ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Rush to release Stephen King's e-book compromised piracy safeguards

PC World

April 4, 2000
Web posted at: 12:23 p.m. EDT (1623 GMT)

(IDG) -- Now that pirated versions of the popular 66-page electronic novella by Stephen King, "Riding the Bullet," have surfaced, the electronic book's distributor, Glassbook, will release a more secure version of its e-book reader.

Glassbook President Len Kawall says that the updated version will be available next week, equipped with security features that should have been present for the King book release. But in the hurry to get the book out to market, a less robust reader was used.

As a result, Kawall says, someone "chiseled in" to the content of the book after downloading and opening it in the reader. He adds that encryption technology used to transmit the book securely on the Internet was not compromised.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  PC World home page
  Keep a library on your PC
  Navy takes pass on hot e-publishing technology
  What's up with e-books?
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  Year 2000 World
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletter for computer geniuses (& newbies)
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

However, the version of the book reader used with King's novella was vulnerable from the start, and both Glassbook and "Riding the Bullet" publisher Simon & Schuster knew it. Kawall says that Glassbook wanted to distribute the book with a reader that had 64-bit encryption, but couldn't make the publisher's deadline with the updated reader.

In addition, the specification used to secure the book in transmission hasn't yet been formalized by the standards group behind it, the Book Industry Study Group. The Electronic Book Exchange specification hasn't been presented in a finished draft, nor has it been presented in any manner for industry review, according BISG spokesperson Sandra Paul.

The BISG was formally announced on March 28, two weeks after the King book was released.

Kawall adds that "Simon & Schuster absolutely understands" how a security breach could occur and that the industry "has learned to live with piracy." He cites the 400,000 to 500,000 legitimate copies of the book in distribution compared to what he estimates to be "a few" pirated copies.

Adds Kawall, "It is not the end of e-books. Our job is to make it more pleasurable to purchase the product from a legitimate source."

Meantime, Glassbook has announced the new reader and posted on its Web site "aggressive steps" it plans to take "to stem e-book privacy." The steps outlined include forming a full-time antipiracy support team that will search the Internet for pirated material, work with the publisher to remove illegally published material, and cooperate with the FBI and international authorities to monitor, track, and report suspected digital piracy and copyright infringement.



RELATED STORIES:
Report: E-pirates ransacked Stephen King e-novella
March 30, 2000
Demand for King eBook makes download downright impossible
March 15, 2000
Stephen King plans exclusive eBook release
March 8, 2000
eBooks are not just for reading
March 6, 2000
Gemstar gobbles up two e-book companies
January 20, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Keep a library on your PC
(PC World Online)
Bringing on-screen type closer to its printed counterpart
(Computerworld)
Navy takes pass on hot e-publishing technology
(FCW)
E-books open a new chapter
(The Industry Standard)
What's up with e-books?
(PC World Online)
Publish online or perish?
(The Industry Standard)
E-BusinessWorld
(IDG.net)

RELATED SITES:
Glassbook
SimonSays.com: Home Page
Book Industry Study Group, Inc.

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.