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Old 04-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
svenlind
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Encryption of ebooks in Calibre

This is inspired from the discussion about watermarking in the Harry Potter thread.
I have bought some ebooks that are secured by watermarking, a very commendable method.
But if my Calibre database should fall in the wrong hands, and the books in question be found on the darknet, then I could be in serious trouble. It would therefore be nice if you could encrypt selected books in Calibre and automatically decrypt the books when they are uploaded to your device.
I know there is third party software that can be of assistance and I would also like suggestions in that direction.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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I don't think pirated material gets on the internet from falling in the wrong hands. More than likley someone uploads it on purpose. Encypting your HD should be enough to stop people getting your files if you feel the need to protect them.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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Anything you do to encrypt can beundone eventually.

Best way is to encrypt your data yourself and limit access to your computer and encrypt your hard drive(s)

My newest laptop has a fingerprint reader, but I know that would only stop someone without a screwdriver or the means to purchase one.

Or you could keep your library on an external device which you only plug in when using it and keep it in the wall safe with your other sensitive information. Might sound facetious but if you are seriously worried a simple method. Nothing is foolproof and mostly I just hope for the best

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Old 04-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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Well. To ease my paranoia I decided to encrypt my Calibre database using TrueCrypt. Mainly because I use online backup for my dearest data.
On the other hand, if I should loose one of my portable readers, and that is most likely the most probable scenario, then the encryption on my online backup and my desktop is not very useful .
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:50 AM   #5
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you could of course simply remove the watermarking - we will not be discussing how to do that here, but from what I have read elsewhere it seems a simple editing task.

you might also want to ask potttermore if they plan a lost/stolen watermarked book reporting system in the event that your reader is lost/stolen

PS for now, anyway, watermarking seems to "work" as I've not seen any of the new HP ebooks leaked on line.

Last edited by cybmole; 04-13-2012 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
you could of course simply remove the watermarking - we will not be discussing how to do that here, but from what I have read elsewhere it seems a simple editing task.

you might also want to ask potttermore if they plan a lost/stolen watermarked book reporting system in the event that your reader is lost/stolen

PS for now, anyway, watermarking seems to "work" as I've not seen any of the new HP ebooks leaked on line.
Or maybe it's that peaple buy books to read them, not to put them on the darknet . What a shock !
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
you could of course simply remove the watermarking - we will not be discussing how to do that here, but from what I have read elsewhere it seems a simple editing task.

you might also want to ask potttermore if they plan a lost/stolen watermarked book reporting system in the event that your reader is lost/stolen

PS for now, anyway, watermarking seems to "work" as I've not seen any of the new HP ebooks leaked on line.
Really we might not move in the same circles I guess as I have seen both the US and the UK versions of the pottermore epubs.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:20 AM   #8
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Really we might not move in the same circles I guess as I have seen both the US and the UK versions of the pottermore epubs.
oh well. are you're definitely seeing the retail pottermore versions, & not the old pirated pdf scan conversions ?I wonder if the watermarks are intact....

I'm not into HP myself so I won't be buying this series but I do like the concept of replacing DRM with watermarking, as that would mean I can legally buy a book & legally tweak the formatting, change any typos...

I did read that you need to shop directly at pottermore for that - if e.g. you go via Amazon, then Amazon will add the own DRM before delivering it to Kindle

Last edited by cybmole; 04-13-2012 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:05 AM   #9
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I'm not into HP myself so I won't be buying this series but I do like the concept of replacing DRM with watermarking, as that would mean I can legally buy a book & legally tweak the formatting, change any typos...

Kindle
I also consider watermarking a very fair way of protecting against illegal distribution.

Watermaking is the preferred and I believe the most used method for ebooks in Denmark.
But as far as I have understood the Pottermore side forbids you to have backups on yor own PC. Only copies on your reading devices are allowed. This is quite unacceptable to me.

I have read the HP books and never intended to buy the ebook versions.

But before the HP thread I had never thought of the possible consequences if my watermarked books should end on the darknet.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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But as far as I have understood the Pottermore side forbids you to have backups on yor own PC. Only copies on your reading devices are allowed. This is quite unacceptable to me.

