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My father is a professor at a local university, and he writes his own textbooks. He wants to start self-publishing them in an e-book format. The issue is that he wants to publish them so that the student only has access to the book for the duration of the course, and can't copy it, share it, etc. Is there a good place to do this, and how would it be done?

  • What will he do about students who don't have the necessary equipment for reading e-books? – Ken Mohnkern Jun 14 '17 at 13:34
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The simplest answer is Amazon Kindle but it will not satisfy all of his needs. By turning 'allow sharing' to 'off' and DRM to 'on' the book is limited to access by the purchaser and cannot be (easily) copied or shared. However, time-limiting access to the text is not supported. Effectively you're trying to rent out the book rather than sell it.

I'd suggest your father have a rethink. The book is unlikely to be of use to the students after the end of the course and it cannot be transferred. What's the point of setting a time limit?

Students are radical, ant-establishment, and innovative. If they deem your father's 'rental' scheme as unreasonable extortion they will crack any form of copy protection deployed, share the text on the Internet and his sales will be zero.

  • That's the answer I was expecting, I just needed someone to confirm it. Thanks Surtsey. – Nerevar Jun 5 '17 at 16:25

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