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Old 01-05-2023, 06:57 PM   #1
ownedbycats
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Amazon and DRM changes

Post updated February 5, 2023 - Added information about azw6 used in image-heavy books.

Post changelog:
Spoiler:
January 5, 2023 - Initial post
January 15, 2023 - Rewrote the post to be more clear & add information on Download & Transfer
January 25, 2023 - Rewrote the 'Don't Have a Kindle?' section to add several websites
January 26, 2023 - Added additional sites to 'Don't Have a Kindle?'



Amazon has made some changes to how books can be downloaded. This affects the removal of DRM from these so they can be backed up and sideloaded onto other devices.

Kindle for PC
  • Books published after January 3, 2023 cannot be downloaded using earlier versions (1.26 and prior) of Kindle for PC.
  • While the newest version (1.39) of Kindle for PC will download them, it will be in a version of KFX that DeDRM cannot break.
  • Except for books only available as KFX, books published before January 3 are still currently able to be downloaded in a format that can be DeDRM'd.
  • Books borrowed from Kindle Unlimited can still be downloaded on K4PC <1.26 if it was published before January 3.

Download and Transfer
  • If you have an e-Ink Kindle, "Download and Transfer" is still available for purchased books, regardless of when they were published. These files can be DeDRM'd.
  • However, books borrowed from Kindle Unlimited are not eligible for Download & Transfer. (Note that authors get paid per page read, which cannot be tracked if a KU book is read offline.)

Don't have a Kindle?
Here are some options if you absolutely must read that book published on January 4:
  • Check if the books are available on other websites that offer DRM-free or more easily-removed ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) DRM:
  • Overdrive allows borrowing books; if your local library's offerings are short, many libraries offer non-resident cards.
  • However, if you see a self-published/indie author's books offered on Kindle Unlimited, there's a good chance that they're using the KDP Select program, which offers higher royalties and listing on Kindle Unlimited in exchange for exclusivity.
  • If you decide to buy a Kindle to take advantage of download & transfer, make sure you get an e-Ink one! Not a Kindle Fire.

However, some advice:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
I commented previously on some of the possible issues that might arise in purchasing a Kindle for the purpose of obtaining files suitable for DRM removal. Here are my thoughts on which models would be the most desirable in case someone still wants to go ahead with that.

Given the recent restrictions on Download & Transfer I recommend obtaining a model that allows books to be downloaded to the device directly from Amazon over WiFi in KF8 format which can be accessed via USB.

I would avoid the 1st and 2nd generation Kindles and the DX. They only support the old MOBI format and may no longer be able to connect to Amazon.

The Kindle Keyboard (3rd gen), Kindle Touch (4th gen), and Kindle (4th & 5th gen) are workable. However they may require manually installed firmware updates to be usable. And as older models they are more likely to be cut off from service in the future.

The Paperwhite 1 (5th gen) is the most desirable option in my opinion. It is the newest model that does not support KFX format.

I would avoid newer models than that. Most of them support KFX out of the box that cannot be disabled. Some models that didn't can be reverted to older firmware that does not support KFX, but that requires jail breaking which is more difficult to set up and risks bricking the device.
However, for image-heavy books:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseen Entities View Post
2. If you want take titles from the kindle instead, you will probably want a 3rd or 4th gen device because image heavy books use azw6 files. The plugin for merging azw6 files doesnt currently support those and theyre lower quality B/W images anyway. More details from jhowell and Duckie in this post. Kindle Keyboard (3rd gen) and Touch(4th gen) are confirmed to not split files. I would assume a (non-touch) 4th gen would work too but havent seen anyone confirm it.
Original version of post:

Spoiler:

Amazon has made some changes that newly-published books can't be downloaded on earlier versions of Kindle for PC. This makes it very difficult (maybe impossible?) to strip the DRM from them without access to an e-Ink Kindle. While older books appear to be unaffected yet, I would not be surprised if that changed soon.

What are your thoughts on this?

Going to quote some posts from other threads:

Dealing with Kindle for PC/Mac 1.19 and KFX in calibre:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
Amazon has made a change to their service so the books published since Jan 3 2023 can no longer be downloaded using Kindle for PC versions prior to 1.39.

