Microsoft is shutting down its ebook store, and deleting all its customers' libraries:

The only reason they can do this is DRM, which means you never really own anything you've paid for.

Physical books are the most obvious alternative, but there are also DRM-free ebook shops. @libreture has a good selection here:

You can find more book-related alternatives here:

(via @yogthos )

@switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos or buying books on a DRM store and strip it down afterward. I remember doing that with ebooks bought on Amazon a few years ago using Calibre, I don't know if it's still possible.

@tootbrute @Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos There is an old Danish verdict regarding DeCSS for decrypting DVDs. That minister was not exactly a beacon of culture, but that decision meant that there was at least a legal opportunity to watch DVDs on a Linux system.
That decision has been referenced occasionally when users argue for the right to consume a legally acquired product in a problematic format.

@Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos I'm sure it is but this isn't always legal depending on where you live. The ideal solution would be to not have to strip the DRM off at all.

@sandrockcstm @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos it might be illegal almost everywhere, but in practice it seems very unlikely that you get into trouble for stripping down drm on some books for personal usage. Maybe in the US I don't know, but at least I think it's fairly safe in most European countries

@Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos It's probably safe here too, but people have different levels of acceptable risk.

@sandrockcstm @Sosthene @switchingsocial @yogthos

I would certainly suggest being careful when discussing removing DRM from e-books you have bought.

'Circumventing protection technology' is considered illegal in many jurisdictions, regardless of the moral arguments or that you may already "own" the book.

Many e-bookshops only see themselves as licensing you the e-book and doing anything else with it would be grounds for legal action. I assume it would be about choosing a good target.

@libreture @sandrockcstm @switchingsocial @yogthos yes, obviously not good opsec what we are doing here. Some big company might want to make an example out of a poor fella, even if it's unlikely for now I think

@Sosthene @libreture @sandrockcstm @switchingsocial @yogthos I think, just stick to hypotheticals. Key point is DRM is technically broken as a concept, not only ethically broken!

@waxwing @Sosthene @libreture @sandrockcstm @switchingsocial @yogthos As someone who buys 5-15 books a month, I’ll only buy a real book or a pdf. (Or .txt files, but no one offers it). Not interested in any other formats.


Epub can be DRM-free too, it works pretty well in ereaders.

@jon @Sosthene @libreture @sandrockcstm @switchingsocial @yogthos

Understandable, but i have to say pdfs are horrible for me on ereaders ... epub all the way.

@waxwing @jon @libreture @sandrockcstm @switchingsocial @yogthos Indeed, pdf are terrible on this kind of device. I also noticed that while epub are great for books that you read through from beginning to end (novel and this kind of stuff), it really sucks when you need to skim a book back and forth (like most educational/technical books). Paper will still be around for some time

@Sosthene @waxwing @jon @libreture @sandrockcstm @yogthos

Physical will always be best for the actual experience of reading, but ebooks are great for carrying a whole library with you.


Whether it's legal or not is neither here nor there.

I'm old enough to remember when copyright disputes were solely a civil matter. It should have stayed that way were it not for some people being greedy and others not understanding the nature of what they were legislating.

@Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos

@61 @Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos It's both here and there in that we're recommending solutions to people, and the legality of a solution durectly determines the kind of risk a person assumes in using that solution.

For context, I think copyright laws are a scam and that copyright should revert to public domain after 10 years.

I also believe the solutions we give shouldn't endanger people if possible.


The legality of a solution is not something that we can determine here. Much less in a nonspecific case.

@Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos

@Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos
I categorically refuse to buy *any* book which has DRM onto it.

To me, it feels like approving the use of DRM when buying encumbered books. You're then voting with your wallet, which is one of the strongest signals you can give. I do that too by *not* buying encumbered books.
It doesn't matter that you later strip it.

@Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos My personal preference is to send a 'social signal' to the sites which use DRM by saying "Sorry, I'm not buying your ebooks due to DRM."

Recently I bought a physical magazine from a publisher because I told them I would rather they ship me the physical magazine (at extra cost to me) rather than get the eMagazine they sell on a DRM site.

I also occasionally (and politely) tell authors to consider releasing their ebooks without DRM.

@sohkamyung @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos That's a good way to make things change I think, but sometimes I just want badly/need a book now, and I can't find it in a legit DRM-free bookstore...

@sohkamyung @Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos

Would you mind sharing how you tell authors? Like, what do you say?

I've really wanted to do that too, but I haven't because I always fear that I'd come off too rude or pushy.

@sapphiction @Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos I don't think there is a right / wrong way to tell authors about DRM. :-)

I think it's more important to know the author first, via conversations or social media posts. Then once the author knows you are not a 'troll' you can bring up the topic of DRM.

Here's a history of my DRM related comments on Twitter. Some have responses, some don't. Some are conversational, some are, now I see them again, awkward.

[ ]

@sohkamyung @Sosthene @switchingsocial @libreture @yogthos

Awesome! Thank you so much for the help!

I didn't think of establishing any kind of rapport on social media first. I'll try that. Your approach is way better than the rando emails I was considering sending.

Lately, there's been a few authors I adore that used sell books on Smashwords, but now they sell their newer work exclusively on Amazon. It's been a bummer.

@paulfree14 @libreture @yogthos

Wow, that is brilliant! Thanks for link.

I'll do a separate feature about that at some point.

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