27 Replies Latest reply on May 6, 2009 12:38 PM by marguerite_mcpherson

    Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions

    Level 1
      - "Named Activation" coming soon to Adobe Digital Editions

      Adobe wants your eBook experience to be as easy and seamless as possible. Naturally, this includes protecting your investment in eBooks from being lost or damaged. This is one of the key reasons why the upcoming release of Digital Editions 1.5 will feature Named Activation.

      Some users have eBooks and other digital publications on their computers that have been licensed with Acrobat, Reader or Digital Editions using Easy Activation. These items cannot be moved to a new computer, essentially becoming locked on a particular machine. To solve this problem, Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 will convert items to a Named Activation license, enabling them to be backed up, copied and read on other computers. All items subsequently downloaded with Digital Editions 1.5 will be licensed using Named Activation. This change will also enable a new breed of mobile devices designed to be used with Digital Editions. However, note that your content will NOT be portable if the content distributor has specified a more restrictive setting, in which case you will need to re-acquire the content directly from them.

      - How will Named Activation work?

      The first time you run Digital Editions 1.5, you'll be prompted to activate the application by entering an Adobe ID. If you dont have an Adobe ID, you'll be provided with a link to get one. Then, when you purchase an item online or borrow one from the library with Digital Editions 1.5, the item will automatically be tied to your Adobe ID, rather than to your computer. This way, you'll be free to move your items to other machines where Digital Editions has been activated with your Adobe ID.

      What about the eBooks I already have?

      Once youve entered your Adobe ID, Digital Editions 1.5 will look for eBooks already on your computer. It will first back up the items it finds, then convert copies of the items to a new named activation license.

      IMPORTANT: Digital Editions 1.5 will convert eBooks that have been purchased or borrowed with Acrobat, Reader or earlier versions of Digital Editions. However, items that were licensed using Easy Activation can only be converted on the same computer with which they were originally purchased or borrowed. If you are contemplating buying a new machine, please consider keeping your old machine intact unless you bought all of your books with Acrobat or Reader using Named Activation.

      Is Easy Activation still an option?

      Adobe introduced the Easy Activation option in Acrobat and Reader 6.01 (and it was the only activation option previously supported in Digital Editions). This option made it easy for users to get started with eBooks, as users did not have to go online and get a Microsoft Passport or Adobe ID. The downside of this convenience is that the books could not be transferred to another machine or device.

      Based on feedback from our customers, the Digital Editions team has decided that the benefits of content portability outweigh the inconvenience of the user ID and activation processes. So the next release of Digital Edition will use only Named Activation.

      The Digital Editions team understands that some users may be uncomfortable at first with the need to obtain an Adobe ID and activate their machines. But we are convinced that everyone will quickly see the value of safeguarding their investment in eBooks. We're working hard on this new release and look forward to sharing it with you soon.
        • 1. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
          Level 1
          For further info on this topic, please also see this post.
          • 2. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
            • 3. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
              Level 1
              Adobe policy forbids telling the release date prior to the actual release. All I can say is soon.
              • 5. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                This IS good news. I have avoided purchasing any new Secure PDF files since the Adobe Digital Editions software was released. One, I don't like the way it is tied to the machine. Two, I abhor the fact that I can't read these eBooks on my Pocket PC PDA.

                I will be happy to see improvements made to Adobe Digital Editions. I was very dismayed to see the changes made in Adobe 8 regarding secure PDFs when Adobe 7 handled it so well. Demotion in functionality does not breed brand loyalty. I have long preferred PDF format for all of the eBooks I purchase simply for their versatility in device & O/S support. With Adobe Digital Editions, that is no longer true for secure PDFs and makes me nervous about trusting the PDF format altogether in this way.
                • 6. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                  Does this mean that with digital editions 1.5, we will, once again, able to use adobe reader 2.0 for pocket pc to read our books?
                  • 7. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                    Level 1
                    No, we will be adding support for a number of devices during the next year, but 1.5 will be focused on content portability across PCs rather than mobile devices. For Pocket PC, you should stick with Acrobat 7.0.9.
                    • 8. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                      Level 1
                      So if I understood this correctly, once named activation is up again, will it be possible to use acrobat reader 7.0.9 on my desktop to activate and transfer a book from my PC to adobe acrobat reader for pocket pc 2.0?
                      • 9. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                        Level 1
                        You can do that today. What is changing is that Digital Editions will support named accounts. However, Digital Editions 1.5 will not support Pocket PC. We are working on supporting a number of portable devices and these will be release during the next year.
                        • 10. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                          Level 1
                          No, I cannot! online e-book resellers do not offer the possibility to use acrobat reader 7.0.9, only digital editions is supported, thus there is no named account option anymore.

