Subtle textual changes made to punctuation and words can track pirated copies of electronic texts.

A German research group has figured out a way to track the unauthorised sharing of e-books by making small changes to the text’s grammar and punctuation. The changes are like digital breadcrumbs that publishers can trace when they are shared without authorisation.

The research group of Darmstadt Technical University’s Secure Documents has received backing from the German government and a slew of publishers eager to put an end to the illegal sharing of E-books. E-book digital rights management technology (DRM) has been under development for a few years now with the increased popularity of E-readers and unauthorized E-books surfacing online.

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