I have updated the first post in this thread to reflect this change.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stumped View Post
i can live with that, as I don't rush to buy newly released books,; but will amazon push that date gradually backwards ?

also, how is that affected, if at all, by owning various vintages of eink kindle?. I still have a paperwhite 3 (7th gen)- is that old enough to not support kfx? NO, says google:

[People also ask
Does Kindle Paperwhite support KFX?
Kindle KFX format is the successor to the azw3 format and released with the Kindle Paperwhite 3. ]


so the select transfer via USB to get azw trick will need a paperwhite 2 or older ?

I guess I need to find a free book published yesterday to test my options
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
While that is a possibility, I suspect that they are going to keep to a fixed date of books published since the beginning of this year. If they moved the date backward then previously purchased books would stop working and I doubt they want to deal with the customer service implications of that.



This change has no effect on e-ink Kindle owners, at least so far.

My worry is that Amazon might stop allowing Download and Transfer via USB for books published after a certain date. That feature is already unavailable for certain categories of books and for free samples. That change would leave only extracting books from the Kindle's storage using USB, which only works for Kindles running old firmware. Hopefully Amazon is reluctant to further disable downloads since Kindle owners who do not have Wi-Fi would complain.



It depends on the firmware version installed. If is has firmware prior to version 5.6.5 it does not support KFX. If the firmware is prior to 5.12.2 it supports KFX but DRM removal is possible. Newer than that and you may be out of luck if Download and Transfer goes away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
It's the way Amazon is going with KindleForPC/MAC. You will need a physical Kindle registered to your account to be able to download new Kindle eBooks. Either that or you start buying ePub and convert.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ownedbycats View Post
All this crap did was convince me not to purchase from Kindle anymore. If a book is exclusive there? Oh well, I didn't need to read it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lys View Post
Same, and the same sentiment was shared by all my friends who I informed about this change.

Oh well, I've enough of a back-log to last me a lifetime, I may even end up thanking Amazon to help me stop buying every ebook I see on a deal (who do I kid? I've already bought 5 ebooks on the kobo store since the start of the year )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
As long as there's a way to deDRM, I'll buy from Amazon (not exclusively from them, of course). I do still have a couple of older Kindles registered to my account. If it's no longer possible to deDRM Kindle books by any means, I'll stop buying them. I've never bought a single book I couldn't disinfect and I never will. My list of unread books is hundreds of kilometers long anyway, so I can live without Amazon exclusives.


standard guide for removing DRM for kindle book using calibre:


Quote:
Originally Posted by stumped View Post
Academic textbooks is a special case. Affects a tiny proportion 9f book buyers.
So Amazon have gotten away with new rules without much outcry.
But if Amazon imposed kfx only on all new fiction, then kindles older than paperwhite 3 would not work with those books.
Are there any figures for how many book buyers still rely on such older devices and would be disenfranchised?
I am thinking the only way they could do that is by offering a very cheap upgrade option for those people which 2ould be costly. Far more costly than what they lose due to ebook piracy ?

I don't think any kindle generation has been made obsolete yet ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I do not think Amazon would impose KFX only for old Kindles able to handle KF8 but not KFX. That would piss off a lot of customers.

I think Amazon may be switching to KFX only delivery on devices/software that can handle KFX. I hope I'm wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stumped View Post
Forcing an upgrade on pc and Mac could be a trial before doing something about kindles.

But if they offer a upgrade bribe only to owners of pw2 or older, that would piss off pw3 owners: And that would be a larger number .

the trade in, trade up offer for my pw3 is an unattractive £20, with no % discount on a newer model but I can't see the offers for models I don't own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
Any upgrade and trade offers have so far only been made to US customers, AFAIK. But there are thousands (tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?) of Kindle owners in other countries. What about them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Amazon is not offering upgrades. Amazon is making it more difficult to download KF8 to your computer for new eBooks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ownedbycats View Post
frankly, Amazon is big enough that they could probably afford to piss off all the old e-Ink readers by cutting them off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
I'm afraid you're right. But I do wonder, why would they want to do that? Is someone pressuring them? What would be their benefit in doing so?

Last edited by ownedbycats; Yesterday at 02:24 PM.
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Old 01-05-2023, 08:02 PM   #2
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Hm. So this means you cannot download newer books on computer from the download page like you could previously, then? That's how I used to do when used calibre. Making sure I'm getting it. If that's the case that's an awful change and may be a dealbreaker for some for future
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Old 01-05-2023, 08:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperbackstash View Post
Hm. So this means you cannot download newer books on computer from the download page like you could previously, then? That's how I used to do when used calibre. Making sure I'm getting it. If that's the case that's an awful change and may be a dealbreaker for some for future
Yes, you can (so far, at least). What you can't do is download them with an older Kindle for PC app. That's what most people did (for deDRM purposes) who don't have an eink Kindle device, but have another brand, like Kobo or Pocketbook.

