[LMB] E-book piracy - was "on topic"

Timothy Collett tcollett at topazgryphon.org
Sun Jan 30 16:27:05 GMT 2011

On Jan 30, 2011, at 11:14 AM, Howard Brazee wrote:
> I'm not proposing anything.   We are SF fans and contemplating future possibilities is just that.
> Having some agency, either private or public watching everything we do with technology doesn't seem to be fundamentally impossible to me.   It could be an extension of monitoring TVs and radios that some countries do already.   Or checking for "terrorists", or "child porn", or "drug trade", which is being done in other countries.    If I read a SF novel which had this kind of oversight, I wouldn't reject it as being unlikely at all (depending on the rest of the novel).

Ah, I see.  I was looking a bit more near-future ;-)

Even with such control, it's possible for it to be evaded.  Look at many of the same SF stories for people who are "off the grid", or running their own private clusters.

In any case, the principle is the same: if you can see it, hear it, or in any other way perceive it, it *can* be copied. It's called the "analog hole," and it's the method of last resort for all sorts of copying. An audio file can be piped from the headphone port of one computer to the microphone port of another (or even the same one!).  A video can be played back and taped with a digital camcorder. An ebook can be photographed or scanned, page by page.

And that's if the thriving hacker community can find *no* digital way to remove the copy protection.

Timothy Collett


"99 times out of 100, a hero is someone who's hungry enough and cold enough and tired enough not to give a damn.  I don't give a damn!"
~ Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H

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