who takes e-books for free, actually work for a living? 10 45.45%
Who works for a living believe they deserve every penny of what they get? 8 36.36%
Would you work for free if you won't be paid? 9 40.91%
Should strangers dictate author's wages? 13 59.09%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-13-2007, 10:28 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Although I wouldn't go so far as to change the text of a book for every downloader... if the intent is to make each e-book unique, you can work out a way to embed the purchaser's name in the book, say, in the dedication section (Thank you for buying this book, Sparrow!).

I think that might be a bit obvious and easy to molest.
The way I thought it might be done is:
a) produce your text
b) select maybe a hundred candidate punctuations/words, throughtout the text, for random change (e.g. comma to semi-colon, one verb for another etc.) and supply a list of alternates
c) a randomiser utility could apply the random change to each download
d) log the 'signature' for that download against the purchaser's record
e) record the signature/customer on a centralised cross-publisher database, which can record whatever infringements are noted - the seriousness of a purchaser's infringements can determine the resultant action.

It seems strange to suggest 'mutilating' the text - but it need only be subtle.
Comparing two seperate editions of any classic text would show plenty of such examples - so there is nothing sacrosanct about even those books.

If someone tried to 'crack' it they'd have to find the candidates within the text, or make loads of changes to obliterate them. Either that or buy more copies to run a comparison :-)
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:11 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
b) select maybe a hundred candidate punctuations/words, throughtout the text, for random change (e.g. comma to semi-colon, one verb for another etc.) and supply a list of alternates
That can all-too-easily change the meaning of sentences, paragraphs, character motivations, entire storylines. Talk to some of the people in this forum, and they can tell you about a badly-done OCR job on one book or another that has done exactly that.

That's why I wouldn't want to change a single character of text in a book, especially one selected at random.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:23 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
That can all-too-easily change the meaning of sentences, paragraphs, character motivations, entire storylines. Talk to some of the people in this forum, and they can tell you about a badly-done OCR job on one book or another that has done exactly that.
I've been proofing a classic text recently. I was surprised to discover how many differences there are between editions. One version would have something like:
"I agreed to the idea - but not willingly."
Another might have:
"I agreed to the idea; but not willingly."
Who knows which was 'right' (even a first edition might have a misprint)?

For anti-pirating purposes, the author could have selected '-' as a signature candidate with ';' as an alternate to be used at random (doesn't significantly alter the sense as far as I can see.)
This would just be one of the hundred or so signature indicators throughout the text.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:15 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
Most people will commit a minor crime if they think they will get away with it.

Speeding!
wrong? of course. does almost everyone do it? yes
'Wrong' for this one depends on the particular speed limit involved. Some speed limits are set based on safety issues. These are generally worked out either by traffic engineers based on the particular road or by broad consensus (e.g. lower speed limits on residential streets). Others are purely political (remember the 55MPH limit?) and may well make no sense whatsoever in some places.

Was I 'wrong' to speed on a freeway in the middle of nowhere in Arizona (back in the 80s)? The next exit was 40 miles away, the next turn in the road was 20 miles away, and there was almost no traffic. The speed limit was 55, I was going about 85. The state trooper passed me like I was standing still, and gave me a cheery wave...
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Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
Lending someone a tape/dvd or a tv program their friend missed!
Wrong?of course. does everyone do it? yes
Not wrong according to US understanding of fair use. If I lend them the tape I made, and they give it back when they are done we're squarely in fair use territory. Questions arise when they copy it, but even there some scenarios are considered OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
making a mix CD form your favourite album tracks!
Wrong? of course. Does everyone do it? yes
Once again, squarely in fair use territory, when the mix CD is for my own use and is made from albums I have purchased. 'Wrong' arises only when either the albums/tracks weren't legally purchased in the first place, or when I give (note: not loan!) the mix CD to someone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
Its all about drawing a line... problem is its a giant sized football pitch wide fuzzy grey line.

downloading an Ebook thats not available commercially if you owned the paperback?

downloading an Ebook that wasnt available commercially if you didnt own a 'hard' copy?

downloading an Ebook that is commercially available if you didnt own a 'hard' copy?

Ive done some of all the things listed above... Heres my Poll:-

Can anyone honestly say they have never done ANY of the things listed in this post?

