eBooks are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to printed books, with the eReader market revenue projected to reach $23.12 billion by 2026.
Although digital publishing is a promising market, publishers, vendors, and authors are struggling with the constant threat of online piracy with the rise of peer-to-peer file exchange services like torrent sites.
Data from 2017 reveals that there were approximately 16.5 million illegal downloaders of eBooks in the United States. As per the 2017 Nielsen consumer survey, $315 million were lost to annual book sales in the US due to eBook piracy.
What’s even worse is that publishers are still losing significant amounts annually to eBook piracy. When it comes to protecting eBooks from theft or piracy, DRM eBooks are an educational publishers’ first choice.
Let’s find out what you will learn today –
- What is Digital Rights Management?
- What is a DRM-protected eBook?
- What makes DRM eBooks one of the most sought-after K12 content solutions?
What is Digital Rights Management?
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a method to protect eBooks from file sharing and illegal downloads. It provides a form of digital content protection that works in addition to the traditional copyright laws that protect intellectual property rights.
In other words, it helps eLearning and other content creators/ publishers maintain control over what users do with their content.
What is a DRM-Protected eBook?
A DRM-protected eBook consists of a series of controls that, at their most basic level, prevent the unauthorized editing, sharing, and copying of digital content. This is especially useful in the K12 context. More advanced DRM solutions allow publishers to revoke use after a certain date, avert screen grabbing, and much more.
DRM also limits eBook access to those users who’ve paid for it. Additionally, it prevents the viewing of an eBook via other apps or devices that are not approved by the publisher.
For example, if you purchase a DRM eBook on Amazon, it can only be viewed on Amazon’s Kindle device. You cannot multiply or share a DRM-protected eBook across other devices. Furthermore, even printing a DRM eBook is not possible.
What Makes DRM eBooks One of the Most Sought-After K12 Content Solutions?
The internet is a godsend for educational publishers to get their textbooks published online. With the availability of several digital publishing software, publishing documents is just a few clicks away.
However, in the digital publishing world, unauthorized access to copyrighted material is quite easy. If left unregulated, the internet could also be a nightmare.
DRM is a way to protect eBooks from unauthorized printing, sharing, and downloads. It controls the distribution of these eBooks and thereby protects revenue coming in from each sale. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind the increasing popularity of DRM eBooks in educational publishing.
1. DRM Works as A Digital Lock
The major benefit of enabling DRM on eBooks is that it offers an extra layer of protection.
Just like a lock on the door that protects your home, DRM ensures that only consumers who pay for a license will receive access to the content. Furthermore, the kind of access each user gets can also be customized. For example- Faculty members might need the ability to edit student records, but students may only need to be able to view these records.
This makes DRM a good option for educational publishers/authors to control how their data, hardware, or software is used.
2. DRM Protects the Authenticity of the Content
While it is impossible to modify or edit a physical book, eBooks can be easily modified, changed, and passed off as originals to unsuspecting consumers.
But a DRM eBook protects the authenticity of the educational content, which augments the brand’s credibility and safeguards the business reputation. This also means that no learner or unauthorized educator can make changes to the content being taught.
3. DRM Ensures the Secure Online Distribution of Textbooks
Another huge advantage of DRM license protocols is that they ensure the secure distribution of eBooks.
Several digital publishing platforms like KITABOO offer DRM encryption. Once the textbooks are uploaded onto the platform, they are stored in an encrypted vault for safekeeping.
Advanced DRM technology also enables publishers to grant access to the content for a limited period of time. In other words, if a readers license has expired, or a course has been completed, the content shall no longer be viewable after a particular date.
4. DRM Helps in Increasing ROI
Digital publishing is cost-effective in comparison to print publishing. It offers a myriad of business benefits, including new revenue streams and reduced publishing costs.
Digital publishing can bring down production costs significantly, which, paired with the relatively low cost of online marketing, makes it a highly preferred option.
This works as a great K12 content solution as it reduces the cost of educational material, making it more accessible to learners.
Furthermore, eBooks can be delivered instantly to the international audience, thereby increasing the return on investment (ROI) for content creators. Authors and publishers are also paid for every purchase and receive significant returns.
5. DRM Safeguards Revenue
eBook piracy impacts the overall revenue structure and costs authors and publishers substantially. As mentioned earlier, publishers incur huge losses annually due to eBook piracy. This is a serious threat that needs to be curbed through appropriate action.
DRM-protected eBooks make unauthorized access to or copying of eBooks impossible. A digital key is required to open the eBook. Readers without the key will not be able to access the digital content, thereby preventing illegal sharing. As a result, users must buy the eBook, which in turn will reduce piracy and improve revenues.
6. DRM Prevents IPR Theft
Educational publishers can prevent IPR theft with DRM-protected eBooks. As DRM allows the publishers to monitor who has viewed the digital content, they can find out if someone has tried to pass on the access key to another person. This enables publishers to take action instantly and avoid any kind of theft. This is especially useful for academic researchers.
7. DRM Helps in Regulatory Compliance
Digital publishing must be compliant with several international regulatory guidelines. In addition to this, the publisher must ensure the confidentiality of the data.
With a digital lock in place, sensitive information, like important documents or personal information of learners and faculty members, are safe. Furthermore, this information can be distributed securely without any loss of control.
KITABOO: A Feature-Rich K12 Content Solution with DRM
KITABOO has created effective access control features for its users. It has automated print restrictions, content expirations, device limitations, and even tracking of fulfillment on a per-consumer level.
With this usage data, you can analyze reader behavior and what they prefer and evaluate how and when your digital content is being accessed.
With these pros in mind, it is clear that DRM protection is a must for eLearning in today’s day and age. However, not all DRM eBooks are created equal. Some formats offer limited restrictions and have been comprehensively cracked. Therefore, it’s important that one examines all aspects of their DRM protection, before they create eBooks.
To begin your educational digital publishing journey on a safely protected note, try KITABOO.
To know more, write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com
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