The Top 5 Reasons Why Your eBook Isn’t Opening — #3: You Didn’t Follow The Proper DRM Procedure

This is an article series that will explain the most common reasons why ebook users have trouble opening an ebook that was purchased from an ebook retail website. Most of these issues are easily avoided by simply following your download instructions, installing the software you need, and making sure that you’re using the correct ebook format for your eReader. This post covers reason #3: You Didn’t Follow The Proper DRM Procedure.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is software security that prevents an ebook, audio MP3 file, or other digital media, from being distributed for free. Most book publishers will not sell their books in ebook format without this security because they are concerned about copyright protection and software piracy.

DRM can cause a lot of trouble for the end-users when they don’t understand how it works, but it can also be dealt with easily and with a minimum of hardship. In terms of ebooks, if a user wishes to read a DRM-protected ebook, he or she must first install a specific program that was created for the ebook format, and register it with a free account.

Adobe (www.adobe.com) provides the most prevalent ebook DRM system in use today: the Adobe Content Server. This DRM system protects both PDF and EPUB ebooks. I am only going to explain how to deal with this system in this article because it is the most widely used, and consequently the most misunderstood.

Before you buy any ebooks, you can identify those that are being protected by Adobe’s DRM by looking at the information posted on the website that sells the ebook. If the website mentions DRM, the requirement of Adobe Digital Editions, or specifies that the ebook can only be used on a specific list of e-reader devices, then you should definitely assume that you will have to use Adobe’s DRM if you purchase the ebook.

Before purchasing an Adobe ebook protected by Adobe’s DRM, follow these steps:

1. Find out whether your computer or e-reader device is supported by Adobe’s Content Server system.

Here is some information to get you started:

Adobe Digital Editions can be used on Windows (XP, Vista, 7) and Mac (10.4-10.6). It does not work on Linux.

Adobe has an official list of devices that they support. If your device is not on that list, do not bother buying an ebook for it if it is protected by Adobe DRM.

2. Install Adobe Digital Editions

Get it here: http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/

3. Create an Adobe ID

Do that here: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/membership/index.cfm

4. “Authorize” Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID

a. Open Adobe Digital Editions

b. Click on the Library button

c. Click on the downward arrow next to the word LIBRARY

d. Click “Authorize Computer”

After you complete these steps, you will be ready to purchase and download ebooks that are protected by Adobe DRM.

I have more information about how to work with Adobe Digital Editions in the Adobe Digital Editions category of this blog, such as what to do when you get an ACSM file.

The next article in this series will cover more information about how to deal with DRM issues when you’ve changed computers. See all posts in this series.

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About The eBook Reader

I love reading and I love technology. eBooks are an interesting combination of the two.

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