Piracy in the tech scene is rampant. After all with music, movies, and books becoming digital, what’s stopping people from downloading them instead of purchasing them legally, right? While movie studios and the music industry have been pretty aggressive (some might argue overly so) in chasing down pirates, the e-book industry hasn’t really made any waves, at least until recently.
HarperCollins Publishers and LibreDigital have recently announced that they will be adopting a new anti-piracy tool that will hopefully lead to less e-books from being pirated. This comes in the form of a newly announced Digimarc Guardian Watermark which basically embeds an invisible watermark in e-books.
This in no way affects the actual content itself, so as far as those who download pirated content are concerned, it might as well not be there. However what the watermarks do is that it allows publishers to track the downloads of their pirated e-books. This in hopes of being able to trace the source of the leaks and put a stop there, as opposed to actually going after the individuals who download the books themselves, although we guess they are just as much to blame.
Both publishers have expressed their optimism for the new watermarking technology, although we have to wonder just how effective it will be, but we guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.