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 #4: The DRM Has Gone Wrong Over Time.
This particular problem arises when you’ve purchased an ebook in the past. You might run into trouble if you try to use the ebook on a new computer/device, a computer that has had its operating system upgraded/reinstalled, or if you’re simply trying to re-download an ebook that you’d previously lost or deleted.
Like we have in the previous articles, let’s consider this issue in terms of Adobe’s DRM, since Adobe provides the most prevalent DRM system for ebooks. Adobe does allow users to re-download previous purchases and to use their ebooks on multiple computers and devices. However, Adobe’s DRM system must be worked with properly if you want this to work.
Before you download an Adobe ebook for the first time, you must “authorize” Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID. If you do that, then you can authorize Adobe Digital Editions on other computers with the same Adobe ID, and Adobe will allow you to use your ebooks on those computers as well.
Some people try to skip all of that and just email the ebook to their other computer, transfer it via a thumb drive, or something similar. That is exactly what the software is set up to prevent you from doing. The whole purpose of the DRM is to prevent people from sharing the file with others. Whether or not you agree with this is pretty much irrelevant. It is what you have to deal with right now if you want to use Adobe ebooks.
If you don’t authorize Adobe Digital Editions with the same Adobe ID on each computer, you will probably get an error message that says “ebook already licensed to a different user” or some variation on that text. If you’ve gotten that type of error message, you will have to go back to the beginning of the process and start over.
First, install Adobe Digital Editions on the computer where you want to read the ebook.
Second, authorize it with the same Adobe ID that you used when you downloaded the ebook for the first time. (If you did not authorize Adobe Digital Editions with an Adobe ID before you downloaded the ebook for the first time, then you have effectively forfeited your right to use the ebook on multiple computers.)
Third, return to the ebook store where you purchased the ebook, and download it from there to the computer where you want to use the ebook.
If you suspect that you’ve authorized Adobe Digital Editions with the wrong Adobe ID, you can redo your authorization. Learn how to de-authorize and re-authorize Adobe Digital Editions here.
The next installment in this series will be #5, the final part. See all posts in this series.
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.
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.