The ebook developers at eReaders.nl announced earlier this week that they are launching a new ebookstore. This is their second major digital project; earlier this year they launched eLinea, a magazine and newspaper platform.
The new ebookstore is starting small, with only 40 titles, and they will be adding more. Their ebookstore will only be selling DRM-free ebooks, which means you won’t have to pay the Adobe tax when you buy an ebook. Instead the ebooks will be marked with digital watermarks. Traceable user data will be encoded into each ebook at the time it is downloaded. This will enable to track down and punish just the person who who shared the ebook while leaving all the other customers unassailed.
See, this is the nice thing about watermarks as opposed to the other more restrictive types of DRM. When publishers apply most kinds of DRM to their ebooks they are punishing me because someone else _might_ pirate that ebook. And I am being punished even though the DRM doesn’t actually stop the pirates. But with watermarked ebooks publishers can pinpoint and go after just the pirates. This leaves me alone and makes me happy.