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Old 07-21-2005, 07:40 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Harry Potter e-books for $1.99 on eBay

I am not joking. Apparently some half-witted folks with a self-destructive urge are selling the illegal e-book of the new Harry Potter on eBay (in case the items are already removed - which, if not, I am sure will happen any time soon - see attached screenshot). Some ludicrous quotes:

Quote:
On purchasing this e-book you also purchase the right to resell it to others. These FULL RESELL RIGHTS allow you to resell this e-book to others, whilst you retain the profit.

You cannot go wrong with this price. The real hardcover book is going for 15.00 USD and up!!

Why buy the Hard cover collection? Its the same thing here. Put it on disc and you will have it forever.

Note to All: This e-book is available in the public domain.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to get this book instantly, cheaper and quicker than in retail stores!

You are absolutely FREE TO PRINT AND REPRODUCE/DISTRIBUTE this e-book. This gives you the ability to have a hard copy to hand.

After purchasing, you will receive your e-book via e-mail. Unlike some sellers, we don’t charge an administration fee or a postage fee!
Whatever is their problem, death wish or not, this is NOT the way to convince Rowling and her conglomerate of lawyers to publish legal e-books for sale!

Or perhaps it is? DRM to the rescue! I would've never thought that this would come out of my mouth. Of course I was just kidding...
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:50 PM   #2
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And how do we know that the seller isn't simply turning over the names/credit card numbers of the people who are purchasing it, to JK Rowling's publishers? Its sort of a reverse-phishing scam in action....

The irony in your post wasn't that you found someone selling the Harry Potter ebook, but that you found at least 68 people selling Harry Potter works. Nice.
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:26 PM   #3
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The funniest part was the BUY IT NOW seller. Like there's such a demand for it (and a scarcity, somehow) that you shouldn't waste time trying to win an auction.

It might be what convinces the publishers to finally consider these works as eBooks. Then comes the crushing DRM. It usually takes people some punishing in the wallet before they realize that the people want this digitally.

These few are ruining it for the rest of us. Legit people shouldn't be forced into illegally downloading a work (that they've paid for in another format) just to have the portability of taking the content with them anywhere. There has to be an all-in-one DRM that everyone can agree to. Or a universal skeleton key that the copyright holders will allow us end-users to use without fear of reprisal.
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:27 AM   #4
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I believe Ms. Rowling should be intelligent enough to know that DRM will protect her books if she ever allow it to be released in ebook format. Sure, some may crack the DRM, but as shown it didn't take long for her book to be OCR and posted anyway, so isn't selling legal ebooks a better way than have illicit people sell them for you?
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
And how do we know that the seller isn't simply turning over the names/credit card numbers of the people who are purchasing it, to JK Rowling's publishers? Its sort of a reverse-phishing scam in action....
That's evil, but wouldn't it constitute entrapment?

Yeah, and if those Luddie fools of her publishers can wake themselves up to reality, selling DRM ebooks will at least help them capture part of the demand, although there would still be some lost to illegal scans. Better some than nothing at all!

At the very least the offenders can no longer claim that they did the scans because they couldn't get their hands on an official ebook copy.
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:16 AM   #6
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I know this is entirely unrealistic at the moment... Probably entirely unrealistic ever.

But I do wish there was some DRM scheme that would work exactly like a paper book... It can be transferred and copied everywhere, given to anyone and so on, as long as there was only one copy at any given time... :< Like I said, unrealistic, but, in a perfect world...

That would solve the DRM complaints and satiate the corporate world - it would be just like a paper book - anyone can use it, read it, anywhere, but there can only be one in existence...


But, yeah... Really unrealistic. :<
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Old 07-22-2005, 04:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos
But I do wish there was some DRM scheme that would work exactly like a paper book... It can be transferred and copied everywhere, given to anyone and so on, as long as there was only one copy at any given time... :< Like I said, unrealistic, but, in a perfect world..
It does exist, its called Polymorphic Encryption, and it can easily be put into a DRM-like scheme, but nobody has done it yet.

The technology exists, just not the motivation necessary to deploy it intelligently in electronic books.
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:42 AM   #8
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Hacker, I remember polymorphic encryptions from disassembling viruses, but putting this in context with DRM is new to me. Could you explain in lay terms how this could be put into a DRM-like scheme?
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Old 07-28-2005, 05:28 AM   #9
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What should i do now, hic.
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:03 AM   #10
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But...content providers don't want e-books to be just like paper books. Clearly, they would be happier with some kind of pay-per-view scheme, but that model doesn't make sense for prose works. So the next best thing - pay per person, no lending, no giving away, no reselling.
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeister0
But...content providers don't want e-books to be just like paper books. Clearly, they would be happier with some kind of pay-per-view scheme, but that model doesn't make sense for prose works. So the next best thing - pay per person, no lending, no giving away, no reselling.

Isn't that what they want with the PAPER books too, only it's technologically not possible after the first "sale"? I do NOT mind paying creative people for their works. I feel it's not only the *right* thing to do, but it helps other people when they get their creative urge on too. But the whole thing of "you can only read it once, unless you pay me AGAIN".

Egads, this is just nuts. I'd rather be flayed alive and forced to watch Jar Jar Binks talking all day to Barney about hugging and crap.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker View Post
It does exist, its called Polymorphic Encryption,
Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's secure.

I read their advertising spiel right up to "psuedorandom XOR" and at that point my babble detector overloaded and I had to stop. Anyone who eschews cryptographic descriptions in favour of random jargon is trying to hide something - and in cryptography, normally they're hiding the weakness of their algorithm.

A quick web search suggests that the owner is actively peddling his wares anywhere that crypto novices gather. There's an interesting disassembly of their claims in this forum: http://www.security-forums.com/viewtopic.php?p=69206 On their web pages the author reprints a comment by Schneier "The theory description is so filled with pseudo-cryptography that it's funny to read. Hypotheses are presented as conclusions. Current research is misstated or ignored. The first link is a technical paper with four references, three of them written before 1975. Who needs thirty years of cryptographic research when you have polymorphic cipher theory?" and attempts to argue that since Schneier won't get into a pissing contest with him PMC is obviously perfect.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:30 PM   #13
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You do realize this thread's been dormant for almost 3 years, doncha, moz?
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheshire View Post
That's evil, but wouldn't it constitute entrapment?
At least in the U.S., entrapment is a defense in a criminal prosecution, not a civil prosecution, so a reverse scam is a great way to get names. The problem is that it isn't illegal to buy the illegal copy; it is illegal to sell it, which is why the music industry hasn't tried this tack yet. Plus if Rowling's attorneys (or the music industry in the case of music) were posting the "illegal" copies for downloading, the copies would be legal ones because they were authorized by Rowling (or the music folk). Convoluted but true.
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