SiDiM Text Markers: New DRM Scheme for E-Book Protection

    Researchers from the Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany) have proposed a new kind of DRM protection for SiDiM electronic text documents .

    The idea is that unique changes are made to each electronic copy of the book. They subsequently allow you to accurately identify the source of the leak and the dishonest user who leaked the protected work in the public domain. Labeling of electronic books and text documents is carried out at a semantic level: each version is distinguished by a synonym word, letter, punctuation mark, space, etc.

    The abbreviation SiDiM stands for “Sichere Dokumente durch individuelle Markierung”, that is, “Protecting documents with individual labels.”

    Apparently, the use of synonyms for setting digital marks in documents is first encountered. This is not the file itself that is protected, as usual, but the text. Thus, this method of DRM protection allows you to protect the work even from copy-paste. Moreover, this method is positioned as user-friendly: the buyer receives the book in clear text and can easily convert it for reading on any device (now you have to use specialized software for this).

    The development of DRM protection is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research and is carried out in partnership with several commercial companies, including and 4Readers, the CoSee consortium and the Notos law office.

    If you think about it, you can get rid of such marks if you compare three copies of the book - and compile on their basis one clean of modifications. True, this will work only under the condition that each modification is unique and is included only in a single copy of the work. Otherwise, you will have to compare not three, but more copies.

    Another way to “protect” against such DRM is to find out what specific changes the SiDiM algorithm is able to make in the text. For example, the publication TorrentFreak has at its disposal a list of 15 changes that are used to mark books. This list is now being sent to authors and publishers to introduce them to the new DRM scheme.

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