Adobe has just pushed out new Digital Rights Management encryption system for their entire line of publishing products. This was designed to make changes to the security of of ePub and PDF Files. Adobe is claiming that the new changes to one of the most popular electronic book formats in the world is the most secure they have ever produced.
The new set of DRM for ePub files has been pushed out to Adobe Digital Editions 3.0 and Adobe Content Server. Adobe has been working with their publishing and hardware partners, such as Sony, to refine the code before they released it to the public. This time around Adobe wants to keep the source code under lock and key to prevent people from writing decryption tools and plugins for popular conversion software like Calibre.
The new way to encrypt ePub and PDF eBooks will be up to the companies that distribute them. Companies like Sony are in a prime position to take advantage of the new technology because they sell books and also write the e-reading software. Other companies who write 3rd party reading software for iOS and Android are put on notice to incorporate the new systems in order to stay relevant.
When it comes to protecting eBooks, Adobe may not be the force in the industry, when it comes to encryption anymore. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo all have their own ways to encrypt eBooks. Amazon has their own proprietary format, while B&N and Kobo use schema. It is thought that the companies that actually use the stock Adobe version of DRM make up less than 5% of the total eBook market.
I was told by some members of the W3C that Adobe is planning a new online verification tool that queries a an always on internet connection. This is something that many game companies are employing to curb piracy, such as Electronic Arts. Likely, we will not see this “Always Online DRM” for another year or two. Companies need to adjust to the new higher form of encryption in the here and now.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.