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Old 03-03-2009, 04:47 PM   #16
ruibittencourt
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i think, if someone is really determined to modify a text, you cannot stop them. so it's a waste of time, energy and money to worry about that. instead you should concentrate on making the best possible buying and reading experience for your customers.

Yes... I need to agree with you... but because this possibility a lot of authors will prefere not have their books on digital plataforms. They are lawyers, judge, university professors and certainly they care about their names and reputation. Can you imagine if a book of a judge is modified by someone who wants to prejudice him?
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ruibittencourt View Post
Yes... I need to agree with you... but because this possibility a lot of authors will prefere not have their books on digital plataforms. They are lawyers, judge, university professors and certainly they care about their names and reputation. Can you imagine if a book of a judge is modified by someone who wants to prejudice him?
of course, this is a worry. but, authors who refuse to allow legitimate digital editions of their works will either encourage pirates to make their own (see J.K. Rowling : the Harry Potter books are probably the most copied ebooks in the world, but no legal editions exist because she refused), or they will eventually be left behind by authors who *do* allow digital editions of their books.

A judge whose book is modified by someone who wants to prejudice him can always defend himself by showing the TRUE version of his text.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:55 PM   #18
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Yes... I need to agree with you... but because this possibility a lot of authors will prefere not have their books on digital plataforms. They are lawyers, judge, university professors and certainly they care about their names and reputation. Can you imagine if a book of a judge is modified by someone who wants to prejudice him?
That is a puzzler. Of course, there will always be the original at your bookstore site, which will be beyond doubt. In that case, it might be necessary for purchasers to pay a fee to subscribe to your site, then allow for downloads of PDF copies of books and journals. This is the way it is mostly done with medical journals in the U.S. The PDF's are not flowable and would be difficult to alter. See PubMed, for instance.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ruibittencourt View Post
Yes... I need to agree with you... but because this possibility a lot of authors will prefere not have their books on digital plataforms. They are lawyers, judge, university professors and certainly they care about their names and reputation. Can you imagine if a book of a judge is modified by someone who wants to prejudice him?
Yes, but if people are getting a digital book from a questionable source then I could question the content too.

There are two ways that you can protect the integrity of the content.

First. There is a way to digitally sign a file with a private key/certificate. This proves it came from that individual or organization but in no way does it hinder the ability to use the book as needed. Any one with a simple tool can check the private key using a public key that you publish on your web site or on a key server. If the book as been altered the tool will show that the file is not valid. Or, if someone tries to resign it the tool will show that it was not signed by the correct person. One popular tool to do this is PGP. It has been around for years and many people still use it to sign their emails.

The second way is to create an MD5 Hash. This is similar to the above. However, a hash is created for each ebook. This is how Ubuntu allows d/l to verify they are getting authentic d/ls. The MD5 hash is published on your web site with the book information. Anyone can run the file through a tool to generate the MD5 hash and compare it to the published hash. As a matter of fact, DownloadThemAll a popular Firefox d/l tool supports verifying the MD5 hash of downloads.

So, you see there are ways of proving that the text is from whom it is said to be.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 03-03-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #20
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thanks for the great info pilotbob, i didn't know about those tools and i think you are right, those could be excellent for reassuring authors and publishers about protecting the integrity of their work, without causing the problems linked to drm.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #21
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Bob's hash idea sounds perfect.

Last edited by DixieGal; 03-03-2009 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Yummmm, corned beef hash sandwiches sound good for dinner!
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ruibittencourt View Post
Another thing about open formats.
Our authors are afraid that people can modify their text and that it could bring troubles.
What do you think about this?
You can use digital signatures to sign your books. That won't prevent people from modifying them, but you will be able to prove that the books are modified.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:54 PM   #23
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It's what I want to listen! What you e-readers want?
We are planning to start in this market, but is it economically viable?
I need to pay my structure of 50 employees and the copyright for the author.
And of course, I want a little gain.

Thank you DixieGal for the opinion.
If you're doing law/legal textbooks, then you should be charging at least 70% as much as you would per printed volume - and given the small size of the market, I'd even go as high as 100%. Why?

Because you're never going to find a 'perfect' DRM method which will prevent copying of the text. So you might as well get a decent profit per volume. And your authors should be getting no more than 10% of retail price. You, as the publisher are doing all the effort to market the work and printing and distribution so your share should be larger.

Now if you're going to switch to fiction, I would also weigh in in favor of no DRM and setting a price point between $5-$10 (or Brazilian equivalent) per sold ebook copy. No matter how many 'free' copies made by people and given away to friends, the number of 'stolen/free' copies actually works in your favor as they become word-of-mouth marketing tools for the titles you sell.

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:19 PM   #24
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The second way is to create an MD5 Hash. This is similar to the above. However, a hash is created for each ebook. This is how Ubuntu allows d/l to verify they are getting authentic d/ls. The MD5 hash is published on your web site with the book information. Anyone can run the file through a tool to generate the MD5 hash and compare it to the published hash. As a matter of fact, DownloadThemAll a popular Firefox d/l tool supports verifying the MD5 hash of downloads.
Please help MD5 die out by recommending SHA1.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:20 PM   #25
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Thanks for the information people!
It will be very usefull for our project.
And, please, any opinion is welcome.

About prices, our printed books [law books] cost something about U$0,10 per page.
And in our digital library, U$0,05 per page. I think the price of our e-books would be something like this. What do you think?
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:22 PM   #26
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Please help MD5 die out by recommending SHA1.
Isn't a sha1 has much longer and slower? I think this is still way it is used most places to verify file integrity for linux and other distros.

Same idea though.

BOb
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ruibittencourt View Post
Thanks for the information people!
It will be very usefull for our project.
And, please, any opinion is welcome.

About prices, our printed books [law books] cost something about U$0,10 per page.
And in our digital library, U$0,05 per page. I think the price of our e-books would be something like this. What do you think?
so a 200 page book would cost around 10$. that seems reasonable. but the problem is, how will you count the pages ? in reflowable ebooks, especially if you change the font size, "page" is a very relative concept... i think it's best to decide on a price for the book which is not related to the length. bear in mind, most people agree that ebooks should be priced *less* than the cheapest paper edition (like pocket paperback). baen books sells their ebooks around 6$ and people seem to agree this is a good price for an ebook. if you price too high, people won't buy ; price low, and they won't hesitate, and you will sell more. since the cost of each unit to reproduce is nil for an ebook, this means more revenue for you.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:51 PM   #28
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Isn't a sha1 has much longer and slower? I think this is still way it is used most places to verify file integrity for linux and other distros.
MD5 has been shown to have serious security issues. I wouldn't recommend it for any use.

Where it is still in use, it's mainly for legacy reasons (it was heavily used before the security holes were discovered).
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:53 PM   #29
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so a 200 page book would cost around 10$. that seems reasonable. but the problem is, how will you count the pages ?
Well if they only sell electronic versions of pbooks, then the ebook price (given his formula of 0.05 vs 0.10) is pbook price / 2.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:16 PM   #30
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MD5 has been shown to have serious security issues. I wouldn't recommend it for any use.
So, are you saying it is possible to modify an ebook file and come up with a way for the MD5 has to be exactly the same as the original?

BOb
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