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Old 08-10-2010, 09:06 AM   #1
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You think geo restrictions are, well, restrictive? Enter OS discrimination

Do you think that geographic restrictions are obonxious and annoying? You haven't seen the rest of ebook hell.

Consider buying an ebook in a common format with copy protection, such as an ePub file with Adober DRM. What if you don't use a mainstream operating system like Linux? You are out of luck.

As far as I know, such a file can be legally accessed only with the Adobe Digital Editions software, which is available for Windows and MacOS X. Adobe considered porting it to Linux, but scrapped the idea.

None of the available legal options for getting an ePub ebook with Adobe DRM on an ereader via Linux are practical:

* get a -- possibly virtual -- Windows or MacOS X machine, or already have a spare one
* borrow a Windows or MacOS X machine
* jump through hops to make Adobe Digital Editions work on your Linux system, which may or may not work and break at any time
* never buy ebooks with Adobe DRM
* any others?

This is what a couple of consumers might decide to do instead:

* remove DRM
* not buy the ebook in the first place, and go to the dark side
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Um, sorry - Geo restrictions are a *much* bigger deal, since they effect pretty much everyone who buys e-books. Yes, even Americans. Try buying a book only available in the UK, which I did with ease before the restrictions.

I'm sorry you're having trouble, but complaining because of Linux 'discrimination' is a little, well, whiny. Lots of software won't work with it - it's a niche product, but you knew that when you installed it, right?

I'm sure some other Linux users here will help you if you ask.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:20 AM   #3
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You can run ADE under WINE on your Linux system. Here's a thread from the Kobo forum about doing that. It's not an ideal solution, but it apparently works.

ADE on Linux
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:22 AM   #4
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I find the problem of not even being able to buy a book larger than not being able to read the book on the reader of my choice. No, there is no application which will let me read secured epub on my main reader. Which runs WinCE.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
complaining because of Linux 'discrimination' is a little, well, whiny. Lots of software won't work with it - it's a niche product, but you knew that when you installed it, right?
The same could be said of OSX. They're at what, single digits percentage wise of web traffic? Not a great barometer, I know, but still fairly indicative... Hell, if you include non desktop computers, Linux has an order of magnitude more market share than OSX.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:29 AM   #6
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I find the problem of not even being able to buy a book larger than not being able to read the book on the reader of my choice. No, there is no application which will let me read secured epub on my main reader. Which runs WinCE.
I like WinCE, but it's like the red-headed stepchild of Microsoft operating systems. Had MS developed and supported it with their full resources it could have been a really killer mobile os, sadly that wasn't meant to be.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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I like WinCE, but it's like the red-headed stepchild of Microsoft operating systems. Had MS developed and supported it with their full resources it could have been a really killer mobile os, sadly that wasn't meant to be.
But it, together with Mobipocket Reader (another awesome application that wasn't supported as it should have been), does a terrific job providing me with an ebook reader (even though I have to strip DRM and convert, if I ever would buy an epub book).
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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But it, together with Mobipocket Reader (another awesome application that wasn't supported as it should have been), does a terrific job providing me with an ebook reader (even though I have to strip DRM and convert, if I ever would buy an epub book).
That was my first e-reader combination too. But as my vision has gotten worse I simply had to move on from my Pocket PC size device. My HTC TP2 phone runs WinCE's descendant, Windows Mobile 6.5, and I like it a lot. The ability to copy and edit documents between phone and desktop is really useful, even if I do have to zoom in the text.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
Um, sorry - Geo restrictions are a *much* bigger deal, since they effect pretty much everyone who buys e-books.
I agree, but I brought operating system issues to the attention of the ebook reading comunity because they are less known, but are very annoying for a non negligible number of users -- and yet another lost opportunity for publishers and bookshops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
I'm sorry you're having trouble, but complaining because of Linux 'discrimination' is a little, well, whiny.
Whiny? Absolutely. This is a major source of frustration. In this case I think using "discrimination" is more appropriate because it excludes a whole class of users, while a restriction applies only to some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
Lots of software won't work with it - it's a niche product, but you knew that when you installed it, right?
Yes, I did know. My decision to use it is an acceptable tradeoff, not an optimal solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
I'm sure some other Linux users here will help you if you ask.
I did find valuable information in the MR archive, but it's what I referred to as "jumping through hops" in my original post. Given all this, my currently preferred option is to not buy DRM ebooks.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I did find valuable information in the MR archive, but it's what I referred to as "jumping through hops" in my original post. Given all this, my currently preferred option is to not buy DRM ebooks.
Uh, I don't call installing wine from your distro's repo and then installing ADE to be 'jumping through hoops.' It takes a couple minutes longer then a strait ADE install and that's assuming you don't already have wine installed. As for DRM ebooks, Kobo has released a linux client which will allow you to read books purchased from their store (you can also read them on-line on their website in your browser of choice). E-Reader.com has a linux client available as well.

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Old 08-10-2010, 11:22 AM   #11
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Uh, I don't call installing wine from your distro's repo and then installing ADE to be 'jumping through hoops.'
I meant this information, which was suggested to me in another MR thread. Some of the posts look a bit involved.

I have a fresh bad experience of a Windows application I tried to install with Wine (it installed but didn't work, the uninstaller failed, and I am still fixing file associations it changed). So I am a bit hesitant to install ADE with Wine. Before that, however, I will try on a Mac I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luqmaninbmore View Post
As for DRM ebooks, Kobo has released a linux client which will allow you to read books purchased from their store (you can also read them on-line on their website in your browser of choice). E-Reader.com has a linux client available as well.
That's interesting, thanks.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:42 AM   #12
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You use linux, strip the DRM. It is really trivial. If you're not willing to put in that much effort, you really shouldn't be using linux. The whole point of using linux is that you are willing to put in the work required to get it to work as you need it to, and the reward you get for that work is stratospheric productivity.

The whole point of DRM is to prevent you from consuming books in the fashion you would like to. That is fundamentally antithetical to the philosophy of open source. Strip the DRM, or even better dont read DRMed works.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:03 PM   #13
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If you can't buy the book though because you are using linux and it is something stupid like that digital editions crapola, then it is much more trivial to download one someone has already stripped the DRM from.

As opposed to screwing around with Wine, Python or whatever.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:02 PM   #14
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But you don't have to "screw around" with wine. Install Wine. Install ADE. It's that simple, at least these days.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:03 PM   #15
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This is on Ubuntu, BTW. It works as simply as I have described at least as far back as 8.10.
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