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Old 04-26-2009, 02:56 AM   #1
AlexBell
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How does one tell if an ebook is DRM'd?

I broke my Cybook a couple of days ago and am waiting for my next one to arrive. While I am waiting I plan on removing DRM from my ebooks so that I can read them on the new Cybook without having to download them again.

I have a lot of ebooks, and unfortunately did not keep a record of whether they have DRM or not. Some I know do, some I know do not, and some I'm not sure.

Is there a simple way of checking?

I know I can try to reformat the books through Calibre, and Calibre will tell me if it cannot proceed if the book has DRM. But it's cumbersome, and if the book can be reformatted I have a copy in a format I don't want.

I've been advised to try to read the book in FBReader, but haven't been to find it.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:15 AM   #2
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Try my Python script, kindledrm.py, see Kindle Books From Amazon Without DRM. This works for AZW and MOBI DRM.

You can instead try to view the MOBIs in Calibre or FBReader. Note that FBReader will fail on MOBIs with MOBI-specific high compression.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:46 AM   #3
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Thanks, Wallcraft, that's most helpful and very prompt.

I've downloaded your python script and FBReader setup. But just after I posted I thought I'd try putting a definitely not DRM'd ebook through the script which removes DRM but must not be named, and found it complained of a bad header. So that's an even simpler test.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:49 AM   #4
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Wouldn't simply trying to open it in a reader which doesn't support Mobi DRM, such as uBook or FBReader, be even easier?
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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Wouldn't simply trying to open it in a reader which doesn't support Mobi DRM, such as uBook or FBReader, be even easier?
Its easier if you want to check a single ebook. The kindledrm script is designed to put in a loop over many ebooks. If I was more familiar with Python, it would have taken a directory as an argument rather than a MOBI/AZW and do the looping internally.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I broke my Cybook a couple of days ago and am waiting for my next one to arrive. While I am waiting I plan on removing DRM from my ebooks so that I can read them on the new Cybook without having to download them again.

I have a lot of ebooks, and unfortunately did not keep a record of whether they have DRM or not. Some I know do, some I know do not, and some I'm not sure.

Is there a simple way of checking?

I know I can try to reformat the books through Calibre, and Calibre will tell me if it cannot proceed if the book has DRM. But it's cumbersome, and if the book can be reformatted I have a copy in a format I don't want.

I've been advised to try to read the book in FBReader, but haven't been to find it.

Regards, Alex
I usually stick the tip of my tongue to one end of the ebook. If I get a (tiny) shock, I know it's been DRM-locked.

Derek
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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Wouldn't simply trying to open it in a reader which doesn't support Mobi DRM, such as uBook or FBReader, be even easier?
Yes it would, Harry.

But I've downloaded the FBReader Windows XP installation file several times and found that all I get when I double click on it is that it disappears, and I can't get any response from the FBReader forums.

And I can't even find ubook.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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And I can't even find ubook.
µBook can be found here...

http://www.gowerpoint.com/uBook_main.html
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Wouldn't simply trying to open it in a reader which doesn't support Mobi DRM, such as uBook or FBReader, be even easier?
Maybe it's just me, but my wife has managed to buy a couple of books where are not supposed to have DRM, but get flagged by Calibre as having DRM.

I assume the problem is that the DRM bytes are set even though the book is not encrypted, so is there a better test?
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:20 PM   #10
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Maybe it's just me, but my wife has managed to buy a couple of books where are not supposed to have DRM, but get flagged by Calibre as having DRM.
Were these MOBI ebooks? MOBI has a DRM mode where there is no PID but the ebook is encrypted and can only be read by MobiPocket's own Reader. See Content Encryption.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:09 AM   #11
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µBook can be found here...

http://www.gowerpoint.com/uBook_main.html
Thanks, Brian. I've downloaded it and licensed it, but find it very difficult to use. It's not the world's most user friendly software, in my opinion anyway.

My new Cybook should be here by the end of the week, so I guess I'll know what ebooks on my SD drive are DRM'd by the fact that they won't open.

Regards, Alex
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