December 14th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

DRMWe all know that it’s against the law to sell copyrighted material, but is it also illegal to tell people about software that can strip DRM off e-books without the intention to distribute? New York Judge Denise Cote has recently ruled that it’s not. The lawsuit in question, which was never cut and dry to begin with, was filed by Penguin and Simon & Schuster against Abbey House Media, a company that used to sell e-books for them. Abbey House was bound by law to protect those files with DRM, but when it was a month away from shutting down its digital bookstore in 2013, someone in the company felt compelled to help customers gain control of the e-books they already bought.

Read the full article @ Engadget.

Posted in ebooks, Politics & Law Tagged with:

November 30th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

DRMHenrik Anderson told TorrentFreak that in order to force his government’s hand on laws which allow him to copy DVDs for his own personal use, but forbid him to remove the DRM in order to do so, he decided to turn himself in.

Henrik informed the Danish anti-piracy outfit Antipiratgruppen that he had broken the DRM on more than one hundred legally-purchased DVD movies and TV shows for use on his home media center, an act forbidden – but seemingly also allowed – underDanish laws, both detailed below;

Read the full post @ Torrent Freak.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with: ,

July 24th, 2014 by Michael Sauers


Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , ,

June 20th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

I don’t agree with everything Hugh has to say on this issue but he’s definitely got a few things right and there’s plenty more to consider. For example:

Hachette PricingA few weeks ago, I speculated that Hachette might be fighting Amazon for the power to price e-books where they saw fit, or what is known as Agency pricing. That speculation was confirmed this week in a slide from Hachette’s presentation to investors: [right]

So, no more need to speculate over what this kerfuffle is about. Hachette is strong-arming Amazon and harming its authors because they want to dictate price to a retailer, something not done practically anywhere else in the goods market. It’s something US publishers don’t even do to brick and mortar booksellers. It’s just something they want to be able to do to Amazon.

Read the full post @

Posted in Books, ebooks Tagged with: , ,

March 6th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Keurig LogoCory Doctorow on Keurig’s recent DRM-related news:

I think Keurig might just be that stupid, greedy company. The reason they’re adding “DRM” to their coffee pods is that they don’t think that they make the obviously best product at the best price, but want to be able to force their customers to buy from them anyway. So when, inevitably, their system is cracked by a competitor who puts better coffee at a lower price into the pods, Keurig strikes me as the kind of company that might just sue. And not only sue, but keep on suing, even after they get their asses handed to them by successive courts. With any luck, they’ll make some new appellate-level caselaw in a circuit where there’s a lot of startups — maybe by bringing a case against some spunky Research Triangle types in the Fourth Circuit.

Read the full post @ Boing Boing.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with:

February 10th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Adobe Digital Editions logoAdobe has announced that it will continue to support the older DRM encryption formats for PDF and EPUB eBooks.  This flip-flopping on this specific matter was due to the firestorm that erupted due to  our recent post on Adobe killing the e-reader industry. We had so much feedback, that Adobe themselves commented on our original story and announced that they will continue to support the old formats indefinitely.


Although Adobe will not cut old e-readers off, they still won’t be able to read the new eBook formats, once more companies start adopting them. One silver lining, was that Sony was the largest company that used the stock Adobe DRM, but they have since abandoned their bookstore in the USA and Canada. Kobo has picked up their customers and all the old books, and Kobo uses their own offshoot of Adobe DRM.

Read the full post @ Good eReader.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: ,

February 3rd, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Adobe Digital Editions logoThis means that any app or device which still uses the older Adobe DRM will be cut off. Luckily for many users, that penalty probably will not affect readers who use Kobo or Google reading apps or devices; to the best of my knowledge neither uses the Adobe DRM internally. And of course Kindle and Apple customers won’t even notice, thanks to those companies’ wise decision to use their own DRM.

But everyone else just got screwed.

