15.329 copying from CDs

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 03:40:24 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 329.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: connie.henderson@hrdc-drhc.gc.ca (7)
             Subject: re: 15.325 preventing copies from CDs?

       [2] From: "Matthew L. Jockers" <mjockers@stanford.edu> (22)
             Subject: Re: preventing copies from CDs?

       [3] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@gslis.utexas.edu> (15)
             Subject: Re: 15.325 preventing copies from CDs?

       [4] From: Patrick Durusau <pdurusau@emory.edu> (59)
             Subject: Re: 15.325 preventing copies from CDs?

             Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 08:24:59 +0100
             From: connie.henderson@hrdc-drhc.gc.ca
             Subject: re: 15.325 preventing copies from CDs?

    Adobe Acrobat files were designed to protect any images contained in the
    files. But any image that can be pulled up onto your computer screen can be
    copied with a simple Alt-PrintScrn in Windows. I haven't heard of anything
    that can prevent that.

    Connie Henderson
    Government Online
    Government of Canada

             Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 08:27:21 +0100
             From: "Matthew L. Jockers" <mjockers@stanford.edu>
             Subject: Re: preventing copies from CDs?

    The Adobe ebook reader is a program that allows you to read files that have
    been created and "encrypted" using Adobe's Content Server (it will also read
    standard .pdfs). I have attached a .pdf about the content server to this
    message. Unfortunately, the program has already been hacked (do you recall
    the big fuss over the Russian software engineer who was arrested at the big
    hacker's conference--he hacked this new Adobe product). For a few months, I
    was very excited about what Adobe was offering, but I'm no longer convinced
    it is as secure as it need to be--my own tests, for example, showed that I
    could capture screen shots.

    The level of security you need, of course, depends to a large degree on
    context. If you wish to deliver materials to students, I think that eBook
    might be just fine. If the thing you are developing is going to be made
    available for public consumption then you may run into problems.

    Good Luck

    Matthew L. Jockers
    Academic Technology Specialist
    Department of English
    Building 460, Room 207
    Stanford University
    Stanford, CA 94305-2087
    650/723-4489 (V)
    650/725-0755 (F)

    --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 08:28:37 +0100 From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@gslis.utexas.edu> Subject: Re: 15.325 preventing copies from CDs?

    You may need to guarantee that the images are useless or clearly marked if copied; check the literature on watermarking. The leading book seems to be: Stefan Katzenbeisser and Fabien A.P. Petitcolas, Information Hiding: Techniques for Steganography and Digital Watermarking (Boston: Artech House) There are many tradeoffs, and many of the methods can be broken with enough determination, but there are methods that can invisibly (or visibly if desired) mark images in such a way that 1) you can use a spider to troll the web and find out if the images are being used, and 2) removal of the marks--which are distributed throughout the image--will so degrade it that it becomes useless. If you want to know how secure Adobe ebook formats are, see: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Adobe/Gallery/ Pat Galloway University of Texas-Austin

    --[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 08:30:32 +0100 From: Patrick Durusau <pdurusau@emory.edu> Subject: Re: 15.325 preventing copies from CDs?


    Bill Schipper wrote: >

    > > I want to include a CD with images from a manuscript to accompany a study > of the MS, but the library is reluctant to give permission unless I can > find some way to prevent images from being copied from the CD, either > by printing or saving them to disk. >

    All copy protection (save denial of all access) is relative to the skills of the intended audience. Some programmer wrote whatever copy protection is used and some other programmer, given enough time and resources, can get around it. The question is whether the skill required to break the copy protection exceeds that of the intended audience and for a highly skilled one, whether the cost of breaking it exceed the cost of acquisition.

    It is possible to encrypt images for storage on a CD such that particular viewing software is required to see the images.

    I would suggest that you urge the library to consider the lead of the Hermitage Museum (see Communications of the ACM, Volume 44, Issue 8 (August 2001), Populating the Hermitage Museum's new web site, Fred Mintzer, et. al., Pages: 52 - 60) in the use of digital watermarks, assuming the objection is to commercial reuse. Digital watermarks have been found acceptable for protecting the intellectual property of the Hermitage to the point that they are allowing a large number of images to be posted to the WWW.

    > One of my colleagues here suggested ebook, by Adobe, but I cannot find much > information about it, other than that it is free to download and is used to > read electronic books. I'm assuming that Adobe also sells software that > allows one to format materials so that they are protected. >

    Actually it is possible to protect Adobe Acrobat files with passwords and I assume the same would be true for ebook but I have not really looked. I have heard that ebooks have the capacity for password protection but I don't know if that extends to being able to lock out copying as is the case with Acrobat files.

    > As far as I can tell, HTML code in general does not allow this kind of > protection. Perhaps a javascript or stylesheets could, but I haven't > really explored that yet. > > Can someone enlighten me or point me in another direction if I'm going down a > garden path with Adobe? >

    Adobe is certainly one solution but if acceptable, I think the digital watermark solution has significant advantages. First, it protects the economic interest of the library/museum from commercial reproduction. Second, it makes the viewing software a good deal easier for you to author since there is no need for encryption systems. Third, it make production/support easier since there is no user support for lose passwords, damaged or defective licensing software. Fourth, it does make it easier for professors to share your analysis with their students, which I consider to be "fair use," which I would assume is the goal of your work? To be used by other academics?


    -- Patrick Durusau Director of Research and Development Society of Biblical Literature pdurusau@emory.edu

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