Monday, June 17, 2013

New eBook (document) DRM named SIDIM is coming

It has been disputed for long that whether or not eBook DRM protection should be abolished. Although DRM scheme is able to stem eBook piracy, it does make it tough to read eBooks on multi-platforms or share books with family members despited of some limited remission. At present, most eBook stores keep selling DRM-protected eBooks, but there have been a small group of providers thinking of customers and selling DRM-free titles to readers, such as Tor and O'Reilly.

Besides Amazon Kindle DRM and Barnes & Nook DRM (eReader PDB DRM), most EPUB and PDF books on the market are protected with ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) DRM, which can be easily cracked as long as the owners of the books read the protected books on ADE authorized with their Adobe ID and then use an Adobe DRM removal tool such as Epubor. Some other eBooks are protected with watermark, which does not encrypt the book content specifically but marks the books with the book owner's info.

According to GoodeReader, a new type of German eBook (doc) DRM named SIDIM is coming, aiming to crack down on document DRM piracy with content encryption as well as invisible marking technique. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and launched by Fraunhofer project.

How does SIDIM (Secure documents by individual marking) work?
When the owner gets the book with SIDIM for the first time, the book comes with correct content. But every time it is copied, the content of the book will be partly replaced or encrypted at random. The variation will be applied to every generated version and people who get the book after many copies will find it simply unreadable. In the meantime, publishers have tools to detect the pirated copy and find out the real owner.

The new DRM scheme seems to prevent piracy and content copy in an excessively rigorous way. Although it is said to enable users to transfer books to another device more efficiently, there are no more details. Another question is, how can we share a doc (or an eBook) with another computer of ours? Will it be treated as a behavior of transfer or copy?