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EPUB DRM and Security

Copyright and intellectual property protection have become a major issue as our lives are increasingly lived online. The Internet has been a kind of gift for authors' work to be published and read, but it could also be a double-edged sword. Digital Rights Management (DRM) provides a form of digital content protection, established by booksellers, in addition to traditional copyright laws to keep your intellectual rights intact.

Why DRM?

Authors have a greater opportunity to publish their work online, in the form of EPUB, and be read by a wider audience. Personal computers and handheld devices have also made these publications easier to access. However, the Internet is difficult to regulate and unauthorized access to copyrighted material is easier. This means less control over your work once it's online, unless steps are taken to protect how and when ebooks are downloaded and by whom. You can use DRM in the same way that a security system protects a house, as it is a protective barrier for your artistic property. As with digital music and movies, EPUBS can be protected against file-sharing tools by their own forms of DRM.

Some features of DRM that can help you in your work:

  • Control ebook distribution: download and upload jobs, access ebooks, lend ebooks.
  • Once the ebook has been purchased, it is tied to the buyer, with few options for sharing.
  • Controlling how many devices the ebook can be downloaded to: Most publishers allow a maximum of 6 devices.
  • DRM restricts copying and pasting, totally or significantly, so you have little or no opportunity to lift text.

DRM Protection Schemes

DRM has four main ebook protection schemes, however the one used for EPUB is Adobe's ADEPT DRM which allows access through third-party e-book readers and Adobe Digital Editions.