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Old 09-25-2014, 12:59 AM   #1
Eric Carroll
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John Scalzi Lock-In not downloadable in epub format

John Scalzi is an author I love, and supports the DRM free movement.

His new book Lock-In listing specifically claims the book is in "DRM free" format as I expected.

But when I bought it, there was no Download epub button.

In talking to customer support they claimed this was due to it being an epub3 format.

When I challenged them on the DRM free point, they claimed it was the "new epub3 format", and that "epub3 format does not support download or sideloading".

I think this is bafflegab from customer service. I see no technical reason epub3 cannot be sideloaded. I demanded a refund as a result. Customer service told me to look for the blackberry icon to confirm Adobe DRM format download capability (even though this title is supposed to be DRM free).

Historically no download button meant kepub format (and a fast demand for refund from me).

Does anyone know what is actually going on here? Why is a DRM free book not available for epub download?

Last edited by Eric Carroll; 09-25-2014 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:25 AM   #2
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Well, I was able to purchase and download DRM free from eBooks.com.

It was simple, painless and, amazingly, $2 cheaper.

No spurious FUD about epub3 format.

I have been a devoted Kobo customer since their first ereader. This now seems in danger. I hope they smarten up.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:28 AM   #3
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It's one of the books in the Kobo store made available only in their kePub format with no alternate download options (most books have an alternate download, but it seems kePub only titles are increasing, or at least reports of them). It can only be downloaded with a Kobo device or app. What some do is use the Kobo desktop software to download and get the file where they can add it to Calibre and turn it into a "regular" ePub.

This article talks about how a person can tell ahead of time if a book will have an alternate download...
http://dearauthor.com/ebooks/making-...be-downloaded/
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Carroll View Post
John Scalzi is an author I love, and supports the DRM free movement.

His new book Lock-In listing specifically claims the book is in "DRM free" format as I expected.

But when I bought it, there was no Download epub button.

In talking to customer support they claimed this was due to it being an epub3 format.

When I challenged them on the DRM free point, they claimed it was the "new epub3 format", and that "epub3 format does not support download or sideloading".

I think this is bafflegab from customer service. I see no technical reason epub3 cannot be sideloaded. I demanded a refund as a result. Customer service told me to look for the blackberry icon to confirm Adobe DRM format download capability (even though this title is supposed to be DRM free).

Historically no download button meant kepub format (and a fast demand for refund from me).

Does anyone know what is actually going on here? Why is a DRM free book not available for epub download?
For the most part, if the ebook claims to be a version 3.0 ebook, that makes it an epub3. The ACCESS Netfront renderer used by .kepub.epub is epub3 (mostly) compliant but the RMSDK version used for .epub is not.

If the book is DRM free, you can download the kepub using the desktop app and locate the ebook on your computer. What I do then is to copy it to a temporary location and add a .epub to the file name. You can then try adding it to Calibre or opening it in Sigil or with an epub reader application. So far the only kepub I've done that to that generated an incredible mass of error message from Sigil was a cookbook. No mention on the webpage that it was a fixed layout ebook.

You could try downloading a couple of previews since I haven't noticed them being DRMed just to play with. The ModifyEpub plugin for Calibre will clean up a lot of excess spans and other oddments Kobo adds to a .kepub to save some effort with Sigil or Calibre's editor.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Carroll View Post
When I challenged them on the DRM free point, they claimed it was the "new epub3 format", and that "epub3 format does not support download or sideloading".
I wonder if this is an official policy change from Kobo?

Does Kobo no longer officially support the downloading of eBooks?
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murg View Post
I wonder if this is an official policy change from Kobo?

Does Kobo no longer officially support the downloading of eBooks?
Ii seems to be up to the publisher: The UK edition of Scalzi's Lock In is published by Orion and it has a download option. The US edition is published by Tor and has no download option.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:47 AM   #7
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It seems that some publishers are publishing in ePub 3 (for no good reason) as they do not use any of the ePub 3 features that ePub 2 doesn't have. So Kobo in their infinite stupidity decided that ePub 3 should be kepub so it's used with Access and not ADE. if Kobo keeps doing this and publishers keep publishing ePub 3 (for not reason at all), then Kobo will be putting out a lot more kepub only releases.

Tor is making ePub 3 these days and I took a look at another recent Tor eBook (Dragon Age: Last Flight) that was published as ePub 3 and sure enough, it's kepub at Kobo.

Last edited by JSWolf; 09-25-2014 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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I'm not happy on this move by Kobo. I've had two books purchased lately that aren't downloadable. If they were up front about it that would be better but as far as I can tell there's no way to learn if a book will support downloading or Adobe Digital Editions until you purchase it.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by baochan View Post
I'm not happy on this move by Kobo. I've had two books purchased lately that aren't downloadable. If they were up front about it that would be better but as far as I can tell there's no way to learn if a book will support downloading or Adobe Digital Editions until you purchase it.
There is a way to tell. One sure way to tell is to select the sample and then go to your library. If it says Adobe DRM EPUB next to the sample, it is not a kepub.
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
For the most part, if the ebook claims to be a version 3.0 ebook, that makes it an epub3. The ACCESS Netfront renderer used by .kepub.epub is epub3 (mostly) compliant but the RMSDK version used for .epub is not.

If the book is DRM free, you can download the kepub using the desktop app and locate the ebook on your computer. What I do then is to copy it to a temporary location and add a .epub to the file name. You can then try adding it to Calibre or opening it in Sigil or with an epub reader application. So far the only kepub I've done that to that generated an incredible mass of error message from Sigil was a cookbook. No mention on the webpage that it was a fixed layout ebook.

You could try downloading a couple of previews since I haven't noticed them being DRMed just to play with. The ModifyEpub plugin for Calibre will clean up a lot of excess spans and other oddments Kobo adds to a .kepub to save some effort with Sigil or Calibre's editor.
If you use calibre, this might be an easier option:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/0...es-wont-allow/

It doesn't work for me, but I've heard it does work.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:25 PM   #11
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If I install the Kobo Desktop program, does it use up any of my ADE registrations?
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
If I install the Kobo Desktop program, does it use up any of my ADE registrations?
No.

And I got it to work. All that was required was that I delete and reinstall the Kobo app.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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No.

And I got it to work. All that was required was that I delete and reinstall the Kobo app.
Thanks. I'll have to give it a go then.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:38 PM   #14
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The Kobo Desktop has no relation at all with ADE.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:43 PM   #15
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The Kobo Desktop has no relation at all with ADE.
Yes, but some apps require an ADE registration in order to handle the DRM. Kobo is cheap, so they do the DRM in-house to avoid paying fees to Adobe.
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