E-Book Encryption and Customer Expectations

An interesting article on a wildly popular program for decrypting Microsoft e-books, and why publishers\’ insistance on overly strict copyright control may doom the e-book as a popular medium:

It\’s easy to load a small library of electronic books into your laptop or handheld organizer and carry it with you on the bus or to the beach. But try to make backup copies of those same e-books or loan one to a friend, and you\’ll run smack into the digital equivalent of an electrified fence. The problem is that once a literary work has been liberated from the printed page, it\’s potentially vulnerable to unlimited digital piracy—a danger that makes most e-book publishers insist on strict software controls to prevent anyone but the purchaser from opening an e-book file . . . Until software makers and publishers can figure out how to protect their e-books without treating all readers like thieves, in other words, the summer of beach-blanket e-books may never materialize.

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