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Old 10-31-2007, 04:02 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Adobe coming to its senses: Move to DRM lite

There hasn't been much attention paid to Adobe Digital Editions lately, but apparently Adobe's engineers have been busy improving the software where improvement was clearly needed: they changed the way it operates on DRM-protected e-books.

What's been unknown to me before, there are actually two ways Adobe allows publishers to protect their content. One way is called "Easy Activiation", enabling the customer to read e-books on a single computer (the book gets essentially "tied" to that machine). The other option for the publisher is to use "Named Activation", which is giving the customer the option to read a purchased e-book on any computer or device. Instead of tieing the book to a computer, it's tied to the purchaser's Adobe ID which contains his personal information (you can compare this mechanism to how other popular e-book formats work, for instance eReader PDB).

So, the great news is, the next incarnation of Digital Edition (1.5) will exclusively support "Named Activiation." What's even better, previously purchased Adobe e-books that were using the overly restrictive "Easy Activation" license can now be converted to be using "Named Activiation", thus allowing you to read them on any computer or device you wish.

Jump over to the Digital Edition blog for more information.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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I wonder if this will help folks who bought ebooks in PDF form at Amazon and then lost access due to an upgrade? I don't know if it will help people who want to read on a platform Adobe doesn't directly support, though, e.g. the iLiad.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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I wonder if this will help folks who bought ebooks in PDF form at Amazon and then lost access due to an upgrade? I don't know if it will help people who want to read on a platform Adobe doesn't directly support, though, e.g. the iLiad.
They mention on their blog that you need to perform the conversion on the same machine you originally purchased and activated the e-book from.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:38 PM   #4
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I wonder if this will help folks who bought ebooks in PDF form at Amazon and then lost access due to an upgrade? I don't know if it will help people who want to read on a platform Adobe doesn't directly support, though, e.g. the iLiad.
The blog entry elaborates that it can convert the DRM on the old ones, but only on the computer they're "locked" to.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:08 PM   #5
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At least this is a step in the right direction. I bought a book for a course a while back and then found out I couldn't use it on my Tablet PC. Of course, even if I could have used it on the tablet, it was so restricted that I couldn't annotate it, which was the intent. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:52 PM   #6
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Is it me, or do they not have a complete listing of available titles. All I can find are the samples. I don't want to install ADE if their selection isn't worth the trouble.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:03 PM   #7
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Is it me, or do they not have a complete listing of available titles. All I can find are the samples. I don't want to install ADE if their selection isn't worth the trouble.
They are not the only source of epub ebooks. For example check feedbooks.

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Old 10-31-2007, 06:58 PM   #8
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Adobe Digital Editions is a dreadful piece of software. I hasn't worked for me, period -- forget the DRM -- through several versions and their support forum has been horrible. My deep suspicion is that they have the B team on this one across the board. It just doesn't seem well thought out.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LauretteBradley View Post
Adobe Digital Editions is a dreadful piece of software. I hasn't worked for me, period -- forget the DRM -- through several versions and their support forum has been horrible. My deep suspicion is that they have the B team on this one across the board. It just doesn't seem well thought out.
Can you give examples of what you dread about it? I'm curious. There are numerous things I like about it and some I don't, like not being able to bring multiple documents at a time such a complete collection.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:18 AM   #10
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Speaking of DE, I have questions for those who have a 505 and DE installed.
Since the 505 appears as USB drive on your computer, when you open Digital Editions does the Sony appear anywhere in?
When you select add documents in DE and that you go through your files, does the 505 appear as a drive? Can you change the content from DE? A note though, DE can only show PDF and Epub files. If you have some on your 505, can you see them?

I made the Sony eBook Library install but sadly there is still no way for DE to see the 500 yet.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:31 AM   #11
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DE works fine for me as does the support forum. To my mind it's a better piece of software than Acrobat Reader. I only wish it had a full screen mode.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:47 AM   #12
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DE works fine for me as does the support forum. To my mind it's a better piece of software than Acrobat Reader. I only wish it had a full screen mode.
Well, you can to some extent. It's not as total as Microsoft Reader but it works.

Once you've opened a book, in the READING menu, click 'Hide Navigation Pane' and then 'Custom Fit' and then fiddle with the 'zoom' mobile graphic menu. It's quite decent and even better if you have a large screen. Then you can navigate through the book with the keyboard arrows.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
What's been unknown to me before, there are actually two ways Adobe allows publishers to protect their content. One way is called "Easy Activiation", enabling the customer to read e-books on a single computer (the book gets essentially "tied" to that machine). The other option for the publisher is to use "Named Activation", which is giving the customer the option to read a purchased e-book on any computer or device. Instead of tieing the book to a computer, it's tied to the purchaser's Adobe ID which contains his personal information (you can compare this mechanism to how other popular e-book formats work, for instance eReader PDB).
Actually, there is only one DRM. The content can be downloaded to Adobe Reader or Adobe Digital Editions. In Adobe Reader 6 and 7, you could retain the "Easy Activation", which was automatically done the first time you download a DRM file, or you could activate using the "Named Activation", allowing you to transfer the file to other computers and devices that were activated using the same "Name".

When they released ADE1, it did not support Named Activation, so you were limited to locking the title to the computer you download it to. According to the blog, ADE1.5 will require named activation, thereby tying your downloads to your name, rather than your computer.

Basically, I just wanted to make the point that while it was semi-hidden, named activation and portability was always there in Adobe Reader 6 and 7 and it was your decision which method to use, not the decision of the person applying the DRM to the file.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:09 PM   #14
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Basically, I just wanted to make the point that while it was semi-hidden, named activation and portability was always there in Adobe Reader 6 and 7 and it was your decision which method to use, not the decision of the person applying the DRM to the file.
Cool, thanks for the clarification, cubitfx (and welcome to MobileRead! ). I'm gathering from reading between the lines that there was some sort of more restrictive setting that the distributer could choose. Here's the reference:
Quote:
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.
That line seems to be missing from the link that Alex posted, but you can find it here at the end of the second paragraph. That seems to be the only variance between the two versions of the post.
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