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Old 10-16-2016, 08:53 PM   #1
Jean
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The advisability of stripping DRM - a cautionary tale

Speaking to the importance of removing DRM from your purchases..........

I own a K1 that I purchased in January 2008 that still works perfectly. I have spent the last 8 years buying a very large number of books from Amazon.

Sometime during the previous summer (July?) Amazon removed my ability to download these books for my K1 saying they "weren't compatible" with my K1. I can't download them to my computer or transfer them wirelessly to the K1. They are all "incompatible" even though some of them are currently on my K1 and are all novels comprised of text only - no complicated formatting. 300 ebooks out of 540 Total and over $1100.00 USD all of which would have been inaccessible had I not made a practice of routinely stripping the DRM from them.

Had I not also owned a Kindle Fire my only recourse would have been to purchase a new Kindle in order to access my books.

Your’s could be the next device Amazon decides in no longer compatible with your already purchased books.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:34 PM   #2
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Odd. I don't recall ever having heard of this happening to anyone before. Are these books that have been updated by the publisher at some point with something added to make it incompatible? Can you share any of the titles that have been made incompatible? It would be interesting to do further research.

As you say definitely a good idea to have DRM-free backups of all your stuff. Hopefully this doesn't become a more widespread issue for folks. With over 10,000 books in my Amazon library I don't know of any that have become incompatible with anything, but I don't have a K1 (my oldest is a K2).
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:40 PM   #3
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Didn't Amazon roll out upgrades to the readers this year related to wifi, saying you'd no longer be able to download books until the update was applied?
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
Didn't Amazon roll out upgrades to the readers this year related to wifi, saying you'd no longer be able to download books until the update was applied?
Yes. I believe it should still be possible to get the upgrade, but you'd have to look for it. I upgraded during the "nag" period and my Kindle service was never interrupted.

Of course, I also have Kindle for PC and download almost all my purchases that way. I rarely use the physical Kindle, but there are occasional files that I have to download to the PC by the "load via USB" option -- occasional issues of F&SF, for example. For that option to be available you'd need to have upgraded the Kindle.
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:53 PM   #5
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I thought that might be the case so I applied the wifi update. I received a notification the wifi was updated but I can still not access those 300 books (except for the DRM stripped versions on Calibre). To test that the wireless actually was working I wirelessly downloaded a couple books that were considered compatible.

Amazon applied a list of compatible devices for many (all?) books in their catalog and apparently they didn't think the K1 was important enough to include.

I called Amazon and they "helpfully" pointed out that the K1 was an incompatible device so of course I couldn't download them - totally ignoring the fact I had been downloading those very same books for the last 8 years. The also pointed out that since I own a Kindle Fire it wasn't an issue anyway - again ignoring the fact I may prefer to read on my K1.

Last edited by Jean; 10-17-2016 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:58 PM   #6
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Also in order to strip the DRM from a book you need to download it to your computer and you need to choose a device you are downloading it for. I used to specify my K1 (which is no longer an option for many of my books) because you can't download a book for the Fire.

I am now using Kindle for PC to download my books to and uploading to Calibre from there.
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:29 AM   #7
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I mentioned this issue in another thread, i.e. I had been using my old original kindle as the device when I downloaded to my mac. Basically, they now have compatible devices and the older devices don't support the new AZW3 format. I suspect the question of downloading an ebook depends on if it's been updated to the new format or not, i.e. the publisher has updated the book for some reason or another. I generally get 2 or 3 book updated notices a week.

My solution was to buy a new Kindle. While I normally read on my iPad, having a light, long battery book is useful in some situations such as backpacking. All my ebooks are format shifted to epub so I can read them on my iPad.

There are a lot of reasons to remove DRM and keep backup copies. Ebook stores going out of business, changing devices, etc...
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:09 AM   #8
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The other solution for being able to read on older Kindle's, as you have already discovered, is just to use Kindle for PC to download them and put them in Calibre. A lot of people do that even if they own current model Kindle's.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:36 AM   #9
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Are you sure you are not somehow getting KF8 versions which are not compatible with a K1?
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:27 AM   #10
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Question: can no longer download ebooks from Amazon's website to a PC for transfer to K1 (because of a claim of incompatibility), or cannot dowload them directly to the K1 via the K1 (or send to K1)? I would be very surprised if it were both.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-17-2016 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:28 AM   #11
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Also in order to strip the DRM from a book you need to download it to your computer and you need to choose a device you are downloading it for.
Nope. You can also pull the file directly from your K1 and remove the DRM.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-17-2016 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #12
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The other solution for being able to read on older Kindle's, as you have already discovered, is just to use Kindle for PC to download them and put them in Calibre. A lot of people do that even if they own current model Kindle's.
That's how people without Kindles (like myself) do it.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:31 PM   #13
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It sounds to me like you are getting the ebooks in the new Kindle format.

From what I remember reading a little while back (weeks), if you download from Amazon in a particular way, you can avoid getting the new Kindle format.

I think it was via Kindle For PC, which you then copied to your Kindle manually or with Calibre, and then your just synced to authorize those copies. Something like that.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:39 PM   #14
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I can't connect to wireless at the house which is why I always used to download to my computer and sideload. Next time I go into town I'll take my kindle with me and see if I can download an otherwise incompatable book wirelessly.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:41 PM   #15
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It will be some work but can you go to manage your kindle and send the books to your computer?
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