While copyright law exists to protect intellectual property, it can be difficult and expensive to enforce. This is especially true when selling ebooks online. While the DMCA is designed to give copyright holders the ability to protect themselves from the unlawful distribution and reproduction of their creative works online, in reality it fails to prevent copyright infringement – see DMCA Protection.
The solution therefore is to copy protect ebooks with ebook DRM software so that you can. prevent infringement from occurring to begin with. Good ebook protection should allow you to publish protected e-books on the internet while ensuring your copyright is protected at all times – stopping unauthorized distribution and sharing and controlling use (printing, expiry, etc.). This prevents you from having to resort to timely and expensive legal measures to enforce copyrights.
When you create a book or e-book it is automatically your copyright. As the copyright owner, you can also register your literary work at a copyright office to make it public record. The real issue however is enforcing copyright if someone infringes it since international laws can be ineffective and/or costly and hard work to enforce.
If you want to copyright an ebook effectively (whether a short article or an 800-page novel), you need to use technical measures such as ebook DRM or ebook copy protection. While the law is of little help, you can enforce ebook copyright yourself through software controls that limit or prevent unauthorized distribution and use.
The most commonly used ebook DRM solutions are the ones provided by ebook storefronts such as Amazon, Kobo, Google, or Nook. However, these solutions make no serious attempt to prevent book piracy. Amazon, Kobo, etc. are seemingly more concerned about preventing paying users from reading their ebooks on competing devices. Our post on ebook piracy demonstrates just how easy the DRM restrictions are to remove. It is also cheaper when producing self-published ebooks to sell them from your own website as many providers lock you in to their own marketing platforms. A good example of this is Amazon Kindle DRM where ebook publishers have been removed from the Amazon marketplace due to piracy of their e-books despite being protected with Amazon’s DRM.
If you want to stop ebook copyright infringement, you need to look outside of the mainstream e-book DRM providers.
In Safeguard Secure PDF Writer, choose your protection options:
As copyright law currently stands, there is precisely no difference between a written work that is on paper (i.e. a printed or physical book), and one that is in what’s called a ‘dematerialized form’ or, in other words, an ebook. Just like normal book copyright, ebook copyright grants you the exclusive rights to copy, distribute, adapt, and display a work.
But are laws designed for a world with physical limitations enough to protect your work in a digital space?
First off, we should mention that we are convinced by the arguments that won the day when today’s copyright laws were enacted through the Berne Convention. The included provisions are there to effectively prevent any organization from controlling access to information. In particular, to facilitate analysis of published works, the ability to quote extracts for the purpose of critique was included.
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, it 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 suddenly the whole can be trivially reproduced all over the internet.
This is just one example of the flaws with the copyright concept in current law. It is based on what is now an anachronism, an outdated approach that fails to respond to the realities of the digital age. Much of copyright law still comes from an age where it was difficult and slow to make a copy of something, and difficult and slow to publish.
With copying and publishing now entirely trivial activities, there is little, if any, protection available for ebook copyright.
Copyright law is extremely difficult to enforce. Though you can send a DMCA notice (or equivalent), there is little to stop somebody from ignoring your request. The only option from there is expensive and time-consuming legal action that can yield mixed results, particularly when it comes to enforcement in countries where copyright law differs.
Though many ISPs do provide a facility to ‘takedown’ infringing materials, you have to approach them one at a time, justify the rationale for your right to own the work, and potentially give undertakings in the event of a dispute.
In other words, preventing copying in the first place via the use of Digital Rights Management is far easier than trying to enforce ebook copyright after your intellectual property has been illegally replicated and distributed. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Ultimately it is not a good idea to wait for the law to catch up with custom and practices, especially if it is only a limited deterrent and cannot be easily enforced.
Safeguard PDF Security provides ebook protection for documents published in PDF format. Using US Government strength encryption (AES) 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). Instantly revoke access and allow offline viewing.
See our customer testimonials or read our case studies to see why thousands of organizations use Locklizard PDF security to securely sell and copyright protect PDF ebooks.