|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fwd: [conspire] Barnes and Noble ebooks, right to own what you buy
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [conspire] Barnes and Noble ebooks, right to own what you buy
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:49:18 -0800
From: Rick Moen
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.
Bizarre story, but nothing I didn't expect:
Yesterday, I tried to download [from Barnes & Noble's Web site]
an ebook I paid for, and previously put on my Nook, a few months ago.
When I tried, I got an error message stating I could not download the
book because the credit card on file had expired. But, I already paid
for it. Who cares if the credit card is expired? It has long since been
paid for, so the status of the card on file has nothing to do with my
ability to download said book. I didn't see anything in the terms of
service about this either, but it's possible I missed it.
This is just one more reason to either not buy ebooks, or strip the drm
off of the ones you purchase so you can you the book you BUY on all your
devices without having to purchase multiple copies for no reason and
have access to something you already bought when you want it.
That's great. You bought and paid for it, but now your right to
download is revoked because your on-file credit card's expiration date
is past. Peculiar, eh?
Specifically, it turns out, a credit card is required for 'unlocking'
That means the files are DRM-obscured. For reasons B&N declines to
explain, you must have on file a _live, chargeable_ credit card any time
you check in with the mothership and prove you're the owner who
originally bought that copy (or are someone being 'lent' a DRMed copy
by a vetted purchaser, for a 14-day period). Your credit card details
(name and credit card number) are actually encoded by the 'Nook client
software' for your MS-Windows or Mac OS X machine into the DRMed ebook
copy that is then installed in your reader.
(Amazon and the others have similar handcuffs for their Kindles and
I own a Nook Classic (which I immediately rooted when I got it by
putting a custom Android build from nookdevs.com onto a microSD card and
booting from that rather than the default B&N-installed Android in the
Nook itself). As it happens, I've never even once used the B&N 'store'
for Nooks -- in part because I don't want the hassle of needing to strip
DRM from what I buy. And I don't have or need any 'Nook client
As it turns out, you also don't need a specialty 'store' devoted just to
your e-reader. With a copy of Calibre (an open-source graphical app in
Python), you can not only manage common e-readers really nicely but also
convert other formats to yours, e.g., mobi to epub. Where can you buy
ebooks, then? Anywhere you want.
If you _do_ end up with a DRM-obscured copy of something, you'll want to
strip the DRM. With ebooks, that's best done with Calibre and a set of
de-DRMing plugins you have to download separately. Details here:
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