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Old 11-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #1
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Kobo Adobe Epub is a Kepub instead

I purchaed and downloaded a book from Kobo. However, the file I got appears to be a specially formatted kepub. By that, I mean it uses a kobo.css file, as well as a kobo.js javascript file, which I've never seen in epubs before. Is this a mistake I can get Kobo CS to correct?
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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Which book is it? Is it maybe one that is for the Vox only?
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Don't think so...

Thirteen Orphans by Jane Lindskold
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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If you go to the Purchased section of your library on kobobooks.com, is there a download ePUB button? That is what should produce the Adobe ADE version of the book. You should get an ascm link that will then open in your desktop Adobe ADE software.

If you have gone through this process, but the download book is giving you a kepub (Kobo ePUB) in error, you will have to start a help ticket. Chances are they will have to contact the publisher and have a new file sent to them, which (in my limited experience) can take awhile. If that is indeed the case, and you do not want the kepub book, ask for a refund.

BTW, I purchased a book and what was supposed to be the ADE ePUB was an audio book file. The Publisher had provided/uploaded the wrong file format.

Kepub books are ePUBs with Kobo's own proprietary DRM. These are the books that sync with the Kobo servers across devices. Kobo has to pay a users fee (approximately 20 cents i have heard) to Adobe for ePUBs that go through the Adobe servers for application of that DRM.

Last edited by taming; 11-19-2011 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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If you go to the Purchased section of your library on kobobooks.com, is there a download ePUB button? That is what should produce the Adobe ADE version of the book. You should get an ascm link that will then open in your desktop Adobe ADE software.

If you have gone through this process, but the download book is giving you a kepub (Kobo ePUB) in error, you will have to start a help ticket. Chances are they will have to contact the publisher and have a new file sent to them, which (in my limited experience) can take awhile. If that is indeed the case, and you do not want the kepub book, ask for a refund.

BTW, I purchased a book and what was supposed to be the ADE ePUB was an audio book file. The Publisher had provided/uploaded the wrong file format.

Kepub books are ePUBs with Kobo's own proprietary DRM. These are the books that sync with the Kobo servers across devices. Kobo has to pay a users fee (approximately 20 cents i have heard) to Adobe for ePUBs that go through the Adobe servers for application of that DRM.
Well, that's the interesting part here. It's a kepub in content (with all the kobo specific styling and Javascript. I doubt that comes form the publisher), but it was adobe DRM (at least, it was downloaded with ADE, and decrypted with inept.) Most strange.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:22 PM   #6
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Actually, it appears that the publisher prepares the book's DRM and sends the "completed" files to the seller (in this case Kobo). Publishers cite the fact that they have to prepare books in so many different ways as one of the reason eBook prices are higher than folks think they should be.

That said, I am sure there are also situations in which Kobo adds the drm <shrug>.

Did the book transfer and open, does it act like other ADE books, or like a kepub? Kobo also has a division that does the work to turn a pBook into an eBook. We saw those folks in action when Giller Prize nominees that were not available that way had this done for them by Kobo. In any case, I would expect the CSS files etc to be kobo files.

Last edited by taming; 11-19-2011 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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Of the few dozen I've purchased, this is the first time I've seen anythign Kobo in an epub. It doesn't work in all reader applications because the formattign depends on the javascript to work. I've fixed my own copy now and am happy with the result. I'll leave it up to kobo if they want to be bothered figuring out what they are selling to people.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:40 PM   #8
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Well, then let them know directly, I guess. this isn't an official Kobo support site so it may or may not be seen by someone who does this sort of thing for Kobo.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:18 PM   #9
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I just purchased Master and Commander and it has the same problem. It was Adobe DRM, which was removed easily, but the formatting is all wonky when viewed in Bluefire or iBooks. Do you mind saying what you did to fix this.

I certainly won't be buying any more Kobo books, not when they bend CSS in this way.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:17 PM   #10
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I just purchased Master and Commander and it has the same problem. It was Adobe DRM, which was removed easily, but the formatting is all wonky when viewed in Bluefire or iBooks. Do you mind saying what you did to fix this.

I certainly won't be buying any more Kobo books, not when they bend CSS in this way.
I wrote my own css. It's still not quite perfect, since there are lots of styles left in the wonky css unused, and every xhtml page still refers to a javascript file (that I ripped out), but it reads all right.

As expected, notifying Kobo by means of customer support is hardly going to reach someone who knows what the hell a Kepub is vs Epub. Though certainly if someone with more patience than me wishes to, someone should let them know.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:21 AM   #11
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I have opened a ticket with Kobo - and await their response. So far their advice has been to use their app (which I don't care to do, for many reasons). It is being escalated beyond their first and second tier of support operatives.

We shall see what happens. If this is their way forward though, then they have lost my custom. I don't want books tied to a vendor by software/CSS lock in. That is worse than DRM. Far worse than DRM. Most DRM is a wrapper that doesn't affect the content, only access to the content. This is akin to a music vendor introducing noise into a MP3 file that only their app strips out. Pollution of the content. Nasty.

Pretty disappointing really.

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Old 12-23-2011, 09:37 AM   #12
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We shall see what happens. If this is their way forward though, then they have lost my custom.
I have purchased roughly 150 books from the Kobo website. I use the kepub formats because I read on my Touch, my phone, and now on the Vox, so the syncing is important to me. My husband only reads ePUBs which have magically become DRM free before they land on his Kobo WiFi.

Out of the 150 books, I had one that was basically unreadable in kepub format. It was fine as an Adobe ePUB without DRM. I had another book that was fine as a kepub, but unusable in Adobe ADE or as a DRM free book. In both instances, the publisher needed to send Kobo new files. This is not a Kobo only issue of course--pretty much every on-line site has, from time to time, had the publisher provide a wonky file, or a file in the wrong format for that particular seller (which was the issue with my second example).

It's rotten when you run into this sort of thing. However, Kobo isn't trying to get one over on you and it is not the precursor of a catastrophic event in the future. It's just a bad file.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:24 PM   #13
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As I see yet another e-book focused blog pick this up, it dawns on me: I really need to start me one of these blog thingies... that's just frighteningly efficient.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:54 PM   #14
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To be clear, I don't think that this is the result of an evil plot by Kobo, more the result of a changes being implemented with insufficient testing.

Teleread have picked up the blog post I wrote about it and lively discussion is ensuing there...
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #15
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You have though continued to extrapolate from your experience with one book to something else that you find objectionable. Teleread is very good (or very bad) about printing almost anything a person send to them as a link. I had one of my postings appear there that way as well .
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