If you’re using Adobe DE 2.1, come July you won’t be able to read any newly downloaded DRMed ebooks until after you upgrade to Adobe DE 3.0. If you’re using a preferred 3rd-party reading app, you won’t be able to download any new DRMed ebooks until after the app developer releases an update.

And if you’re using an existing ebook reader, you’d better plan on only reading DRM-free ebooks until further notice.

One thing Adobe seems to have missed is that there are tens of millions of ebook readers on the market that support the older DRM but will probably never be upgraded to the new DRM. Sony and Pocketbook, for example, have released a number of models over the past 5 or so years, most of which have since been discontinued.

Do you really think they’re going to invest in updating a discontinued (but otherwise perfectly functional) device?

Read the full article @ The Digital Reader.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with:

January 23rd, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Adobe Digital Editions logoAdobe has just pushed out new Digital Rights Management encryption system for their entire line of publishing products. This was designed to make changes to the security of of ePub and PDF Files. Adobe is claiming that the new changes to one of the most popular electronic book formats in the world is the most secure they have ever produced.

The new set of DRM for ePub files has been pushed out to Adobe Digital Editions 3.0 and Adobe Content Server. Adobe has been working with their publishing and hardware partners, such as Sony, to refine the code before they released it to the public. This time around Adobe wants to keep the source code under lock and key to prevent people from writing decryption tools and plugins for popular conversion software like Calibre.

However, maybe more importantly:

I was told by some members of the W3C that Adobe is planning a new online verification tool that queries a an always on internet connection. This is something that many game companies are employing to curb piracy, such as Electronic Arts. Likely, we will not see this “Always Online DRM” for another year or two. Companies need to adjust to the new higher form of encryption in the here and now.

So, imagine needing your eReader to be constantly connected to the ‘Net to be able to read your books. Yeah, that’ll work well on older non-WiFi enabled eReaders.

Read the full article @

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: ,

September 24th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

terribleminds logoDRM is dumb. DRM does not work. DRM is the Empire is tightening its fist, which only forces more star systems to slip through its fingers. You know how our war on terrorism basically begets more terrorism? Like, someone blows up our shit, then we blow up some Yemeni daycare thinking that an Al Qaeda higher-up is hiding there, and then all the people affected by the blown-up daycare suddenly think, “The US kills kids so now we’re gonna be fight the US with tooth and nail?” Meaning, our war on terror just creates more terrorists?

Help libraries. Help them. They’re customers. But even beyond that, they’re the drug dealers of the book world. They’re the ones giving out free samples of your work (which, to be clear, they paid for) and fostering a love of stories and a culture of books. Libraries are Willy Wonka factories where they make new readers instead of weird-ass child-endangerment candy. (Seriously, the government needs to step in and shut Wonka down. Last I heard he was drowning kids in a corn syrup river or something. He’s like a fucking Batman villain, that guy.)

Read the full post @

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , , ,

August 22nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

The iPad is iBad for freedomThis week, ebook lovers got yet another reminder of why DRM (Digital Rights Management) is terrible for ebooks. While attending a library conference in Singapore, Jim O’Donnell lost access to the titles in his Google Play Books app. Apparently, the app detected that he was in a country where Google Books aren’t available and subsequently denied him access to his books. Stories like this crop up every now and then, each time highlighting some crazy ebook restriction or policy that most people aren’t even aware of. The way things are set up, you kind of need to protect the digital books you buy from the companies that sell them. There are a growing number of ways and reasons why Amazon, Google, or a book publisher might strip you of your digital library.

The best way to protect yourself is to break the DRM on your ebooks for the purpose of keeping a local, personal backup. (We don’t encourage you to do this for any other reason.) The process is not difficult, even if you aren’t very techie. And it allows you to read your ebooks on any device since the software can also convert file types. Keep in mind that this is technically against the Amazon Kindle terms of service, and other ebook sellers like Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, and Google certainly frown on such actions. However, here are five really good reasons to do it, anyway.

1: Leave the country, lose your ebooks

Read the full list, none of which I can disagree with, at Digital

Posted in 1, ebooks, Politics & Law Tagged with: