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Old 06-16-2013, 02:08 AM   #1
zigzagz
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New DRM method changes the author's words to make each copy unique and traceable

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...protecting-it/

"Some might say it was the best of times. On the other hand, some might say it was the worst of times."

We're gonna love this.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:34 AM   #2
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I don't think this method is rugged enough, given that it sacrifices the originality of the content, I can see it to be broken systematically in a following process:

1. purchase 2 copies of a book, book A, book B, by 2 different usernames, so by the SiDiM standard, A, B should be slightly different.
2. Extract content from A, and B.
3. Perform a sequence alignment (or sth similar) on the contents of A and B, this should tell where in A and B, the contents differ.
4. Randomly select 50% of the positions where they are different, and swap the differences there, producing A', and B'.
5. Select either A', and B', and both copies should be no longer tracable.
And it is done.

Also there is a cheaper way of getting around this by approximation, it is to get 2 diff copies of a book, and select each page randomly from the 2 copies.

And if this is not cheap enough, just buy only one copy, and add noise into it. Like normalizing or randomly switching grammar, spacing styles. Even if it only reduces the tracing precision by a neigbourhood of 33%, I think this will result the tracing method to be untrusted in the legal court.

Maybe you may say, this might caught unsuspected illegal distributor, but many other (if not any other) DRM method do this just well...

In the end, I don't think the improvement worth the sacrifice of the orginal content. I just don't like a method that is doing this kind of damage.

Last edited by ghero; 06-16-2013 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:54 AM   #3
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On another note:
I think the essence of DRM watermarking should not be coming out with some freaky method and challenge the world with it, but constantly adapt different simple, effective watermarking method secretly, without letting the public actually knowing such simple watermarking methods are being embeded. I think that is the correct, effective, and non-content damaging way of doing digital right protection.

Last edited by ghero; 06-16-2013 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:01 AM   #4
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Changing an author's work without permission would be a violation of copyright law. I can't imagine too many authors who would approve of this.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:48 AM   #5
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Makes perfect sense. I'm sure the proponents of DRM have long been looking for a way to piss off the authors AND the customers all at the same time. It ought to really show its usefullness in poetry collections.

There's no way this sees mainstream use in major ebook markets.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:56 AM   #6
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Stupid idea.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:01 AM   #7
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Oh dear, yet another thing to boycott!
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
Ralph Sir Edward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Makes perfect sense. I'm sure the proponents of DRM have long been looking for a way to piss off the authors AND the customers all at the same time. It ought to really show its usefullness in poetry collections.

There's no way this sees mainstream use in major ebook markets.
I don't know, it might improve some of the poetry collection I have read...
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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Totally insane.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
I don't know, it might improve some of the poetry collection I have read...
Well, sure. But it's all going to depend on the rhyming algorithm they go with in the "word negation" engine of the DRM AI.

EDIT: and how would they map these millions of variations (on something like a bestseller) back to an individual purchase? Correct me if I missed something, but wouldn't it almost have to be something similar to an MD5 Sum of an entire book. Even if they only store the differences from the original, all the variations sold on all available titles sounds like it could get a bit ... unwieldy (or did I mean not wieldable?).

Last edited by DiapDealer; 06-16-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
Ralph Sir Edward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Well, sure. But it's all going to depend on the rhyming algorithm they go with in the "word negation" engine of the DRM AI.

EDIT: and how would they map these millions of variations (on something like a bestseller) back to an individual purchase? Correct me if I missed something, but wouldn't it almost have to be something similar to an MD5 Sum of an entire book. Even if they only store the differences from the original, all the variations sold on all available titles sounds like it could get a bit ... unwieldy (or did I mean not wieldable?).
Maybe a "phone home with the difference"? The real reason it won't be effective for a serious pirate is that you still have the original DRM'ed text to compare to. Plus you'll be De-DRMing the randomizing algorithm. There are such things as hex editors...

But publishers were never known for their smarts...

(You don't want to do an A - B compare. you want at least three (and better 5 or 6) decrypts for the compare. You keep the text that shows up on the most of the version (at least 2). If there are words not common in all of them, flag it and tell the user to go look at the original DRM'ed version and correct the De-DRM'ed copy.)

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 06-16-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:57 AM   #12
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Ehh, right now it's just an idea, it will most likely never come to pass.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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This is totally absurd. I would sincerely hope that if this ever comes to pass, all the authors I love strongly resist it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Well, sure. But it's all going to depend on the rhyming algorithm they go with in the "word negation" engine of the DRM AI.

EDIT: and how would they map these millions of variations (on something like a bestseller) back to an individual purchase? Correct me if I missed something, but wouldn't it almost have to be something similar to an MD5 Sum of an entire book. Even if they only store the differences from the original, all the variations sold on all available titles sounds like it could get a bit ... unwieldy (or did I mean not wieldable?).
This would not require that many variables. Assuming they went for binary variables, they would only need to change 30 points in a book in order to identify a billion copies. That is more than enough for all sales, forever.

2^30 = 1,024^3 = 1,073,741,824

"not wieldable..." LOL


Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagz View Post
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...protecting-it/

"Some might say it was the best of times. On the other hand, some might say it was the worst of times."
LOL
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:59 AM   #15
Ralph Sir Edward
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But Nate, you can't hide a watermark from a hex editor. It has to take space. You find it and cut it out. Or screen scrape the text, and drop it into an editor and reconvert. Text is just too compact to actually watermark. You can only watermark that actual e-book (by sticking it in as non-readable bits).
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