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Old 06-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
dezignlady
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Creating Printing and Security limitations

Is there a way to set the printing limitations and distribution (buy one copy and handing out to others) of an ePub. I know with a pdf I can set printing limitations but a client has asked if I can do this with ePub and I was not sure of this. I don't see how one would unless there is something in the HTML portion that will create this limitation.

Thanks
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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You can always print by grabbing the screen with the Print Screen key and pasting it in your favourite image editor (or simply MS Paint if you don't use anything else). Even if there were a HTML portion that would limit printing, don't you think it could just be edited out ?

Why is he afraid of, anyway ? That someone will print the entire book and sell it for a profit or something ?
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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Well I assumed that if someone really wanted to make copies there was a way around it, just like music or videos. But yes the client is concerned about illegal distribution of the book. They are new to ePubs and as a part of the income for this not-for-profit they wanted to know if there are any provisions in the format for security against such activity.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dezignlady View Post
Well I assumed that if someone really wanted to make copies there was a way around it, just like music or videos. But yes the client is concerned about illegal distribution of the book. They are new to ePubs and as a part of the income for this not-for-profit they wanted to know if there are any provisions in the format for security against such activity.
There are provisions called DRM (see our wiki). Some forms can be broken if someone really wants to steal the book. DRM is usually added by the publisher. Currently there are three different forms, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Adobe. They are not compatible in that a particular eBook reader can only read one of the forms although general computers might have apps for all three. The Adobe system is most common.

There are other more non-invasive techniques such as search google to see if any unauthorized person is selling the book.

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Old 07-01-2011, 09:04 AM   #5
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Dale,

Thanks, I will check this out and send along to the client. Learning more and more everyday!
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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The only form of DRM that can be licensed by third parties is that from Adobe itself. Doing so involves a large setup fee, a maintenance fee of several thousand dollars a year, and extra fees for each book protected. In short, it's not even worth considering unless you plan to establish a large retail operation.

All forms of DRM can easily be circumvented, and are only effective in preventing casual copying by the technically inexperienced. The limitations on printing or copying that can be set in PDFs are even more ineffective unless the entire document is encrypted, and that can be broken as well.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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All forms of DRM can easily be circumvented, and are only effective in preventing casual copying by the technically inexperienced. The limitations on printing or copying that can be set in PDFs are even more ineffective unless the entire document is encrypted, and that can be broken as well.
Currently the apple system is pretty hard to circumvent. No reader on a pc so hard to screen capture and screen capture is not easy anyway and the code has not been cracked to my knowledge.

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Old 07-03-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
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What are you talking about ? Cracking the DRM would be preferred but if you think about it, screen capturing and OCR-ing is even faster than scanning a paperback book (and that's not hard at all).

Even if the book has video embedded it can be screen captured with various software. Then converted. Then embedded in the new file.

Audio embedded ? There's computer software that can record everything that makes a sound in your device. You basically plug in the 3.5 mm jack from your headphones into the PC Mic slot and push play on your device. Easy. Kinda like VHS tapes can be captured with a tv tunner. You hit play and the output is recorded on your PC.

So yeah. There are ways around DRM, for just about any type of content. It would take time and effort, of course, but it can be done. And hey, all it takes is ONE committed person to do it and post it online on a public tracker. Your client (and everyone who works in the entertainment business) should know and understand that if someone wants to pirate it, they will.


PS: I think the printing restriction was implemented because of software that can print straight to PDF. Not because someone could actually print it on paper and sell it. Haha. That was pretty dumb of me. Sorry about that.

Last edited by DSpider; 07-03-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:17 AM   #9
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I would agree there are work arounds but iBooks won't run anywhere but on a iPad or iPhone and that restricts the tools you have available to do all of the stuff you suggest. You keep suggesting the use of a pc but you can't even read iBook protected eBooks on a pc to display them. I am not saying it is impossible I am just say the typical tools are not as available.

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Old 07-04-2011, 07:00 AM   #10
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I don't think you understand. iOS is screenshot-capable (power button + home button). There's your print screen button right there. You just connect it to a PC and you can simply transfer the pictures and work your OCR magic from there.

For books with video embedded (which are pretty rare, it's more of a gimmick really), there are TV tuners that can capture from HDMI. And I believe the iPad has video-out capabilities, am I right ?

If a TV tunner and a video-out cable is too expensive you can simply film the screen with a video camera. Sure, the quality won't be that great... It will probably take some filtering. But it CAN be done, make no mistake about it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #11
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I don't think you understand. iOS is screenshot-capable (power button + home button). There's your print screen button right there. You just connect it to a PC and you can simply transfer the pictures and work your OCR magic from there.

For books with video embedded (which are pretty rare, it's more of a gimmick really), there are TV tuners that can capture from HDMI. And I believe the iPad has video-out capabilities, am I right ?

If a TV tunner and a video-out cable is too expensive you can simply film the screen with a video camera. Sure, the quality won't be that great... It will probably take some filtering. But it CAN be done, make no mistake about it.
That's a lot of trouble to go to when you can spend and extra $10.00 for an additional legit copy.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:59 AM   #12
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That's a lot of trouble to go to when you can spend and extra $10.00 for an additional legit copy.
That depends on how many additional copies you want. If you want one for a buddy, sure, you're right. If you want to sell as many copies as possible, on the other hand . . .
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:45 AM   #13
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