Adobe’s ePub DRM Has A Problem

After reporting that the new Sony Reader WiFi has been reported to download from the Kobo Books store too, Jane Litte of Dear Author picked one up and did some tests along with Hadrien Gardeur of Feedbooks.

Jane is able to download DRMed ePub from Kobo fine. Hadrien cannot.

Jane cannot download DRMed ePubs from the Feedbooks Store or Google eBookstore. (Note those are the DRMed for-pay eBooks at Feedbooks. not the DRM-free free ones! The free ones download fine. So do the free ones from Google Books.)

Jane cannot even sign into Books on Board because the website seems to use a popup for logging in.

Jane also cannot download anything at all from Barnes & Noble because their cloggy website crashes the browser (no surprise, really). Sideloaded Nookbooks will not open — meaning Sony again didn’t choose to license the mutation of Adobe DRM only Barnes & Noble uses.

But what’s going on here?

If Kobo’s Adobe DRMed ePubs work, why won’t those from Feedbooks and Google eBookstore?

This is supposed to be a “standard” DRM!

Meanwhile, over at Mobileread, Sony Reader WiFi owners are also reporting problems with Adobe Digital Editions (this is also no surprise, really).



Filed under eBooks: General, Friction, Sony Reader

2 responses to “Adobe’s ePub DRM Has A Problem

  1. Jason P

    Interesting post. My response is a few months late, but here it is anyway:

    There is no such thing as a “standard” DRM, nor is there a DRM that offers lifetime reliability. Unless you (illegally) break DRM, you will eventually find yourself with an electronic heap of books that you purchased but that you can no longer use. You’ll have to re-purchase it in whatever new format the publishers decide on.

    To put it bluntly, when you get a DRMed eBook, you’re not BUYING it but RENTING it, regardless of what the publisher says. At an average of $8-12 per eBook, I’d say that’s a high rental fee. It would add up to hundreds of wasted dollars for many of us.

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