6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2012 10:09 AM by Frustrated in AZ

    Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books


      Some time ago I bought several e-books from amazon.com which used Adobe Digital Editions.  Recently I bought some from a different vendor, which required the current version of ADE.  After installing the new version the old titles cannot be authorized and are therefore useless.  Amazon says that I was only authorized to download the books for one year from the date of purchase, and that in any case they no longer use Adobe DRM. I can try to find similar books in Kindle.


      To me this seems like outright theft of items I have bought and paid for.  I know I have spent thousands on amazon.com, but can't justify continuing the practice any more.


      Last night I attempted to ask Adobe Tech Support if there was some way they could help me, but the reply was: "Please note that this error message generally comes when the book that you are accessing is hosted on Adobe content server 3. In this case, you need to contact your e-book vendor and ask them for a new download link where the book is hosted on Adobe content server 4."


      Of course, this is useless advice, as he would have known if he had read my problem report, but the email address used does not allow replies and my case had been "withdrawn" so I could not add to it.


      I find it hard to believe that I'm the only person who has run into this problem.  Is it common for e-book vendors to change their DRM method and render useless all they have sold previously? Should this be considered part of the risk of buying e-books?

        • 1. Re: Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books

          You are not the only one to have this problem. I spent a LOT of money on pre-kindle books from Amazon, which I am effectively locked out of. I got the same run-around from both Amazon and Adobe. I have been scammed by this company, and I have no reason to believe that I won't be scammed again by Adobe, Amazon or any other company that uses DRM. DRM does not prevent piracy, it just prevents honest consumers from accessing the content they paid for. I believe that your access rights to an ebook should be the same as a print book.  And yet, the real thieves in this case accuse DRM circumventors of being thieves (just look what Adobe did to Dmitry Skylarov: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Sklyarov).


          I am no pirate, but because of the way I have been scammed out of money for books I cannot read, I now consider it a moral obligation to circumvent any DRM on any ebook that I purchase. I will not buy an ebook, unless I am relatively certain that I can remove the DRM and put an unencrypted copy in my digital library. Fortunately, DRM is inherently flawed by its nature, and this is not hard to do. Otherwise, imagine a conversation in the future:


          "I heard that grandpa had some really cool old books that are hard to find now - can I read them?"


          "Sorry - Grandpa didn't know about removing DRM, and the books are encrypted by an old scheme from a company that went broke, so nobody can read them anymore".

          • 2. Re: Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books
            Level 4

            I'm not an Adobe employee, so let's get that straight from the start.


            Adobe is only the supplier of tools to implement DRM via Adobe Content

            Server.  Their method was selected as ONE of several when the publishers

            were developing digital content management as part of their efforts back in

            the early 1990's.


            Adobe isn't scamming anyone either.  Since all they provide is the toolset,

            what they try to do is to protect just the toolset, and your comments about

            'look what Adobe did to so-and-so' is a distortion of what happened and

            why.  But let's move on to the point I see in your comments.


            Publishers implement digital rights management by selecting the features

            that they wish to use, according to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of

            2000 (DMCA for short).  When they generate the epublication, those features

            are turned on or off by the publisher.  Adobe has nothing to do with that,

            nor does any other software company like Calibre, Bluefire or Overdrive.

            And that's the way it is now.  The way it was before appears to be the

            issue you'd like to discuss.


            Unfortunately, nobody goes back to re-do what was done before a particular

            standard was implemented.  And the issue you have is valid: you're stuck

            without the use of material that you were able to use some time ago.  In

            this particular case, the latest process that includes DRM has embedded

            some controls to assure that the pre-existing materials are managed in a

            way that precludes copying them in some cases.  In essence, the industry

            back-dated digital rights management.  Unfair?  Maybe.  Can you get around

            DRM either to get back what you 'lost', or to permit you to do whatever you

            want with the material you 'own'?  Yes you can - but you'd be a lawbreaker

            if you did.



            • 3. Re: Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books
              eperea@walkereng.com Level 1

              In case it was not clear from my first post, my problem is not with Adobe, but with Amazon.  I did not pay Adobe for the books, so they don't owe me anything.  Amazon does.  They have stolen from me goods which they aknowledge I have paid for.  I don't really care about DMCA or any other agreement among thieves to "legalize" theft. I merely curse the laws and the lawmakers.

              • 4. Re: Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books
                Level 4

                Sorry if I misred your post.  Amazon chose to do things differently - and

                they should be held accountable for what they've done.  You've done a good

                job of raising a point.


                • 5. Re: Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books

                  Why doesn't Adobe bring pdfs to market on a physical ereader device? Lots of people would like to read ebooks in pdf but the competition aren't supporting it -- on the contrary, as you point out.

                  After all, the P in PDF means portable - P as in Palm, or I-Pod...

                  • 6. Re: Pre-Kindle Amazon e-books
                    Level 4

                    Nice idea, but off base.  The issues are twofold: first, the ebook format

                    for Kindles is proprietary to Amazon; next, the technology of the newer

                    devices isn't within the design parameters of Digital Editions (the

                    original version was brought to market before the explosion of android and

                    Google powered devices.  Apple also uses a different format for their OS on

                    the iPads than was current at that time).  So, Adobe, like other software

                    houses, is playing catch-up - and probably will continue to do so for some

                    time to come.


                    A dedicated device for reading pdf's?  Adobe is a software company.  That

                    could be the reason....