                          Will it be possible that online ebook resellers offer the combination of Acrobat Reader 7.0.9 and Pocket PC activation once again?
                          • 11. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                            Level 1
                            You do not need to rely on the resellers. You can get any or all versions of Reader here:


                            Note that if you are on Vista it won't offer the option since Reader 7 is not officially supported. Just tell it that you are on Windows XP.
                            • 12. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                              Level 1
                              What I mean is this. Several resellers have aligned their web sites with Adobe's latest e-book reader, the adobe digital editions 1.0, meaning that they have STOPPED offering the posibility of using named activation for each ebook as it used to be with adobe reader 7.

                              With the introduction of digital editions 1.5, named activation will be once again the one and only activation method for adobe ebook format, is that correct?

                              So, even if there is not going to be a new version of adobe reader for my pocket pc for sometime, I could theoretically buy an ebook and use acrobat 7 instead of digital editions and transfer it to my pocket pc. Do you agree, or is there something I do not understand?

                              Best Regards,

                              • 13. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                While it sounds like a good first step, it boggles the mind that we can't find out when we can read our books again.

                                I certainly would be the last to want to have Adobe violate a policy....there's no point both Adobe and ALL of their customers being upset at the same time.....but surely there's a loophole to benefit everyone....

                                1.5 can hardly be described as a release - at best an upgrade, at worst an essential bug fix - as such there's not a 'release' date....

                                Just tell us when it's going to be ready so that at least those of us with a PC can lower the blood pressure a bit.
                                • 14. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                  I've just (mistakenly it seems) downloaded an ebook to my Vista desktop but really needed it on my XP laptop. I was under the assumption that it would be at least fairly easy to transfer the ebook over but can't see how to do it.

                                  After reading this post I'm getting that horrible feeling in my stomach that this is simply not possible with Vista running Adobe 8/Digitial Editions 1.0. Could someone please tell me if there is a way around this at this present time?

                                  To be honest I am very unhappy with Digital Editions hamstrung software in the first place but to not be able to transfer my ebook to where I need it is taking things too far.
                                  • 15. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                    Level 1
                                    We are working as hard as we can to provide this functionality, but it is by no means as easy as it seems. And I regret that I cannot give you a firm date (which is hard on my blood pressure too). All I can say is that it is will be more than a few more weeks, but much less than 6 months.

                                    In the meantime, you have two choices, live with the limitations of DE 1.0, or revert to Reader 7. However, if you do revert to Reader 7 you will need to re-download any books downloaded with Digital Editions 1.0.
                                    • 16. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                      Level 1
                                      But I'm on Vista. How do I get Reader 7 on my machine?
                                      • 17. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                        Ric - The announcement about Adept at http://www.adobe.com/products/adept/ says

                                        "after December 31, 2007 only Digital Editions will be the only officially-supported client software, both for ADEPT and any remaining standalone Adobe Content Server installations. "

                                        Will is still be OK to revert to Reader 7 when it is no longer officially supported?

                                        In view of the delay with Adept and your recommendation for those experiencing problems with ADE to revert to Reader 7 wouldn't it make sense to now extend the official support for Reader beyond the deadline of 31st December 2007?
                                        • 18. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                          Level 1
                                          To download Reader 7 on Vista, simply fib when you get to the Reader download site (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2_allversions.html) and tell them you have Windows XP.
                                          • 19. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                            Ric - What you don't seem to comprehend is that the ebook sellers are not allowing us to switch back to Reader if we are unhappy with DE. I know mine won't and I won't spend my hard earned money (paying twice) on a book I already own. That stinks!

                                            I don't understand why Adobe prioritized this Named Activation crap when there are so many customers who are frustrated with the fact that they can't carry ebooks on PDAs like in the good old days of Adobe Reader.

                                            What gives....
                                            • 20. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                              This is pure b/s. It's been a while since I used Adobe reader, and I have used digital editions to read a book on my computer, BUT I CANNOT F***ING READ MY OLD BOOKS AND TRANSFER THEM TO MY PALM LIFEDRIVE TO READ, WHERE I DO THE MAJORITY OF MY EBOOK READING IN THE FIRST DAMNED PLACE!

                                              Get your goddamned act together, Adobe. I want my books back on my PDA, not my comp. Either reenable this, or show us how to convert to mobireader. Until then, I'm sticking to ereader.com. At least they don't broomstick you up the wazoo.
                                              • 21. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                                Level 1
                                                This sounds very ominous to me: "However, items that were licensed using Easy Activation can only be converted on the same computer with which they were originally purchased or borrowed"

                                                I have ebooks that I bought five years ago. The machine on which I read them first is of course no longer available. The recommendation to keep old machines is pure non-sense, because nobody ever expected Adobe to mess up like this.

