At the risk of banging on: at the FutureBook conference last year, I asked the room if anyone believed DRM was effective in reducing piracy. One person was prepared to say they did, but I'm not sure they weren't kidding. And now there's this: The Ion Booksaver is a consumer device priced at $189 which the manufacturer says can scan a 200 page book in 15 minutes.
The results will, no doubt, be patchy, and the legality of such scanning is open to question - though I beg you on my knees not to get into that particular sinkhole - but the reality is beyond doubt. The overwhelming majority of books - as with CDs - are sold in a conventional format without any kind of digital protection. Short of printing books on laminated red polarised card or making them out of combustible flashpaper which explodes if you put it near an electronic scanner, the issue of copy protection has surely been outpaced by a physical technology, as it was always going to be.
Can we please look at the alternatives and use them? Because there is no more pitiable position than a hard line you cannot enforce.
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