As the publishing world continues to grow with increased penetration of the eBook market, maintaining content/IP security and preventing piracy becomes the topmost challenge for publishers to deal with.
Costing publishers billions of dollars worldwide, eBook piracy creates a significant negative impact on everyone in the distribution channel, including publishers, authors, retailers, distributors, and readers.
When it comes to protecting eBooks, the key is to fight piracy and unauthorized use of content or reproduction.
Related Read: Top 10 ebook Readers
What is eBook Protection?
eBook protection is a method of applying robust security controls to an eBook to safeguard the rights of the publisher in terms of who is entitled to use the eBook and whether or not they are allowed to download, copy or obtain printed copies.
Put simply, eBook protection enables publishers to protect their eBooks against any kind of unauthorized use and distribution, thus preventing massive amounts of revenue loss while still giving access to the content to authorized users only.
Also Read: 6 Reasons Why You Need DRM Protected eBook
How Can Publishers Avoid eBook piracy?
Although there is no foolproof method to prevent someone from copying or downloading your eBook, here are some of the security measures you can employ to minimize the chances of ebook piracy.
1. Watermark Your eBooks
An increasing number of publishers and authors are turning to digital watermarks to protect their content. These watermarks are added to eBook files and are kind of invisible. It works like adding a tracking device to your eBook that allows you to see everywhere your book is, till the time the watermark is there.
What makes digital watermarks an excellent security tool when fighting online copyright infringement is the fact that they cannot be removed or altered.
By using watermarks, you can discourage users from duplicating the work and distributing printed copies. Watermarked eBooks can only be accessed by the users legally, thus adding a strong layer of security to the content, to prevent any kind of unauthorized usage.
2. Acquire a DRM (Digital Rights Management) Software
To ensure that you have complete control over what users do to your eBooks, get a DRM software. It provides various important licensing measures in eBook protection, which help to extend your ability to publish safely when distributing eBooks in the digital marketplace.
As publishers, you invest a lot of hard work and dedication into your finished eBooks, and DRM software ensures that all your efforts are protected from theft, and your content is copyrighted.
Acquiring Digital Rights Management controls can be of great help by letting you impose extra controls over your content. For example, good eBook protection systems use DRM to allow publishers to specify the number of devices the eBook can be installed in and used on or allows the eBook to be used only from a specific location (range or IP address), which might be a school, library or so on. This helps publishers to manage the access to eBooks in a more flexible manner.
3. Publish Out an Official Copyright Notice
As publishers, it is critically important for you to understand copyright law in order to protect your work from the threat of piracy. As soon as your digital content is published, you can protect it from theft by issuing an official copyright notice.
Acting as a deterrent, publishing such an official copyright notice helps you make it explicitly clear that content you are publishing is yours, and you own it.
4. Convert Files Into PDF
To be able to defeat piracy, publishers need to adopt various best practices when publishing their content. One of the examples of this could be converting your files into PDF before uploading, to make them more secure.
Since the PDF format supports data encryption, it is a secure approach to transfer data over the net. Further, the format allows you to customize the user access level and keep the content safe from viruses and other similar malware attacks.
5. Use Secure Digital Files
When you’re publishing your eBook, make sure to digitally encrypt all your files and store them securely to protect them from online hackers and cyber-criminals. There are various encryption programs available for eBooks that you can use to allow the file to be only read by authorized users.
This helps to prevent the transfer of the original film by making it unreadable to everyone except the original purchaser. Further, you can also lock all your files, ensuring that the user needs a password to access them.
6. Monitor the Web Activity
To safeguard your content and uncover online pirates, make sure to set different search alerts for your name and eBook titles to keep you informed of all the online activities all the time. Google and other search engines allow you to add free alerts and send you an email every time there is a search match.
Apart from setting alerts, it’s recommended to do self-search by writing your titles, common misspellings, or short titles every few weeks for red flags. In case you find any pirated copies of your eBook, make sure not to download or click any links as they might be corrupt. Instead, a good practice would be to collect as much information possible about the website and bookmark the page.
7. Improve Accessibility
One of the simple and often overlooked solutions to prevent eBook piracy is to improve the accessibility of your content.
Although there definitely are digital pirates out there stealing your content, there are instances where potential readers end up looking for free eBooks to download because they aren’t available in an accessible format.
eBook piracy is an ongoing problem for publishers, but with little effort, they can surely protect their content from digital pirates.
The first step in protecting your work is understanding what your rights and options are. With the above-mentioned anti-piracy solutions, you can protect your eBooks from being stolen and also avoid the issue of lost income.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Is it really illegal to pirate software/books?
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