Publishers at The E-Book Starting Gate
So she mentally catalogs the steps of each project, so that she can share her observations with colleagues as the e-book business grows. "Setting up processes is a huge part of what we do," she says.
E-book Piracy Protection Plans Evolve
Is there a 100 percent foolproof piracy protection plan for e-books? No, not really. As many speakers in the eight e-book-focused sessions at BookTech 2000 pointed out, publishers must walk a fine line to strike a balance between protection plans strong enough to deter piracy and arrangements so stringent they discourage buyers.
Fortunately for publishers, e-book content distributors are universally anxious to provide copy protection arrangements that publishers have confidence in.
Copy protection measures differ widely, but often employ one or more of the following mechanisms to protect content once it is sold to a user as a digital file
--Content is locked to a single machine, using software mechanisms that record a computer's registration number, for example.
--Content is usable only by a single type of machine, such as a Rocket E-book, SoftBook or Palm Pilot.
--Content is usable on many types of devices, but only with proprietary reader software.
--Content is readable only by registered users logging on with the correct password.
---Content is never downloaded; it is stored on the sellers' server. Access is monitored.
--Content is unlocked only by a software "key" that the purchaser buys.
Getting tied up in knots over this issue? Don't forget: Your print books today are not 100 percent protected; anyone with a photocopy machine or an OCR scanner can pick up the information in a print book, many speakers pointed out.
How e-book distributors combine and implement copy protection mechanisms varies widely, as the examples in the listing beginning at right show.
Time and space did not permit us to interview and write up every player in the market within this feature story. Some companies beyond those listed here who will influence the evolution of content security strategies include