[Athen] More on DRM for Apple iPad ebooks

Nettie Fischer nettiet at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 08:51:16 PST 2010

Hi Ken
I would like to add a little addition to your comment; the person who wants
to steal something, will spend the energies and time to do just that. And,
the more difficult the task, the greater the bravado in doing so. :) For
me, I have better things to do with my time <smile> as do most honest


On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 9:22 PM, Ken Petri <petri.1 at osu.edu> wrote:

> The DRM that Adobe uses to encrypt ePub books served through their Adobe

> Digital Editions (via Content Server) can be cracked using a couple of easy

> to find Python scripts. Someone will find (probably already has found) a way

> to crack the FairPlay DRM Apple uses in iTunes (though it does sound more

> complex than Content Server). Then, with a little bit of effort, any

> motivated person will be able to permanently "open" a DRM'ed ePub book. Once

> he has the opened ePub he can use it on any platform/device he chooses, and

> it is up to him to decide if he wants to break the law and give it or sell

> it to someone else.


> I appreciate O'Reilly's stance. They know that the more restrictive you

> make the DRM on a book you sell, the more roadblocks to usage the rightful

> owner will encounter in using the book--limits on how many personal copies

> he can make of something he legally purchased, limits on which of his own

> devices he can use to read/listen to them.


> O'Reilly seem to implicitly trust that people will tend to do the ethical

> thing and buy a book, rather than steal it. And they seem to believe that

> the tendency once you buy something is not to give it away for free.


> Apple (and most major book publishers), on the other hand, want to keep the

> user using iTunes for everything, and seem not to trust that someone who

> pays for a book will respect copyright. I find that attitude insulting and

> infantilizing--and if I were interested in pirating books, the insult and

> infantilization would provide strong motivation.


> ken

> --



> On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM, Shelley Haven <

> ShelleyHaven at techpotential.net> wrote:


>> The LA Times reports that Apple is offering their DRM "FairPlay"

>> (currently used on iTunes) to publishers for their ePub-formatted ebooks on

>> the upcoming iPad. It limits how many times digital songs can be copied to

>> other devices; presumably it would work the same, limiting how many

>> instances of a downloaded ebook could co-exist on a user's devices. (Link

>> below article.)



>> Apple to wrap digital books in FairPlay copy protection [Clarified]<http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/02/apple-ibooks-drm-fairplay.html>

>> February 15, 2010


>> When Apple launches its iBook store to sell titles for its new iPad device

>> in March, many of its titles are expected to come with a set of handsome

>> digital locks designed to deter piracy.


>> Veteran iTunes customers will recognize the locks as FairPlay, a digital

>> rights management software that once limited how many times digital songs

>> can be copied onto different computers. (Apple phased out<http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/06itunes.html> FairPlay

>> for music a year ago, and now sells unfettered tunes.)


>> Next month, Apple will be dusting off those digital cuffs for books,

>> according to sources in the publishing industry.


>> No doubt some publishers, including O'Reilly Media -- which has

>> vociferously argued that digital locks are harmful to sales -- will opt not

>> to deploy FairPlay. (O'Reilly, which puts out technical books, was not on

>> the list of five publishers during Apple's announcement of the iPad, but is

>> discussing a deal with Apple.)


>> But the majority of publishers are expected to embrace FairPlay, along

>> with other copy protection software such as Adobe's Content Server 4<http://www.adobe.com/products/contentserver/>,

>> as a means to squelch incipient book piracy as the e-book market begins to

>> take off.


>> -- Alex Pham


>> *Clarified 1:50 pm:* *An earlier version of this post said Apple phased

>> out FairPlay a year ago and now sells songs without DRM. Apple continues to

>> use FairPlay to protect other iTunes content. Thanks to our readers for

>> noticing this omission!*


>> http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/02/apple-ibooks-drm-fairplay.html


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Nettie T. Fischer, ATP
Assistive Technology Professional
Nettiet, ATP Consultants
[916] 222-3492 Office
(916) 704-1456 Cell
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