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Old 09-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
diefalkter
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Kobo's proprietary Kepub DRM defeated?

It says in your wiki that Kobo's proprietary Kepub DRM has been defeated and there are some new tools to remove it. Does anyone know more details about this? It'd be really nice to liberate a few books I bought from them so I could read and manage them with Calibre on my Linux laptop. I tried the unofficial Linux version of their desktop but never could get it working right. It's a real dick move by Kobo to not offer Adept versions of some books and not even mention anywhere that's the case so you could avoid buying those.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by diefalkter View Post
..It's a real dick move by Kobo to not offer Adept versions of some books and not even mention anywhere that's the case so you could avoid buying those.
I was going to buy a Kobo book today for the first time, until I figured out I might not get a real EPUB. I noticed I can put samples in my online library, and only some of them have an EPUB download link. I'm not interested in yet another DRM format, and even worse, paying without knowing what DRM may or may not be involved.
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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I was going to buy a Kobo book today for the first time, until I figured out I might not get a real EPUB. I noticed I can put samples in my online library, and only some of them have an EPUB download link. I'm not interested in yet another DRM format, and even worse, paying without knowing what DRM may or may not be involved.
If you buy a book from Kobo, unless it is a pdf, you can either sync your Kobo (if you have it) to get the Kepub version, which uses a different renderer; or you can download an EPUB version of the same, that you can then sideload to your Kobo (or you can do both). So buying from Kobo won't force you to abandon EPUB books.
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by diefalkter View Post
It says in your wiki that Kobo's proprietary Kepub DRM has been defeated and there are some new tools to remove it. Does anyone know more details about this?
be warned that we are not allowed to discuss DRM removal issues on MR
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ectoplasm View Post
I was going to buy a Kobo book today for the first time, until I figured out I might not get a real EPUB. I noticed I can put samples in my online library, and only some of them have an EPUB download link. I'm not interested in yet another DRM format, and even worse, paying without knowing what DRM may or may not be involved.
Paola covered this already, but just in case it's your first time buying ebooks from an epub-centered vendor and you're initially as confused as I was:

If you buy an epub with DRM, you typically download an .ascm file from the vendor's site that you then open in Adobe Digital Editions, which then downloads the appropriate epub file (with DRM). If Apprentice Alf lives in Calibre land, then you can import that epub file just fine and process or convert it as you see fit. Without Calibre, you can also open it with any epub reader that supports Adobe DRM.

kepub is an enhanced epub format that is used by the Kobo readers, and the format that is used when files are sent to your Kobo reader or your Kobo app during the syncing process (mostly only useful if you don't use Calibre). It's actually quite nice and I set up Calibre to export in kepub format when I send books to my Glo (and epub when I send to the Nexus).
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by diefalkter View Post
It says in your wiki that Kobo's proprietary Kepub DRM has been defeated and there are some new tools to remove it. Does anyone know more details about this?
There's a bit more info in this thread, but I haven't used it myself.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by paola View Post
If you buy a book from Kobo, unless it is a pdf, you can either sync your Kobo (if you have it) to get the Kepub version, which uses a different renderer; or you can download an EPUB version of the same, that you can then sideload to your Kobo (or you can do both). So buying from Kobo won't force you to abandon EPUB books.
I think the point is recently some can't download the EPUB version:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=222568
and apparently can only get the Kepub through a Kobo reader.

Another example:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=98

I don't want to find out after making a purchase that I can only get a kepub. If it was only a delay, that would be one thing, but it's not clear if that is the case.

Edit: For what it's worth, I decided to take my chances due to the 50% off promo, and for my first book, I got an EPUB download link that I could use with Adobe Digital Editions, so I'm satisfied so far.

Last edited by ectoplasm; 09-15-2013 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ectoplasm View Post
I think the point is recently some can't download the EPUB version:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=222568
and apparently can only get the Kepub through a Kobo reader.

Another example:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=98

I don't want to find out after making a purchase that I can only get a kepub. If it was only a delay, that would be one thing, but it's not clear if that is the case.

Edit: For what it's worth, I decided to take my chances due to the 50% off promo, and for my first book, I got an EPUB download link that I could use with Adobe Digital Editions, so I'm satisfied so far.
I think I've read somewhere else that some new releases are only available as a kepub because it takes some time to deal with something related to the epub, but not long after one should be able to see the epub file available in the Kobo purchase history.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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There's a bit more info in this thread, but I haven't used it myself.
Thank you very much indeed, this will do very nicely. We do have Windows machines in the family that I can use for this job.

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be warned that we are not allowed to discuss DRM removal issues on MR
Well, pardon me if I've made a blunder by bringing this up, but if it can be mentioned in the site wiki then the topic doesn't seem like it's a total taboo. In any case I wasn't necessarily looking for direct links, just a general idea of where to look and what to expect.

