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New ebook DRM surfaces in Germany

While gamers might complain about DRM ruining games, readers might soon be saying the same when it comes to ebooks, as a German research group has just invented a new method of locking down digital copies of the world’s novels, by injecting them with text and punctuation changes.

The technique is known as a “text watermark,” that changes some of the grammar or punctuation in a ebook, ever so slightly, the idea being that instead of locking a book completely, it’ll just make it easier to track down who uploaded it to a file sharing site, thereby making people less likely to do so – at least in theory.

ebooks
Coolest logo ever? Source: EbookDRMRemoval

However, authors, and I can speak with some minor authority here, aren’t necessarily going to like the idea of creative changes being made to their work. Even a comma here or there could alter the nuance of a page. Even if it didn’t go so far as to change the story, it could make a reader think negatively of the author for 1: attempting to block a user sharing their work (for the record, share my book around as often as you like) or 2: putting grammar in odd places in the first place, making their ability as a writer seem suspect.

For now, the researchers have sent out examples of the watermarking DRM to publishers, in an effort to shop the technology around and to test what a wider audience thinks of it.

KitGuru Says: What do you guys think of DRM in ebooks? It’s a common practice in digital mediums these days, but books were always one thing that were great for sharing and lending, do you think we should be blocking that just because the content isn’t on paper?

[Thanks TorrentFreak]

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