Ebook security has come to the forefront of the publishing world with the rise in digital piracy and plagiarism. Given the dangers of disclosures and plenty of examples of leaked content in the online realm, publishers and content creators are clamoring to close the gaps to protect their creative works and revenue streams.
According to the US Commerce Department, intellectual property theft costs over 750,000 jobs annually with a loss of $250 billion. Besides, the International Chamber of Commerce pegs the global loss to intellectual property theft to more than $600 billion every year — and it keeps rising.
Twenty-five years ago, there were no ebook readers nor could people effortlessly hold a digital book in their hand and skim through the pages like the way they do now. There were neither Wi-Fi nor broadband connections. Moreover, there was very little digital content. Today, almost everyone in the media industry is aware of their output as valuable content. At the same time, the amount of content available is exploding with virtually every content- producing sector now being called a content provider.
Given the typical characteristics of digital goods and their intrinsic nature of being replicable and infinitely copied without any loss of quality of information, there could be significant consequences to the economic characteristics of the industry on the whole and at the individual level.
As a content producer or creator, you need to protect the confidential or valuable content that you’ve created; perhaps, ranging from scientific research, blueprints, movie scripts, fiction novels, and more. In the context of your original creation being digitally pirated, there are two ways that your intellectual property may be infringed online — sharing and streaming. Sharing takes place when specific websites offer direct access to your copyrighted ebooks. Your ebooks could be illegally shared by websites that provide online access to ebooks and similar content. Streaming takes place through the reuse of your IP protected ebook in a user-created content beyond the fair and personal use permitted by laws. As a provider of digital products and content, piracy is a critical issue and you need to take into account that it can seriously hamper your bottom line.
The Internet is home to a large number of illegal suppliers looking to pilfer your content and supply it to the world at virtually zero price to you. How then, can you govern the use of your published works? As a copyright holder, what can you do about the piracy of your digital media? Who can get access to what, where, and when? Once you answer these questions, the right ebook security can be applied to enforce the policies that suit your distribution method and control the access and use of your content. Ideally, the goal of an ebook security system must secure assets and content within the document or the ebook to provide complete document lifecycle security, right from the time it was created to its final archiving or elimination. In this regard, ebook DRM or digital rights management can help you control, manage, and audit the use of the content you create.
The purpose of ebook DRM is to help content creators such as you to protect your content from the uncontrolled use and distribution of your intellectual property. When you implement a DRM system, it works in a manner that any action of a viewer or reader who has not been explicitly authorized by you is prevented by default. Hence, ebook DRM prevents the copying, sharing, and simultaneous use of your protected content. This is in stark contrast to intellectual property rights, that takes place after an infringement has taken place — ebook DRM prevents the infringement from occurring in the first place, and is thus a proactive and preventive ebook security system.
By embedding into the digital product, itself, ebook DRM encrypts your content and hence cannot be viewed without being decoded. And because your content is now protected with ebook DRM, it requires authentication for your content to be consumed. Hence, if any viewer were to obtain a pirated copy of your ebook, he or she would be unable to view your content unless they have the activation key and you explicitly provide access for them to see and consume your content.
The potential consequences of not safeguarding your creative works are many. By not using ebook DRM, you stand a chance of eroding your intellectual property to rivals and pirates, who would not only steal your idea and replicate it into a lucrative business, but also rob you from profiting from your creation. Besides, you will not have any control over where your content lies and as such when your content will fall into the wrong hands. The absence of ebook DRM could result in your intellectual property taken away from you without your permission and used in a manner counterintuitive to your profitability.