                                                I don't have any hopes of ever recovering my $1,000+ investment in ebooks.
                                                • 22. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                                  Level 1
                                                  When you first activate a computer, this creates an account and associates it with your computer. This account can either be associated with your ID or just your computer. If you perform what has been termed "named activation" (which we now refer to as "authorization") then that account is associated with your ID, not just that computer.

                                                  But if the computer was never authorized then what happens is that when Reader (or DE) writes the license into the file it wrote down that the user's "name" was the "fingerprint" of the machine. So now you have a document which appears to belong to that fingerprint (i.e. machine). If you transfer that book to another machine, then the "owner" of that book is the other machine. Since the book has no apparent owner and doesn't match the machine you are on, the book can't be opened. Unfortunately, there is no workaround for this. Even we cannot open that file. The key to open it is the fingerprint of the other machine.

                                                  This is why we feel it is so important to authorize the machine you are buying books on so the book is associated with you and not the machine. Digital Editions 1.5 (which is in the final stages of development) will fully support this model. If you are still using Reader 7 then you are strongly urged to authorize it (using the menu item File/Digital Editions/Authorize Device...)
                                                  • 23. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                                    Level 1
                                                    Ric, as a manager when hearing a story like this I would always reply: "Yes, there is always an explanation, but who is going to take responsibility and do something about it?" I've learned that it's a very human trait to explain oneself. But an explanation is not automatically a valid excuse, nor is it a solution. So it's very nice of you to provide this explanation, very enlightening too, but it doesn't solve my problem.

                                                    The facts:

                                                    1. Over the past five years I bought 47 DRM protected ebooks in .pdf format.

                                                    2. After several machine upgrades I cannot open a single one of them.

                                                    3. None of the vendors involved (Adobe, Amazon, and other vendors) is willing to take responsibility for my situation.

                                                    4. As a bonafide customer I was not informed in advance of the dangers of changing hardware and of the proper procedure to migrate ebooks in case of hardware changes.

                                                    5. My last machine upgrade took place only six weeks ago. Ebooks that I bought less than six months ago and that were opened and authorized on my previous machine with Adobe Digital Editions cannot be read on my new machine.

                                                    My conclusions:

                                                    - I've written off my investment in ebooks. I have no hope of ever being able to open them again.

                                                    - The companies involved in reading ebooks on computers show typical arrogant big company behaviour. I.e. refusing to take responsibility, not caring about the frustrations of bonafide customers, causing strong feelings of powerlessness in their customers, making customers contemplate law-suits etc.

                                                    - I've decided not to buy ebooks anymore. I've also decided to strongly discourage my friends to buy them.

                                                    Having said that I salute you and wish you all the best.
                                                    • 24. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                                      Level 1
                                                      Harrie- Do you still have the machine on which you bought the most recent ebooks? Because when DE 1.5 is installed on that machine it will authorize the books to you and you will be able to move them freely (on up to 5 more machines).
                                                      I agree that the procedures that were in place to warn you of the risk of changing hardware were not clear. And while Reader to prompt everyone to "activate" their machines, you were neither forced to (since we cannot legally do so for various reasons, much as we would like to) not given a detailed explanation akin to the above. Why? Because it was felt that it would scare or confuse most users. But I appreciate your points and we will take them to heart and try to explain the nature of the beast more carefully.
                                                      • 25. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                                        Level 1
                                                        I also just purchased an ebook online and what a stupid mistake i made, i will never buy another ebook again and Adobe's software, particularly this dumb Digital Editions Rubbish.

                                                        What good is it for portability when you cannot even transfer that ebook you purchased to another computer of yours especially your laptop?. I happened to have 6 pcs and one laptop in my home.

                                                        Please for sanity's sake fix this problem once and for all. We are NOT proud of your software anymore.

                                                        Extremely Disappointed User
                                                        • 26. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions
                                                          Hi Ric

                                                          I contacted you via e-mail as suggested re a problem with activations - but got a auto responder from a Karen Curley?
                                                          • 27. Re: Named Activation Coming to Digital Editions

                                                            Adobe told me last month that I would be able to find support on Adobe Forums for directions on how to read Adobe ebooks on my PDA with Adobe Reader for Palm OS.  After many hours searching both Adobe Forums and the internet, I can find nothing.  I understand that Adobe has no support for Adobe Reader for Palm OS, but why would Adobe leave all of us who love to read Adobe ebooks on our PDAs (NOT our computers!) high and dry?  Please, is there any way to transfer Adobe ebooks to our PDAs now that Adobe went and changed everything at the end of March 2009?

                                                            thanks so much!