Even in connection with those books not in digital format, unlicensed photocopying can be a problem.
Today’s invention is a simple fixture designed to make a real book much less easily copied, whilst not restricting anyone who wants to read the content.
It takes the form of a fine, but tough and flexible metal cable which runs around the outside of each book (inside the binding) and across top of the pages themselves.
This allows the book to be opened enough for easy reading, but makes it impossible to place it on a photocopier (even one designed for fast, semi-automatic imaging). Handheld scanners could still be used to allow legitimate recording of individual passages.
Any tampering with the cable would be immediately obvious eg to librarians or other lenders.