I´m posting a question, I have wrtitten to Adobe about, but never recieved an answer to.
Maybe someone in here can clear it up:
We are considering buying a Content Server solution [...] for distributing binders [...]. But we became aware of at problem: Is it really possible to buy a Digital Editions Ebook, download it (open it in Digital Editions), and then later choose to print it out as a file? I seems to me, that I actual - in Digital Editions - can choose Microsoft XPS Document Writere as my printer. The result is a XPS file, thats looks like the original, but has no DRM on it at all. Am I overlooking something?
Is this really possible?
The starting point is whether the publisher granted permission to print the
book in the first place. If you look at the properties of an individual
ebook, you'll find out whether it's printable or not. You do this by the
drop-down menu of item properties, which is the little arrow on the book's
You can designate MS XPS Document Writer as the system printer, then open
ADE and try it with an ebook that has permission to print, and see what
happens.... I think, as you do, that it will work fine.
If it does work, and you're planning to print multiple copies, be sure to
check with the publisher on reprint limits, if any. If the ebook is
purchased, then you might have some fees associated with multiple copies,
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply.
And: You are right. If printing is allowed, it is possible to print out the book as an XPS document. But: It seems very strange to me, that it is possible as a default. I have´nt encountered an eBook, where it was not possible. Thats means: The DRM can be removed by a very, very simple method - just by choosing a default printer in Win 7. For a person, that is thinking about buying a Content Server Solution, it makes no sense.
And about reprint limits - they dont apply to the XPS document. It can be reprinted as many times as you wish.
What do you think?
Printing from ADE converts it to a low res (300 or 150dpi depending upon the settings). But that being said, if you are publisher and worred about it, then don't allow the print permissions in your books.
I'm not a technician nor an employee of Adobe - Jim Lester is - , and I
don't know how digital rights are implemented by Adobe. But I am sure
that there's no 'very, very simple method' to remove DRM from a document,
because I do know that digital rights are encrypted into the code of the
book's header. I've encountered many, many ebooks that cannot be printed
when I've been looking for adventure novels to read (such as some by Clive
Cussler, James Patterson and Tony Hillerman). OTOH, I don't deal with
textbooks, so I can't say. It's an interesting discussion, but if the
rights are coded one way, unless you're the publisher, changing them is
fwiw, I'm not an Adobe employee anymore: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/832975?tstart=0
(you may notice that this account is not the same account anymore, and not badged as an employee)
Thanks for your reply.
I have experimented with printing from ADE at DPI 300, and I think it works well - or at least "okay".
The problem is: I can not simply turn the printíng feature off. The material I wish to secure with ADE and CS4 is teaching materials, and the end-user needs to be able to take it to an exam in paper-form. The student needs to be able to print at least parts of the material (when they take their tests, they are allowed to bring books and notes, but not computers that could connect to the internet)
But when the printing option is not removed, the only thing a student needs to do, to remove the DRM is to choose to print as I described. This means: One student can buy the material, print it out as an XPS-file, and start sharing it for free. When your working at a college or university, the problem seems like a real concern.
Thanks for the reply.
You are spot on: Its all about textbooks and it is illegal. But as I wrote to Jim, I can´t just turn off the printing option (see that post). The problem is not, that it is illegal (all piracy is), but how easy it is. If you find an eBook, that can be printed, try to print it out as a XPS-file (use the default printer in Windows). The new file is large, but without DRM, easy to share and worst of all: Free. This seems strange to me. I´m not urging anybody to do this - i´m a concerned customer, who is hesitating to buy...
Yes, the design of ADE may not be able to protect the information the way
you want it to. ADE is designed for the commercial world, not the academic
one. I don't know what other systems are available for your situation. The
only control in the situation you describe is IF the publisher decides to
restrict printing. You might be able to work with your IT department and
design material that would restrict printing - and thus sharing - for your
unique situations. I used to design computer systems, so I know it's
There is no technical solution for what you want to do. You want to allow an analog hole within the system (printing), but you don't want the consequences of having an analog hole within the system. As an example, even if Adobe were to figure out all printer drivers and only allow the ones that actually print to paper (and ensure that it actually prints to paper), the user can just as easily put that paper that they just printed into a scanner (which problably cost less than your textbooks, btw) and recreate the book with the same fidelity that they would get from going to a printer driver. Yes you have one small additional barrier, but it is a very small one.
Thank you very mutch for both of your replies.
It has helped me a lot already. I will continue to think about it, and report back, if I have futcher questions.
Your help is appreciated!
What an idiotic reply. You must be a geneous, your son must be proud!