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Researchers have created a program to catch pirates by their commas… to trap them with paragraph breaks.

The new program, still under development at the Darmstadt Technical University in Germany, automatically creates subtle alternative versions of an e-book by moving words around, using synonyms, or adding or removing grammatical marks, the blog Torrent Freak reports. If a pirated version of the book appears online, then publishers are able to narrow down its source by looking at which version it is. The program also creates some invisible marks to help track e-books. [1]

If publishers adopt the program, it could be part of a system that protects copyrighted works while allowing people who have bought e-books to do some small-time sharing, such as copying the book onto all of their devices.

Besides the obvious problems with the copyright and property issues (“small sharing” includes copying a book you own to other devices you own?!?), the whole concept is totally absurd. Changing a book (automatically!) for copyright reasons?

Oh, Plato! Oh, Kant! Oh, Melville! Oh, Joyce!
Come out of your graves! And kick their ass!!!

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