With all due respect to a number of posters on this board regarding this subject, most are you are missing the point.
The argument that eBook theft should be regarded as "slippage" and there is "nothing we can do about it" is misguided at best and extremely poor business at worst. Can you think of ANY business in the offline world that allows theft to unchecked? If they do, then they are a magnet for thieves and they aren't in business very long. Every single successful offline business has procedures in place to deal with "slippage." We should too.
The argument that it is the "cost of doing business online" is a first cousin to the one above. I disagree. PROTECTING YOUR PRODUCT is the cost of doing business online, not letting people rip you off.
The argument that to load up eBook with affiliate links has merit...if you're an affiliate. If you're a product publisher, sending your customers off to another business, unless necessary to complete your product, doesn't have that much appeal. I do leave my free downloads and product samples in an unprotected folder and open .pdf's to promote them "stealing" those...and they do :+)
The argument that "if music and movies companies with their millions can't solve this problem, how can we hope to" is defeatist. Yep, boys and girls, let's just pack up our tents and go home. The music and movie industries ARE doing something about it. They realize the stakes. They've lobbied the political action groups to force the FBI to investigate claims of copyright abuse/violations. The FBI is currently going after torrent networks, etc. They've led online and offline awareness campaigns to stop digital theft. They've created a system where it is easier to buy the product than to steal it.
The plan to keep producing and publishing better versions of your product is a good one, it promotes professionalism, that's something you should do anyway, but if you're not tackling the REAL problem, (i.e. theft of your product) then you're on a constant merry-go-round with thieves. That's a waste of time. That's like saying the way to cure drunk driving is to raise the blood/alcohol level.
In short, these "solutions" are part of the problem. If a thief knows you aren't going to do anything about it, then they are just going to steal more. You think they don't read the Warriorforum? Digital publishing is under attack, people, and unless we can get grip on it, it won't around much longer. I have personally gone to Asia and seen my product produced and on sale for a dollar in Bangkok.
Here's a reality. Thieves are lazy. The harder you make it for them to steal your product, the more they are going to leave your product alone, and go after the lower hanging fruit.
Anyhoo...enough politics and opinion.
Here are the (biggest) problems:
1. Adobe .pdf security is a joke. Why they haven't introduced professional grade protection into their product is beyond me.
2. A lot of anti-theft software isn't much better. Most can be easily broken or hacked.
3. Most don't work on MAC computers.
4. The ones that DO work on MAC's are so expensive as to be out of the realm of small publishers.
5. A lot of these companies (not all) are difficult to work with, i.e. don't reply to emails, or take days to get an answer, in other words, unprofessional.
6. If you discontinue the monthly service fee, all your products sold to date are left out in the wind and free for the taking. Can you say "Forced continuity" at its worst?
Here is a (possible) solution: Electronic DeadBolt - ebook security | software security | piracy protection software | online product security
• This is a java based file format so it gets around the .exe/anti-virus issue.
• Extremely difficult to hack. They assured me even THEY have a problem getting around their own security. Of course that could be sales spin, but I have no reason to disbelieve them at this point.
• Works on MAC computers.
• Multiple features can be turned on an off.
• EXTREMELY GOOD customer service. Emails answered within minutes. These guys stayed up with me past midnight two different nights getting things correct. (I'm picky!) In short, everything a good online company SHOULD BE.
• Software appears to be first generation, so some functionality is sacrificed.
• I couldn't get a "bookmarks" feature added on. My eBook is 830 pages...so there NEEDS TO BE some sort of navigation feature built in. They told me they would have it by Sept. 2011
• More expensive than some anti-theft options, but still 10 times less than locklizard, or hyperlock.
So will this product solve all the world's problems, ease world hunger and bring goodwill to all men? I doubt it. But at the very least you'll no longer have a target painted on the middle of your forehead.
Anyway, rant over. I hope it helps you.