What is DRM? (DRM FAQs)

What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is a means for the publisher to control the amount of copying, pasting and printing of their ebooks. It is a form of copyright protection used to fight unauthorised distribution of their copyrighted works (known as piracy).

What type of DRM does eBooks.com use?

Rather than implement our own bespoke DRM we instead use Adobe DRM. This is the industry standard and ensures that if you buy a DRM protected ebook from eBooks.com it will be compatible with the largest number of devices and software. If you are concerned about whether your device is supported please see our device guide.

Are all of the ebooks that eBooks.com sells DRM protected?

No, but the majority are. It is the publisher's decision whether DRM is applied or not. And it can vary from ebook to ebook, and even from format to format for the same ebook.

How do I check what DRM settings are applied to an ebook before I make my purchase?

You can check whether an ebook has DRM applied to it by checking the ebook's product page. Listed underneath the publisher and the ebook ISBN it will say:

"download in secure EPUB format" or "download in DRM-free EPUB format"

Secure means DRM is applied. DRM-free means it is not.

You can view the DRM settings for each format by clicking the "Print & copy permissions" link below the "Add to Cart" button on the ebook product page.

For each available format (Online Reader, EPUB, PDF) it will specify how much copying and pasting, and printing is allowed, and if read aloud functionality is enabled.

Is there an easier way to find DRM-free ebooks?

You can use the Advanced Search on eBooks.com to ensure you are only searching DRM-free ebooks. If you select "Unencrypted PDF" or "Unencrypted ePub" from the Format dropdown this will ensure all search results will be in either DRM-free PDF or DRM-free EPUB format.

Also we have implemented a search results filter, so once you have completed a regular search you can filter the search results to only display those that are DRM-free.

How will DRM effect my ebook?

Before downloading your ebook you will need to authorise your software with an Adobe ID. This means the ebook reader software will acknowledge you as the owner of the ebook and allow you to open and read it. If you wish to transfer the ebook to another device you need to authorise that device with the same Adobe ID in order for the ebook to open. You can authorise up to 10 devices with a single Adobe ID, but only one computer. If you get a new computer you will need to deauthorise your old computer in order to authorise your new computer with the same Adobe ID.

In addition, the amount of printing or copying and pasting you can do may be restricted, or prevented entirely. It will also determine whether the read aloud functionality is enabled for the ebook or not.

This all sounds very complicated...

If you are not familiar with ebooks it can be a bit daunting at first, but in reality once you have an Adobe ID the rest is fairly straightforward. If you need any help at any point we have lots of help articles on the subject, and you can also contact our support team.

Also if you use our Online Reader (compatible with all major browsers) or our Ebook Reader app (iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10) you don't need to worry about any authorisation as we take care of that side of things automatically, so you can relax and have a stress-free reading experience.

Can't you just send me a DRM-free ebook file?

No we cannot. Our publishers determine whether DRM is applied to their ebooks. If DRM is meant to be applied and we send you a DRM-free ebook file we will be in breach of contract.

Can I get a DRM-free file as a sight-impaired user?

Many publishers are willing and able to provide accessible digital versions of their books to reading-impaired users.

However we, eBooks.com, are not licensed to provide digital files on that basis, whether for a fee or free of charge.

If you need a DRM-free file for this reason please contact the publisher directly to discuss this.

Can I remove the DRM from my ebook?

No. Doing so breaches our Customer License.

Does this mean I cannot share my ebook?

No, you can't. The publishers who sell their eBooks through eBooks.com do not allow end users to re-distribute an ebook once they've bought it. Ebooks that are sold at eBooks.com are intended only for the use of the one person who buys them (single user license).

I bought an ebook with DRM by mistake, can I return it?

Yes, but the request is subject to our standard Refund Policy. To request a refund please contact our support team.

What is Social DRM / do you offer Social DRM?

Social DRM is a practice where the ebook is supplied to the user without any restrictions in place so they can do as they wish with it, but each page is tagged with their name and email address so if the ebook is pirated then they can be held responsible. eBooks.com does have the ability to supply ebooks with Social DRM but none of our publishers currently use it.

I have a question about DRM that is not answered here

Please contact our support team. We will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

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