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Old 05-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #1
i8abug
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Are DRM books with check in/check out allowed?

Hi,

I am interested in setting up a library for technical books at work. I would like to be able to buy ebooks and then have them available in my office for users to check in/check out. It should be just like physical books (so once a book is checked out, it is not available to other users).

1) Is this legal?
2)Is this possible with Calibre?

Thanks
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i8abug View Post
Hi,

I am interested in setting up a library for technical books at work. I would like to be able to buy ebooks and then have them available in my office for users to check in/check out. It should be just like physical books (so once a book is checked out, it is not available to other users).

1) Is this legal?
2)Is this possible with Calibre?

Thanks
Welcome to MR

1) books with DRM can only be read on registered devices (there is a limited count). Removing the DRM is questionable in many countries. Having multiple uncontrolled copies is almost always illegal.

Get a bunch of registered readers, and lend one of the ones that the book works with (careful account<->book assignment planning needed if 4 or more be needed)

2) Calibre does not have a check in-out option.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
kovidgoyal
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1) you'd have to ask a lawyer

2) Not out of the box, but it would be a relatively simple patch to the calibre content server code to have this kind of functionality. Basically you'd maintain a list of "checked out" books and not have an error message when the user tries to get it from the server. You'd also have to write an interface to "return" the book. But be aware that this system has no way of preventing someone who checks out a book from copying it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
i8abug
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Thank you for the responses. It might be possible to do a patch but probably more effort than it is worth. I'm going see if I can find another solution.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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As long as you don't mind linking several Kindles/Kindle apps to the same account, you should be able to share books across them. If you charge the account with vouchers instead of linking it to a credit card, you'd be safe from users going on a spending spree.
1. No need to touch DRM, you can use Calibre for managing (but not converting) the books, people can either borrow kindle devices loaded with the entire library (or part of it), or load books into Kindle apps.
2. Amazon support should be able to confirm that this works, and they'll be able to tell you how many devices/apps you can link to the same account
3. It might work with other DRM/Reader combinations as well, you'd have to check with the vendors
4. In my experience, Kindles (possibly eReaders in general) are great for reading books front to end, but don't work well with technical books - flipping backwards and forwards to re-read definitions etc is lousy, diagrams and drawings don't look great.
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