Feeds

Hackers take on MS on copyright protection for eBooks

Legally fraught

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Irked at his inability to read Microsoft eBooks on his older Win CE device, UK programmer Dan Jackson has set up a project to improve file conversion tools.

Jackson obtained the source code of a program called Convert Lit (or clit.exe, no sniggering at the back there) from its developers and posted it on his Web site.

He wants to canvass the community about the development of Convert Lit, so far available only as a command line utility which removes DRM5 copyright protection from Microsoft Reader format files.

Jackson's aims, to allow MS reader files to be converted to formats supported by text to speech conversion programs or PDAs not running Redmond's Pocket PC software, have something in common with that of ElcomSoft, the developer of Advanced eBook Reader.

In developing its software, ElcomSoft landed itself with a prosecution under America's controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Elcom was subsequently acquitted, but we feel that Jackson and the developers of Convert Lit are straying into risky legal territory, regardless of their motives (Jackson is clearly states that he wants to develop tools only for those who've obtained legitimately purchased Microsoft-format eBooks.)

Jackson believes what he's doing is legal. "As far as I am aware, it is, as the Berne Convention appears to explicitly allow fair use," he states on his site.

The Berne Convention also explicitly gives moral rights to authors of copyright work, a principle written into UK law, through the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. This gives copyright holders the legal tools in the UK to pursue action against copyright crackers, however benign their intentions.

And new laws will make it even easier for copyright holders. The Copyright Directive expressly prohibits the creation or distribution of tools that bypass copyright protection (for whatever reason). The UK is still consulting over how best to implement the European Commission's Copyright Directive (AKA Europe's DMCA), but legislation will pass through Parliament this year. ®

Related Stories

Greece, Denmark (and no-one else) make EC copyright deadline
UK's DMCA: there ain't no sanity clause
So sorry Adobe urges more DMCA busts
Elcomsoft not guilty - DoJ retreats from Moscow
MS eBook cracker keeps findings secret

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.