.
er - what if my reading device IS a PC - you reckon pottermore "forbids" me to buy an epub in order read it in ADE on a laptop, or on a tablet PC - surely not. I'll go peek at their T&C

this is from their FAQ:

"Can I put my eBook on multiple devices?

Yes, you can download each Harry Potter eBook for personal use up to eight times, so you can save a copy to your computer, eReader, tablet, mobile phone and any other compatible device. See Can I read eBooks on my device? for more information."


look reasonable to me.

Last edited by cybmole; 04-13-2012 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #11
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this is from their FAQ:

"Can I put my eBook on multiple devices?

Yes, you can download each Harry Potter eBook for personal use up to eight times, so you can save a copy to your computer, eReader, tablet, mobile phone and any other compatible device. See Can I read eBooks on my device? for more information."


look reasonable to me.
Well this is an extract from "Terms and Conditions":

12.3 You may not and may not permit others to do any of the following things in relation to any book or extract:

§ print-on-demand or copy or burn the book or extract to a device whose principal function is to act as a storage device, for example, a CD/DVD or USB stick;
--------
That will probably include all forms of backups, and most certainly my online backup.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:44 AM   #12
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@svenlind - so you can save a copy to your computer pretty explicitly covers putting it on your PC. A PC's principal function is not to act as a storage device - unlike a CD/DVD or USB stick which are the explicit examples in the line you quoted.

This thread doesn't belong in the calibre forums - there are loads of threads discussing HP elsewhere on MobileRead. But I'm going to add to it nonetheless because something said here is bugging me.

You say that you think watermarking is a "decent" form of protection. However you have also then pointed out above it's biggest weakness - theft. People lose/have stolen portable readers all the time. People also have their computers & laptops stolen. You have zero control in that situation over what happens to those watermarked files, and the onus is going to be on you to prove that it wasn't you that distributed them if they end up on the darknet or wherever. I certainly wouldn't bother reporting an e-reader stolen to the police or bother claiming insurance on it, so how do I "clear my name" if that happens to me?

So now I have to deal with the stress of not only having something stolen but then potentially worry that down the line I may get blamed for what happens to the files on it. Not a nice thought.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:07 AM   #13
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it does belong here in that the pottermore T&C as quoted 2 threads previous FORBIDS adding any pottermore books to a calibre library, as I read it.

calibre makes A COPY of any book added to its library - that is how it works, & it stores that library on digital media, somewhere.


OK , lawyers could make a mint from arguing the definition of "storage device" but that is what I reckon my main hard drive is. The intent is clearly to allow the book to exist only on e-readers so unless you PC is used only as an e-reader, you lose...

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:50 AM   #14
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I don't think that calibre making a "copy" really has any relevance though (as you can simply delete it from the import folder so you still only have one copy on your computer).

I also don't see how using "calibre" has makes any difference at all to the discussion of watermarking to be honest. If you put a copy of the book on your computer, that surely counts as one of your x copies you are allowed. Now whether you put it in calibre because you want to read it on that computer, or because you find that the most convenient way to then put it onto your device, who cares - either way you stuck it on your computer so it counts as a copy.

But then I am not a lawyer .

EDIT: Sorry, I should have read your and the previous posts more closely. For some reason I seem to be confusing this thread with another thread I saw at some point, doh. Clearly my view is indeed too simplistic

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:35 AM   #15
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@svenlind - so you can save a copy to your computer pretty explicitly covers putting it on your PC. A PC's principal function is not to act as a storage device - unlike a CD/DVD or USB stick which are the explicit examples in the line you quoted.

This thread doesn't belong in the calibre forums - there are loads of threads discussing HP elsewhere on MobileRead. But I'm going to add to it nonetheless because something said here is bugging me.
I agree that the thread has wandered away. It started as a request for encryption inside Calibre, but that is not relevant anymore. I have encrypted the Calibre database on my desktop, laptop and online backup.

I don't know how to protect the files on my reading devices, apart from restricting access using passwords.

So maybe you after all have to report to the police or insurance if your devices are stolen. Not a thing I would normally do. Except maybe now that my iPad is brand new.
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