de-rm your ebooks with calibre

I’m not a computer programmer or anything like that. I mean, I’m pretty okay with my html and css and don’t get scared by sql queries, but actually writing programs or plugins or the like is beyond me. So I was very happy to find this blog post with the tools and explanation of how to use them for stripping the DRM off purchased ebooks.

I’ve been using an ereader for over half a year now and I like it, but I’ve only been able to fill it from places like ManyBooks (which is an awesome site for free ebooks in a multiplicity of formats) because I want to be able to move my ebooks around from ereader to ereader after I spend money on them. But Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Chapters and Sony all want you to be locked in to keep on buying their ereaders, so they make their books unusable on the other companies’ devices. Which is bullshit.

Until I read that post above, I knew it would be possible to strip the DRM off and free up the things I bought, but didn’t know how. The best part of those tools is that they’re plugins for the opensource ebook manager I was already using, Calibre. So now I can buy books for my Sony reader at Amazon and they’ll work. I’ll be able to buy current fiction instead of reading Shelley, Verne and Lovecraft. In fact, I already have.

Sadly enough this means an iPad (or iPad2) is now not as out of the question a device for me as it used to be. I’ll be strong and resist. It’s not like I have the money to throw at such a device anyway.

4 thoughts on “de-rm your ebooks with calibre

  1. Hey cool! Thanks for the useful links!

    I’m currently considering buying a wi-fi kindle. I want it to read school pdf’s on because I’m tired (literally) of reading them on back-lit computer screens.

  2. Yeah, now that I’m not tied to a Kindle, it becomes a more interesting device for me. In my case I’d look at the bigger DX one for PDFs, especially since I’ve got my little Sony for reading on the bus.

  3. I was wondering if you had contact Information for Apprentice Alf.

    Barnes and Noble has recently removed the ability to download a copy of any digital content purchased from them. The only choices you have is to purchase their ebook reader, which I wouldn’t do since my experience with their ebook readers are they are a terrible product and B&N does not have any interest in fixing the problems that occurred. This tends to be an opinion of many of their customers given the complaints on the ebook forum they host on their website.

    The other option is to use one of their apps for other platforms. Again, from experience they generally are very poorly written, difficult to use and provide a very unpleasant reading experience.

    B&N customer service told me that I would have access to download any books purchased before they instituted this policy (Sept 17, 2014). This however proved to be a false statement.

    B&N has in the recent past advertised their ebooks using a “Read Forever” campaign.

    They also instituted this policy with no advanced notice. No where on the page did it indicate that access to the digital content would be restricted. It was not until I had purchased several books and tried to download them that I discovered this. It should also be noted that their FAQ page still gives instructions on how to unlock your purchases.

    This info should be passed on to others who purchase digital content from B&N so that they know that they can no longer maintain backup copies of their purchases in case B&N go the way of Border’s and closes shop at which time you would no longer have access to your purchases. Apprentice Alf seems to be the best way to get the information spread.

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