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I think I've read somewhere else that some new releases are only available as a kepub because it takes some time to deal with something related to the epub, but not long after one should be able to see the epub file available in the Kobo purchase history.
Then they should friggin say so on the book page, because they can't expect people to go checking there weeks after purchase, especially when it's only a "maybe" anyway. Besides it's my understanding that Kepub is an extension on top of Epub, and publishers would obviously make a normal Epub first because they're not selling only at Kobo. Only after that would either they themselves or the Kobo guys convert it into a Kepub. So realistically the situation where the Epub isn't there to make available right away never happens, is just a lame excuse they've made up.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by diefalkter View Post
Besides it's my understanding that Kepub is an extension on top of Epub, and publishers would obviously make a normal Epub first because they're not selling only at Kobo. Only after that would either they themselves or the Kobo guys convert it into a Kepub. So realistically the situation where the Epub isn't there to make available right away never happens, is just a lame excuse they've made up.
I really don't have time right now to search the forum for that but if memory serves the epub files could be delayed because of external agreements or compliance whether just had to be approved by Kobo. But on those technicalities my memory and my understanding are not the surest things.
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by paola View Post
be warned that we are not allowed to discuss DRM removal issues on MR
Quote:
Originally Posted by diefalkter View Post
...Well, pardon me if I've made a blunder by bringing this up, but if it can be mentioned in the site wiki then the topic doesn't seem like it's a total taboo. In any case I wasn't necessarily looking for direct links, just a general idea of where to look and what to expect....
paola was just offering some friendly advice. The issue of DRM removal is one about which we step very lightly here at MobileRead. From Section 8 of the Posting Guidelines (my emphasis):

Quote:
It is our policy that while DRM removal may be discussed in the abstract, providing detailed how-to instructions, uploading of DRM-removal tools, or linking to sites where these tools or detailed instructions are provided is forbidden at MobileRead.

Further information on our policy on copyright, uploads and DRM can be found here.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 09-16-2013 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #12
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paola was just offering some friendly advice. The issue of DRM removal is one about which we step very lightly here at MobileRead. From Section 8 of the Posting Guidelines (my emphasis):
Well, if you're emphasizing that point because I said "more details" in my first post, what I meant was stuff like confirmation that such tools indeed exist and can do the job, and maybe what platforms they work on, which seems sufficiently abstract to me. I know many sites are wary of the rights holders mafia, so like I already said I wasn't expecting any direct links. I looked around and Apprentice Alf is mentioned around here all the time, so general directions are clearly OK to ask for and give. I'm on Linux so it's a safe bet don't need detailed instructions for using simple tools. So if you're making a general point about the rules - sure why not remind people; but if you're directing it at me, I don't really see what for. I don't think there was anything out of bounds in my reply to paola basically minimodding me. "May be discussed in the abstract" = not a total taboo. I'm not looking to antagonize you or anything, I'm just a little baffled why you feel I needed to be warned.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by diefalkter View Post
Well, if you're emphasizing that point because I said "more details" in my first post, what I meant was stuff like confirmation that such tools indeed exist and can do the job, and maybe what platforms they work on, which seems sufficiently abstract to me. I know many sites are wary of the rights holders mafia, so like I already said I wasn't expecting any direct links. I looked around and Apprentice Alf is mentioned around here all the time, so general directions are clearly OK to ask for and give. I'm on Linux so it's a safe bet don't need detailed instructions for using simple tools. So if you're making a general point about the rules - sure why not remind people; but if you're directing it at me, I don't really see what for. I don't think there was anything out of bounds in my reply to paola basically minimodding me. "May be discussed in the abstract" = not a total taboo. I'm not looking to antagonize you or anything, I'm just a little baffled why you feel I needed to be warned.
Unfortunately while you and I might not be targeted by various rights holders, MobileRead is a much bigger target.

Thus such indirect references as "search for Apprentice Alf" or search for "obok and python" seem to be permitted but giving a direct link to DRM removal sites/tools would be forbidden, as would posting a step by step guide to removing DRM using any tools.

If nothing else, do we really want to see MobileRead being targeted for a DMCA complaint and potentially shut down?

I must admit that I have played with many DRM removal tools just to see how they work. I tend to avoid DRM protected content when I can -- if nothing else, there are too many historical examples of people losing access to their collections when a particular DRM scheme has been discontinued. Or in the case of Microsoft's MSN Music being unable to move their collection to a newer computer when the key servers were shutdown.

Regards,
David
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #14
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I recently checked with Alexander Turic because someone had asked me on another forum how to change account details to another country in order to order books either not available to them or not available at prices they wanted. I checked because my read on this was that telling people explicitly how to circumvent geographical limitations seemed very much like telling people how to remove drm. This was his take on it as well.

My conclusion was that MR is serious when they say will not be a source of information about how to do things that may be illegal or which violate agreements with book sellers or publishers as expressed in Terms of Use or other agreements we may make when setting up accounts.

I don't blame them for being careful.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:59 PM   #15
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I checked because my read on this was that telling people explicitly how to circumvent geographical limitations seemed very much like telling people how to remove drm. This was his take on it as well..
I feel that these are fundamentally different.

Removing DRM is essentially illegal in the US and in most countries of the EU. We may not agree with this, but it is what it is. Bypassing geographical restrictions by using means such as VPN is, as far as I know, not illegal anywhere in the western world. It is as legal as outsourcing jobs to development countries.

Vendors may try to criminalize this for reasons of wanting to maximize profit and control, but Amazon does not yet make laws. Amazon's TOS should remain limited to Amazon's site.
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