The Pain of DRM

There is this new book you really want to read, published in Germany, hard to get in Japan, but there is a eBook version, so you are happy.


You purchase the eBook happily (for the same price as for the printed book), and then realize that again, it is one of those books that carries DRM-protection, digital rights management, and as you are running Linux you are happy to realize that you cannot read it in any way, because you need Adobe Digital Editions, in this case.

Assume, purely theoretically, that you are in this position, there are many ways around it, and most of them are well documented on the Internet, in particular one can find everything one need on Apprentice Alf’s Blog (small hint, google for it).

Unfortunately, for Linux users it is not so easy, because one has to obtain the activation key from an Adobe Digital Editions installation, which means you have to have either Windows or Mac available somewhere. But if you have either Mac or Windows hanging around somewhere, like I do, I installed Digital Editions there, and then I could use a script called, also to be found easily via google, to extract the key from the hard drive. On Windows you would need to install Python, and rename the script to ineptkey.pyw.

The script would hand you over a file adeptkey.der which is important, keep it somewhere on your Linux side. Warning: Windows might have encrypted this file on the file system. Click right, select properties advanced, and deselect encrypt this file for safety.

This note is only to help those that realized that it didn’t work directly in Calibre via the plugins. After that, using the plugin for Calibre for decryption, which could be downloaded from Apprentice Alf’s blog, one can easily import arbitrary books into Calibre, and then use Calibre to read them, or to convert them to your favorite device and read it on your device.

Final note: The entry is not for piracy. Please support authors. This entry is only to free books from stupid rights protection. If I buy a normal book nobody forces me to wear special glasses to read it. But with eBooks I have to use very special glasses, and they are not available for Linux users.

Read more about the stupidity of DRM on either Apprentice Alf’s blog, or at

2 Responses

  1. cocoa says:

    how about the other way around? like, Japanese (kindle) ebooks only readable in said country–works the same?

    • Japanese Kindle ebooks are readable everywhere. The software and hardware of the kindle is everywhere the same, nothing changed. There is no need to hack anything.

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