You Don’t Own Your Ebooks

You Don’t Own Your Ebooks












You don’t own your ebooks with DRM.  You’re merely
licensing the privilege to read them.  Some readers overseas have learned
this the hard way (yet again) now that Nook is going out of business in
the United Kingdom.  But don’t worry, they’re working to let you maybe possibly transfer all those books you bought.

The Register and TechDirt brought this notice from Nook’s UK site to our attention (emphasis mine):

Effective from March 15, 2016, NOOK will no longer sell
digital content in the United Kingdom.  The NOOK Store on NOOK devices
sold in the UK, on the UK NOOK Reading App for Android, and at will cease operation.

meet your digital reading needs going forward, NOOK has partnered with
award-winning Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand to ensure that you
have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books
at no new cost to you.
  Further instructions on how to transfer
your NOOK Books to a new or existing Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand
account will be sent to you by email over the coming weeks.  Please
ensure that you look out for these emails as they will contain important
information on what to do next.

Your action is required.

“…continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books…”

They’re not even promising that you’ll be able to transfer all your books!

Digital rights management (DRM) is absolutely crippling our ability
to preserve digital knowledge for the future.  And it’s half the reason I
prefer deadtree books.

Even when it’s an accident (like when Amazon deleted everybody’s copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from their Kindles) it shows just how little control we have over the books we “buy” from digital retailers.

So repeat after me…

You don’t own your ebooks.

You don’t own your ebooks.

You don’t own your ebooks.

This has been an issue for libraries since e-books first started being released.

I keep forgetting that this is a thing that isn’t widely known outside of libraries, the mentality of publishers that electronic media is being “lent” to the buyer, rather than actually becoming a thing you own.

This really bothers me on an accessibility level, bc my Kindle having everything on it makes it accessible to me in my tiny house, with my busted back. I don’t have to get up to get another book. I don’t have to reserve space I don’t have for books. I don’t have to carry a bunch of heavy books when I’m already managing my wheelchair etc while traveling.

This is such a problem.

My husband has complicated allergies. Book ink and the formaldehyde in the paper is a major issue for him. But an ereader works great!

Richard Stalman wrote an article about this back in the 90s called The Right to Read, IIRC.

Welcome to our dystopian cyberpunk present. :/

This is why I use Calibre to back everything up.

There you go.

For anyone who reads sci fi and fantasy, Baen/Tor (who publish a LOT of SF/f, including my beloved Vorkosigan Saga) sell most of their own ebooks on their own site unless the author has a special agreement, and all their ebooks are DRM free. They’re available in a bunch of different formats depending on what kind of ereader you have. Some other publishers also do, though I can’t remember which ones.

I know that nook, Amazon, et al are convenient aggregators, but it may be worth checking if the publisher sells a DRM free version directly if there’s a book you really wanna make sure you don’t lose access to. In addition to the nook problem listed above, Amazon have also been caught retroactively editing the content of books in people’s libraries after purchase. So. You know. Either find a DRM free version to start with, or be prepared to crack every book you buy.

for said cracking, please see DeDRM

DeDRM and Calibre are easy and essential. You can and should own your ebooks.

Reblogging both for the resources and because shit like this regarding DRM pisses me off so fucking much… 

As always, RMS warned us about this shit.

My work colleague rib me a little about the fact that I’ve got a computer science degree but seem to shun a lot of new technology (I don’t have a smart phone) but they were stunned to learn they’re only renting the music and books they’ve “bought” digitally.

All the paper books, CDs and DVDs I have are basically a backup system for the things I really want to keep.

In fairness to my colleagues, we work in the charity sector and none of them spent the time when iTunes etc were really starting to take off being totally immersed in the academic side of it all.

(My Mum used to moan about not having Facebook messenger on her phone, but she’s pretty glad now that I wouldn’t install it for her after the Facebook shenanigans got more widely known. Did I watch too much X-Files as a kid and get paranoid? Maybe? But when it turned out the CIA had been spying on folks through webcams, I wasn’t worried for myself (other than like, not being of interest to them) because ever since I got my first USB webcam, I’ve been covering the lens or turning it to face the wall – I just assumed that some l33t h4x0r could have been watching anyway.)