The option to download a book from your Content and Devices page is there only if you have an eink Kindle registered to your account.
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Old 01-05-2023, 08:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
Yes, you can (so far, at least). What you can't do is download them with an older Kindle for PC app. That's what most people did (for deDRM purposes) who don't have an eink Kindle device, but have another brand, like Kobo or Pocketbook.

The option to download a book from your Content and Devices page is there only if you have an eink Kindle registered to your account.
Yes, pretty much this. I don't have a Kindle so I relied on Kindle for PC for downloading them to get into Calibre to sideload onto my Kobo.

Last edited by ownedbycats; 01-05-2023 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 01-05-2023, 08:44 PM   #5
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Amazon does away with download for usb in kf8 then my buying on average over 80 ebooks a year with them will stop.

bernie

Edit

I like my kindle but Kobo is for me the way better reading experience.
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Old 01-05-2023, 09:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbm View Post
Amazon does away with download for usb in kf8 then my buying on average over 80 ebooks a year with them will stop.
amazon has effectively done that to me by holding content & devices hostage behind dozens of 3rd party cookies that I will not unblock.

In an emergency I can download OTA on a kindle with firmware too low for KFX. But for the most part, I've had it with amazon's walled weed patch.
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Old 01-05-2023, 09:52 PM   #7
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No more Kindle books for me now. I'd sooner buy a feed scanner and a paper cutter...
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Old 01-05-2023, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ownedbycats View Post
Amazon has made some changes that newly-published books can't be downloaded on earlier versions of Kindle for PC.

What are your thoughts on this?
My thoughts were that I'd better cancel all my pre-orders just in case. I did this immediately. So sad, Amazon. Bricking up the few gaps in your wall will keep out more people than you keep in.

I started out with a Nook, buying books from Barnes and Noble. I ditched them as soon as they made it quite difficult to download books to a PC for side-loading to a reader.

I've been worried that Amazon would go the same route. Oh well.
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:32 PM   #9
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My wallet will thank me I guess, as I see myself buying many fewer books.

I can still go along for a bit, until they block 1.17 from downloading books at all.
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:49 PM   #10
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Man this is annoying there are a bunch of books I am reading that are only available via Amazon (at least to my knowledge) and this will mean that although I could read them on my Android device, that option however lacks the format capabilities I am used to.
Hopefully there is a viable workaround, I am happy to purchase the books, but only if I can read them in a way that is convenient to do so,
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:54 PM   #11
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Hopefully there is a viable workaround...
Only one at the moment: owning an actual eink Kindle device. Whether there will be other workarounds, no idea. I certainly hope so.
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
Only one at the moment: owning an actual eink Kindle device. Whether there will be other workarounds, no idea. I certainly hope so.
I assume you mean something like the PaperWhite (this is just to ensure that I have it right in my head)
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Old 01-06-2023, 12:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
Only one at the moment: owning an actual eink Kindle device. Whether there will be other workarounds, no idea. I certainly hope so.
Unfortunately, every time DeDRM (now NoDRM) managed to break the KFX DRM, Amazon changed it (if the rumour is correct, sometimes within hours).
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Old 01-06-2023, 12:08 AM   #14
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Any e-ink kindle--even one with a cracked screen will do, the older the better, since the old one can't read kfx.

Until recently I downloaded newspapers "for" my registered Kindle 1! (I don't know where the machine is, but it doesn't matter. (I wanted the older newpaper format.)

I took a quick look at ebay and saw one for $20 (Kindle touch, gen 4).

In fact, there is one for $12, listed as parts-only but it probably can be registered on Amazon manually.
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Old 01-06-2023, 12:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slm View Post
Any e-ink kindle--even one with a cracked screen will do, the older the better, since the old one can't read kfx.

Until recently I downloaded newspapers "for" my registered Kindle 1! (I don't know where the machine is, but it doesn't matter. (I wanted the older newpaper format.)

I took a quick look at ebay and saw one for $20 (Kindle touch, gen 4).

In fact, there is one for $12, listed as parts-only but it probably can be registered on Amazon manually.
Manual registration was disabled years ago. So no, a cracked screen won't do. You must be able to register the Kindle via wifi.
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