Selling EPUB e-books, adding on to a custom shopping cart app: handle like any downloadable file? DRM? If DRM is a bad idea, good layperson-accessible article explaining clearly why not? If DRM is a good idea, how is it implemented?
Assume I'm some kind of coding genius (just to skip the "it's too complex to do it yourself" answers -- I may decide it's too complex, but I'm not going to do so without understanding how it's implemented), what do I need to know to handle selling e-books?
This would be for a small, niche, independent publisher. Its clients are primarily educators and counselors. They're already using a somewhat basic, but rather customized, shopping cart web site (in Perl, FWIW) with payments handled by a separately-hosted service that basically stores credit card and purchase list information which the client retrieves and processes (which assures everything is in stock, etc.).
I'm their web developer. I don't have an e-book reader. The company that has printed their books can convert them to EPUB format easily, but that doesn't include DRM -- which makes sense, since DRM seems likely to be something that's going to be added for each purchase as it happens.
I need some basic clues. Googling turned up stuff that doesn't look like what I need: arguments about the benefits/costs of DRM; DRM info for cell phone/other devices; where to find DRM-free stuff.
I need to know:
- How to implement DRM myself (in Perl, but any language) assuming I'm handed a bunch of EPUB files; and/or
- Where to find an excellent, focused, short, clear article explaining how my client can decide whether they should implement DRM or not.
I already know (I think):
- How to find basic information on the EPUB format;
- That, for some markets, DRM makes no sense because piracy is less of a concern than obscurity. (I'm not sure whether that's true for this client's market.)
- That just adding the purchaser's name into the text is one idea. It sounds good, but I'm not convinced it's enough).