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Old 12-09-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
ebookreaders
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Adobe CS5 introduces password-protected ebook DRM

Until now, the DRM-scheme provided by Adobe's Content Server lets users activate their ebooks on a fixed number of devices. This way it was not possible to transfer an ebook to someone else, unless their devices would be authorised first.

According to this article in Computerworld, Adobe intends to add a new DRM scheme in Content Server 5, allowing publishers to select an alternative 'lighter' DRM method, using username and password protection. This way a user can share his ebooks with trusted friends, like relatives or close collegues.

The downside: when a username/password combination is illegally spread together with the ebook, there is no 'protection' anymore.

With the new DRM scheme, Adobe wants to cater to publishers with different protection needs.

Of course, in my opinion, the best DRM is no DRM at all (or social DRM), but it is not up to Adobe to decide this - this is the publishers' choice.

(via @wdejager)

Last edited by ebookreaders; 12-09-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebookreaders View Post
Until now, the DRM-scheme provided by Adobe's Content Server lets users activate their ebooks on a fixed number of devices. This way it was not possible to transfer an ebook to someone else.

According to this article in Computerworld, Adobe intends to add a new DRM scheme in Content Server 5, allowing publishers to select an alternative 'lighter' DRM method, using username and password protection. This way a user can share his ebooks with trusted friends, like relatives or close collegues.

The downside: when a username/password combination is illegally spread together with the ebook, there is no 'protection' anymore.

With the new DRM scheme, Adobe wants to cater publishers with different protection needs.

Of course, in my opinion, the best DRM is no DRM at all (or social DRM), but it is not up to Adobe to decide this - this is the publishers' choice.
It is ultimately the people's choice. If they cared enough, they could enact a law banning DRM, either through their elected representatives or via a referendum.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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This appears to be the eReader-like approach now used only on the Nook for ePubs, see Adobe and Barnes & Noble eBook Collaboration.

What is new, if the article is correct, is that Adobe is suggesting that the AdobeID and its password are strong enough protection. B&N is using your name and credit card number as the username and password. This is the same scheme, all that differs is how likely you are to distribute the password. It might be viable, given that passworded PDFs are sometimes used as ebooks.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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This is a very significant announcement and will make Epub (even with DRM) device independent. So you will then be able to buy your books from anywhere and they will work on any device (as long as you remember what DRM passwords go with what books)
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:14 PM   #5
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This is more significant than I initially thought, and it does allow any username and password an ebook supplier wants to use, see Customer FAQ: Adobe and Barnes & Noble. Jim Lester might want to comment further, but on teleread he says:
Quote:
The feature news from Nick, was basically saying that the next version of Content Server (I’d be surprised if the actual version number is 5 btw) will contain the ability to generate ePubs with the password flavor of DRM, so that you could buy these files, not just from B&N, but from any of the 100+ (and growing ) Content Server customers that decided to offer it.
I think this pretty much guarantees that mobile ADE licensees will implement this option on their new devices (once it is available), and probably even upgrade their existing devices.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:36 PM   #6
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What I am hoping is that when I purchase an ePub, that I will have the choice of DRM so I can always choose adept since I can strip it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ebookreaders View Post
The downside: when a username/password combination is illegally spread together with the ebook, there is no 'protection' anymore.
Which essentially means that publishers only need to download a pirated ebook to find out that H. Simpson of 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield uploaded it.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #8
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I wonder if CS5 will update Adept at all (meaning device manufacturers will have to put out firmware updates). AFAIK when CS4 came out it updated Adobe DRM, if this is the case I wonder if Inept will still work when CS5 goes into use.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
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I shudder when I think it would be possible for someone to include not only my name, but also my credit card number, in some book I want to buy. I can definitely see people abusing this...
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaughnmr View Post
I shudder when I think it would be possible for someone to include not only my name, but also my credit card number, in some book I want to buy.
This information isn't in the ebook, instead an encryption key is generated from the credit card info and this key is in the ebook. If the key is well designed there is no going backwards to recover your original info from the key. Adobe's FAQ says:
Quote:
Q: Does the use of a credit card number as the password present any security risks or considerations for end-users?
A: The information that is stored in the protected document and cached on reading systems after encountering an ID/password pair for the first time is a non-reversible one-way hash of these strings. However, because users type these strings into a dialog prompt, they should be alert to potential malware “key logger” programs that attempt to record keystrokes and obtain sensitive information. Hence, typing a credit card number into a PC, smartphone or dedicated reading device is always something that should be approached with caution. Many users frequently type in credit card numbers to buy goods online without incident. Additionally, because the ID and password hash is cached after first use and never again requested, the risk can be considered minor.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:34 PM   #11
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"The risk would be minor", well I've heard that one before. In fact, I hear it all the time. My bank told me that, right up to the time they had to tell me that my cc number was stolen, along with a few hundred thousand (millions?) others, sorry about that. Good luck guys, but I won't be putting my personal info on ANY books for the foreseeable future, thanks very much...
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:41 AM   #12
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Once again, your personal info is not stored in the books. As for stolen CC numbers, 99% of them get lifted from databases of shops, banks and CC processors, not by key loggers. There's almost nothing you can do to prevent that besides using one-time-use generated numbers.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaughnmr View Post
"The risk would be minor", well I've heard that one before. In fact, I hear it all the time. My bank told me that, right up to the time they had to tell me that my cc number was stolen, along with a few hundred thousand (millions?) others, sorry about that. Good luck guys, but I won't be putting my personal info on ANY books for the foreseeable future, thanks very much...
Considering how simple it is for restaurant workers and cashiers to clone credit cards during transactions, not to mention the relative simplicity of MitM attacks on 'Net-based transactions, my advice would be to stick to cash. Just using a credit card--in any way--puts it at risk.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:07 AM   #14
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Definitely sounds like what B&N is/has implemented for the nook and their conversion to epub.

and for vaughnmr and others. Your information is NOT STORED it is only used as a key for the encryption/decryption. This is standard practice for various encryption technologies public/private key stuff and things like that.
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