From Paid Content:
Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute is working on a new ebook DRM dubbed SiDiM that would prevent piracy by changing the actual text of a story, swapping out words to make individualized copies that could be tracked by the original owner of the ebook.
Reports about the work first popped upon German blogs this week, with one blogger revealing examples that include changing wordings like “invisible” to “not visible” and “unhealthy” to “not healthy.” Other examples included sentences in which the order of words was changed, or in which hyphens were added to words.
The idea behind SiDiM is similar to the way rights holders have been trying to protect music and video for some time. Instead of trying to lock down copies through technical measures that prevent copying, so-called fingerprinting measures simply add markers to a work that make it possible to identify the original purchaser. In theory, this prevents people from sharing their works for the fear of being caught.
Link to the rest at Paid Content and thanks to Patricia for the tip.
Sometimes PG can’t stop being a lawyer. The first thing he thought about was what would happen if the DRM program changed a word that resulted in a passage being defamatory when it would not have been without the change. Who pays?
While PG doubts enough books will use the program for this to become statistically likely, he will bet that none of the German programmers have thought about the possibility.