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Old 07-04-2021, 01:37 PM   #1
PeterT
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FSF Prioritizes Creation of a Free-Software eBook Reader, Urges Avoiding DRM eBooks

Seen on Slashdot https://news.slashdot.org/story/21/0...ing-drm-ebooks

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FSF Prioritizes Creation of a Free-Software eBook Reader, Urges Avoiding DRM eBooks
Since most ebook readers run some version of the kernel Linux (with some even run the GNU/Linux operating system), "This puts ebook readers a few steps closer to freedom than other devices," notes a recent call-to-action in the Free Software Foundation Bulletin.
But with e-ink screens and DRM-laden ebooks, "closing the gap will still require a significant amount of work."
Accordingly, as we announced at the LibrePlanet 2021 conference, we've decided this year to prioritize facilitating the process for an ebook reader to reach the high standards of our Respects Your Freedom (RYF) hardware certification program, whether this means adapting an existing one from a manufacturer, or even contracting its production ourselves...

The free software community has made some good strides in the area of freeing ebooks. Denis "GNUToo" Carikli has composed a page on the LibrePlanet wiki documenting the components of ebook readers and other single-board computers; this has laid the groundwork for our investigation into releasing an ebook reader, and is one of the wiki's more active projects. Also, earlier in the year, a user on the libreplanet-discuss mailing list documented their project to port Parabola GNU/Linux to the reMarkable tablet, thereby creating a free ebook reader at the same time. It's steps like these that make us feel confident that we can bring an ebook reader that respects its user's freedom to the public, both in terms of hardware and the software that's shipped with the device...

If the FSF is successful in landing RYF certification on an ebook reader, which I fully believe we will be, we can ensure that users will have the ability to read digitally while retaining their freedom.

It's up to all of us to make sure we have the right to read, by avoiding ebook DRM in each and every case, and celebrating free (as in freedom) resources like Wikibooks and the Internet Archive, bridging the divide between the movement for free software and the movement for free culture, empowering both readers and computer users around the globe.
The article also warns that ebook DRM has gotten more restrictive over the years. "It's common for textbooks to now require a constant and uninterrupted Internet connection, and that they load only a discrete number of pages at a time... Even libraries fell victim to 'lending' services like Canopy, putting an artificial lock on digital copies of books, the last place it makes sense for them to be."
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:54 PM   #2
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The problem is that if I was to stop buying eBooks with DRM, I'd be missing out on eBooks I want to read.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:42 PM   #3
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The problem isn't ereaders, It's Publishers (but not all of them) and Amazon. Amazon is ALSO a publisher as well as a retailer. Hence the evil KFX, where they encrypt even ebooks where the publisher ticked No DRM.
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Old 07-06-2021, 03:35 AM   #4
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Most publishers in Germany have forgone with DRM, however books from the US still have Adobe DRM. This often leads to a situation where the original language book has DRM and the German translation only has a watermark.
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Old 07-06-2021, 12:17 PM   #5
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Netherlands ditto. DRM begins to feel so obsolete. Although I doubt it will soon be abolished in the English-speaking market.
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Old 07-06-2021, 06:24 PM   #6
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Amazon is helping to keep DRM alive even if the publisher doesn't want DRM. KFX is laden with DRM that Amazon can change if it gets cracked. The problem is that Amazon is not respecting the wishes of the publishers and the publishers are not demeaning that there be no DRM.
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Old 10-29-2021, 12:57 PM   #7
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The article also warns that ebook DRM has gotten more restrictive over the years. "It's common for textbooks to now require a constant and uninterrupted Internet connection, and that they load only a discrete number of pages at a time...
Has this actually become a thing?

If so... here we are... and I got laughed at when I said almost 10 years ago that things like that would happen someday. "Nah, e-readers aren't connected to the internet all the time", "They won't do that because people want to read books in places where there's no internet", and so on.

I'm happy that I bought most of the books I wanted, maybe wanted and remotely possibly wanted between 2011 and 2014, when Kobo had those massive 50-90% sales back then. Even then, if I hadn't been able to strip DRM from those books, I wouldn't have bought them. If ADE 2.01 ever stops working and there isn't a DRM-free way to buy the books I'd want, I'll probably stop buying new books. I can count the ones I buy on two hands in the last few years anyway.

As I have over 1000 unread books, I'll be good for the next 20 years if I read a book a week. And in that case, I haven't even counted my 60 Delphi Classics, which each contain a bunch of books (sometimes up to 40 works) in a bundle.
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Old 10-29-2021, 02:34 PM   #8
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The Storytel ereader won't let you read at all without a current subscription.

See also how MS and especially Adobe want to sell only subscriptions that need the Internet for verification.
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Old 10-29-2021, 02:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
The Storytel ereader won't let you read at all without a current subscription.

See also how MS and especially Adobe want to sell only subscriptions that need the Internet for verification.
I worked at Adobe on this exact stuff, and I don’t think has changed. It only needs to reauthorize (via internet connection) once a month. You don’t need to be online to use the software.
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Old 10-29-2021, 02:44 PM   #10
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FSF are a bunch of clowns.
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Old 10-29-2021, 04:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tomsem View Post
I worked at Adobe on this exact stuff, and I don’t think has changed. It only needs to reauthorize (via internet connection) once a month. You don’t need to be online to use the software.
Is that a condition of purchase for that ereader? Golly that sucks.

After initial set up, I never put a kobo device back on the internet, I just use the cord into the laptop to update the firmware, and access calibre.
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Old 10-29-2021, 04:44 PM   #12
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I guess one way to get Amazon to take notice that it's drm sucks is to stop buying their ebooks. Yeah I still buy the odd ebook from amazon, so I'm also going to have to change my purchasing behaviour too. (The only reason I buy their ebooks is because I can still use tools to reformat them)

I don't buy anything else from them though, and don't ever intend to.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:56 PM   #13
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Is that a condition of purchase for that ereader? Golly that sucks.

After initial set up, I never put a kobo device back on the internet, I just use the cord into the laptop to update the firmware, and access calibre.
I believe we were talking about the Adobe application suites (Creative Cloud etc.), and associated subscription plans, not eReaders. At least I was.

Adobe also (and addressing a comparatively small fraction of their revenue) also does DRM for ebooks. I have not kept up with the newer variants of that, but I think one does require ‘calling home’ every time the book/document is opened. The use case for this would be corporate: you want to control access to some proprietary content and who gets to read what. It would be a non starter for consumer usage.
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Old 10-30-2021, 04:32 AM   #14
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Even then, if I hadn't been able to strip DRM from those books, I wouldn't have bought them. If ADE 2.01 ever stops working and there isn't a DRM-free way to buy the books I'd want, I'll probably stop buying new books.
You can use KOBODL, it works without the need to have ADE. It has a very nice UI as a bonus.
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Old 10-30-2021, 04:38 AM   #15
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You can use KOBODL.

You know you're old when you misread the above as COBOL
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