Copyright Protect Ebooks using DRM Software
While copyright law exists to protect intellectual property it can be difficult and expensive to enforce. The solution is to copy protect ebooks with DRM software so you can stop unauthorized distribution and sharing and control use (printing, expiry, etc.).
A good e-book copy protection product should allow you to publish protected e-books on the Internet while ensuring your copyright is protected at all times without you having to resort to legal measures to enforce it.
Copy protecting e-books with Safeguard PDF security
What is ebook copyright?
We introduce the term ebook copyright in order to make several observations about copyright law and the issues that have to be addressed in the electronic world that differ from the paper world for which copyright law was actually developed.
We should mention that we are convinced by the arguments that won the day when today’s copyright law were enacted through the Berne Convention. These included provisions to effectively prevent any organization from being able to obtain control over the access to information, and, in particular, to facilitate analysis of published works, the ability to quote extracts of published work for the purpose of criticism (please remember that criticism is not compelled to be negative – although the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives the first meaning as, “The action of criticizing, or passing (esp. unfavourable) judgement upon the qualities of anything: fault finding. (1607)”).
As copyright law currently stands, there is precisely no difference between a written work that is on paper and one that is in what’s called a ‘dematerialized form’ or in other words an ebook. (Dematerialized is a posh word that is used to mean it is in a digital form. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary tells us, “To deprive of material character or qualities (1807)”).
So ebook copyright is no different from normal copyright, in fact the two things are identical.
But is that appropriate?
Copyright law includes a number of requirements, such as fair use, that allow the extraction of, by general consent, 5% of the material. In an age where the only way to extract material was to sit down and write it out, longhand (a technical skill, something that would likely defeat the current school generation) it really did not matter that the law allowed you to copy parts of a work.
However, with a computer, it requires little, if any effort, to get 20 people to copy 5% of a work, perfectly legally, and BINGO, the whole work has been copied and can be trivially reproduced all over the Internet.
And that’s the big flaw with the copyright concept in current law. It is based on what is now an anachronism, an outdated approach that fails completely to respond to the realities of the digital age. Because much of copyright law comes from an age where it was difficult and slow to make a copy of something, and difficult and slow to publish.
Today, thanks to the Internet, copying and publishing are entirely trivial activities, and there is little, if any, protection available for ebook copyright.
To give you some rather curious examples, we are aware of a document that was made publicly available for free use from the web site of www.articsoft.com which was subsequently being sold elsewhere as a consultancy report, and of summaries of books being sold in addition to the books themselves, despite the authors having provided them free gratis as advertising material. In both cases the originator of the material was receiving nothing although the copyright was self-evidently theirs.
Why copyright law is not enough to protect ebooks
Copyright law is extremely difficult to enforce and you can get different results in different countries because it is national law that applies. So preventing copying in the first place is far easier than trying to enforce copyright once your intellectual property has been illegall replicated and distributed. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Many ISPs provide a facility to ‘takedown’ infringing materials but you have to approach them one at a time and justify the rationale for your right to own the work and may have to give undertakings in the event of a dispute. All in all, enforcing copyright is a costly and time consuming exercise.
Because the law was formulated for a different age it may not be appropriate. But it is pointless to wait for the law to catch up with custom and practise. Lawyers would prefer to preserve the current system they created and claim to understand, than accept and work with the modern reality. If you were cynical you might suggest that the law makes more money out of uncertainty than ever it can from certainty.
How can I achieve ebook copyright / copyright protect ebooks?
If you want to achieve ebook copyright (something that applies equally to this rather short article as it does to a 400 page book) you need to use technical measures such as ebook DRM or ebook copy protection to copyright protect ebooks or there will be no application of ebook copyright at all. You need to enforce ebook copyright yourself by applying controls that limit or prevent unauthorized distribution and use.
Download Ebook Copyright Protection software
Copy Protect E-books with Locklizard Ebook DRM security
Safeguard PDF Security provides ebook copy protection for documents published in PDF format. Using US Government strength encryption (AES 256 bit) and DRM (Digital Rigths Management) controls to prevent unauthorized use and misuse of your e-books, you can control who can view your ebooks, what they can do with them (copy, print, etc.) and when they can no longer be viewed (expire).