Yes

or

No
My personal line is at the point where commercial availability goes away. I buy content new when possible. I have no problem with format shifting for my own use. That seems both reasonable and morally OK to me, and it's probably even OK on the legal front as well (in the US, unless and until the mouse gets the laws changed). I'm willing to loan books/cds/bits to friends who can be trusted to return them (that means 'no fair keeping a copy'!).

When it comes to giving away a copy of something, well... I do make copies of albums for family members, but only of albums that are completely out of print (by which I mean 'not available new in any format'). I want the artists and/or rights-holders to be compensated -- that's how I get more content that I want.

I also re-purchase content in alternate form rather than convert (when available). My time is worth more than the extra cost.

Your mileage may vary...

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:21 PM   #50
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[QUOTE=stustaff;127037]Lending someone a tape/dvd or a tv program their friend missed!
Wrong?of course. does everyone do it? yes
If you own the tape or DVD and you loan said tape/DVD to a friend to watch and you do not have a copy, you can do it legally. Now if you've downloaded the TV show and put it on tape/DVD, then you have broken the law and loaning it or not you are still wrong.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:33 PM   #51
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No one is up to help me to solve my dilemma?
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:45 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astra_lestat View Post
No one is up to help me to solve my dilemma?
Buy the paperbacks. If you must have them as e-books, you can scan and OCR them. Don't support illegal sites.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:49 PM   #53
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Astra, I think you know my opinion. If you own the book you can darknet the e-book. I also know Steve completely disagrees. Why not post a direct poll explaining all in a separate thread and see what how the members here balance out?
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:50 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Buy the paperbacks. If you must have them as e-books, you can scan and OCR them. Don't support illegal sites.
It would take ages to scan a book that has 600 pages. I don't have any professional equipment for that, just PC scanner.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:50 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
I think that might be a bit obvious and easy to molest.
The way I thought it might be done is:
a) produce your text
b) select maybe a hundred candidate punctuations/words, throughtout the text, for random change (e.g. comma to semi-colon, one verb for another etc.) and supply a list of alternates
c) a randomiser utility could apply the random change to each download
d) log the 'signature' for that download against the purchaser's record
e) record the signature/customer on a centralised cross-publisher database, which can record whatever infringements are noted - the seriousness of a purchaser's infringements can determine the resultant action.

It seems strange to suggest 'mutilating' the text - but it need only be subtle.
Comparing two seperate editions of any classic text would show plenty of such examples - so there is nothing sacrosanct about even those books.

If someone tried to 'crack' it they'd have to find the candidates within the text, or make loads of changes to obliterate them. Either that or buy more copies to run a comparison :-)
If it's not plain text you could watermark in a way that didn't affect the work at all. Unfortunately I still haven't heard a way of doing it that isn't easily cracked. To me, that would be ideal DRM. You can copy your book to as many devices as you like but if it ends up on the darknets it could be traced back to you.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:09 PM   #56
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I think putting the purchaser's name in the text (and metadata, for anything other than plain text) would cause honest people to think twice about who they "loan" the file to, and nothing will stop the dishonest people anyway. But again, there's no challenge to cracking such a file, which I think is what the darknet runs on. People post and share content that's considered "challenging" in some way. You don't see a lot of Baen titles there. So I think this method would cut down on massive piracy as well. I don't think what's left is worth worrying about.

But that's just my opinion.

astra, I'm with PenForHire on this one, but I can respect Steve's point of view, too. I wish there were a way to have a sharing site that would ask for at least a promise by the participants that they own works in paper before downloading. It makes sense to me that people ought to be able to share the work of scanning paper books with others who own the same paper book, particularly those that aren't yet available in ebook versions and especially those that are out of print.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:15 PM   #57
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In my case, Steve Jordan's solution is as illegal as dowloading from darknet.
Btw., I have started a poll
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:20 PM   #58
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I won't pirate ebooks but I won't pay $15 for one either. Rather wait 6 months or so and buy the hard cover for half that price or less, I don't mind waiting.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:32 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astra_lestat View Post
In my case, Steve Jordan's solution is as illegal as dowloading from darknet.
Wait... did I miss something? If you buy the books, scanning them and OCR'ing them for yourself is covered by "fair use." Okay, it's a lot of pages, but still okay to do. Or did I misunderstand something here?
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:11 PM   #60
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If astra lives in the UK, scanning a whole book would be illegal.
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