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  1. Since newer versions of Adobe Digital Editions often do not work properly in WINE (for Linux), this tutorial only focuses on Windows/Mac environments. The Linux tutorial will be revived in the future, if things change.
  3. DRM is used by publishers to restrict what you can do with your ebooks. DRM controls which devices you can use to read your ebook, and stops you converting your ebooks from one format to another. There are several different DRM schemes. Amazon's MOBI format uses a certain DRM scheme that differs from the one used by Barnes & Noble for their EPUBs, which is still different from the DRM that other retailers (or Overdrive) might use if they offer EPUBs or PDFs in Adobe Digital Editions.
  5. Ebooks with one DRM scheme can’t be read on a device that uses a different DRM scheme. Some DRM schemes limit ebooks to one device only, or block the ability to convert the ebook to another format, or even limit how (or how long) you can open the ebook on your device.
  7. So to be able to read your ebooks on all the devices you have now, and to be sure that you will still be able to read your ebooks in the future, you will want to remove the DRM.
  9. How To De-DRM EPUB, MOBI, and PDF books in Windows/Mac with Calibre:
  11. If you have ebooks bought at the Apple iBooks store, it may be possible to deDRM them by using Requiem, but personal identifying information may still be embedded. If you have Microsoft LIT ebooks, there is no Calibre plugin that can remove the DRM.
  13. 1. Get your tools ready.
  15. Depending on the format of your ebook and/or where you got it from, you might need some different bits. The main three applications most often used for downloaded ebooks are listed below.
  17. Adobe Digital Editions [ADE]: handles EPUBs/PDFs from Overdrive, Google Books, other retailers. Installer for ADE 2.0 available here.
  19. ADE saves downloaded ebooks to:
  21. "~My Documents/My Digital Editions" [Win]
  23. "~Documents/Digital Editions" [Mac]
  25. Barnes & Noble Nook application: handles EPUBs from B&N. Installers available here.
  27. B&N Nook saves downloaded ebooks to:
  29. "~My Documents/My Barnes & Noble eBooks" [Win]
  31. "~Documents/My Barnes & Noble eBooks" [Mac]
  33. Kindle4PC/Mac application: handles MOBIs/PRCs for the Amazon Kindle. Installers available here.
  35. Kindle4PC/Mac saves downloaded ebooks to:
  37. "~My Documents/My Kindle Content" [Win]
  39. "~Documents/My Kindle Content" or "~Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content" [Mac]
  41. Regardless of which above application you are using, you will also need:
  43. Calibre: ebook manager, which will perform the actual deDRM'ing. Installers available here.
  45. Calibre deDRM plugin pack: a pack of deDRM'ing utilities. The official pack is maintained on Apprentice Alf's blog.
  49. After downloading the modified version:
  51. Open the "tools_v[x.x.x].zip" file.
  53. Go into the "DeDRM_calibre_plugin" folder.
  55. Extract the "" file to somewhere on your computer.
  57. Install Calibre, as well as the application specific to your format/retailer (ADE, Nook, Kindle, etc.), accepting defaults and filling in the info necessary to register/authorize it.
  59. You do not need to unpack "" - it will be installed in that form within Calibre (Step 3).
  61. The modified pack is necessary to remove any personally identifiable information from Amazon MOBI/AZW3 files, and should be used if you plan to upload any MOBI/AZW3 files. You can read more at the end of this post, in the "Regarding Personally Identifiable Information" section.
  63. Note regarding Calibre 2.0: On August 21, 2014, Calibre updated to v2.0. All plugins for Calibre had to be updated to support the new version, including the deDRM plugin pack. The current version of the deDRM plugin has been patched and supports the updated Calibre.
  65. 2. Install the Calibre deDRM plugin pack:
  67. Open Calibre, and click Preferences -> Advanced -> Plugins.
  69. Click on "Load plugin from file".
  71. Navigate to where you saved "" (last part of Step 1) and select it.
  73. Click "Open".
  75. Click "Yes" when the warning dialog appears, and "OK" when Calibre confirms the installation.
  77. Restart Calibre.
  79. Even if you currently don't need certain plugins, adding them now will cover you in the future, if you need to deDRM in those formats.
  81. 3. Configure the plugin pack in Calibre.
  83. The deDRM plugin pack (installed in Step 3) is found in the "File type plugins" drop-down section of Preferences -> Advanced -> Plugins. Click on the plugin in the list to select it, and then click on "Customize plugin". In the dialog that then pops up, enter the required information, detailed below.
  85. The information you will need to enter will depend on the ebook formats you have from certain retailers. If your ebooks don't match the description of any one of the following items, ignore and move on to the next.
  87. eInk Kindle ebooks
  89. If you have Amazon Kindle ebooks that were downloaded to your actual Kindle device, you must add your Kindle’s serial number (click the green plus sign to enter the serial). Please note: all PIDs and Kindle Serial Numbers are case-sensitive.
  91. Barnes and Noble ebooks
  93. If you have "Nook Books" from Barnes & Noble (in EPUB form), you must add a "key" to deDRM the book. After clicking the green plus sign, give the key you're creating a name (so you can identify it later). Below that, enter your name and credit card number exactly as they appear on your B&N account under "Default Credit Card" on My Account -> Account Settings -> Manage Credit Cards. (This may be different than how your name appears elsewhere on your B&N account.)
  95. Mobipocket ebooks
  97. If you have Mobipocket ebooks, where you either entered a PID on the retailer's web site (such as or Overdrive), or you must read them in Mobipocket Reader, enter the PID from the retailer’s web site or your installation of Mobipocket Reader. The PID will be ten numbers and letters, with * or $ as the eighth character.
  99. eReader ebooks
  101. If you have eReader ebooks (PDB format) from Barnes and Noble or Fictionwise, you must add a "key" to deDRM the book. Give the key a name, and then enter your name and credit card number. Again, like with the "Barnes and Noble ebooks" section, enter the name and credit card number that appears on your account with that retailer.
  103. Adobe Digital Editions ebooks
  105. If you have ePub or PDF ebooks that can be read in Adobe Digital Editions (from sources like OverDrive or Google Books), you do not need to add anything extra. Provided you already have Adobe Digital Editions installed on the computer, the default key will be automatically located and stored in the plugin.
  107. Kindle for Mac and PC Keys
  109. If you have Amazon Kindle ebooks (MOBI/AZW3) that were downloaded to your computer installation of Kindle for PC / Mac, you do not need to add anything extra. Provided you already have Kindle for PC / Mac installed on the computer, the default key will be automatically located and stored in the plugin.
  111. After configuring the plugin, click on the "OK" button, and close Preferences.
  113. 4. Disable Calibre's automatic bookmarks and embedded internal metadata.
  115. This is absolutely vital, to ensure your deDRM'd ebook maintains "retail" status on Bibliotik. Otherwise, if you open an ebook in Calibre's "E-book Viewer," the program will automatically embed a small Calibre file within your ebook, saving the page you last viewed. This constitutes as violating the retail status of an ebook, according to Bibliotik's standards for retail uploads. You can disable this feature within Calibre in the following way:
  117. Open Calibre's ebook viewer. The easiest way to do this within Calibre is to click the "View" button in the main toolbar (you don't have to select a book to view).
  119. Go to the viewer's "Preferences" (with the gears icon, towards the bottom of the icon column).
  121. Under the preferences's "General" tab, go to "Miscellaneous options" and uncheck the checkboxes for "Remember the current page when quitting" and "Keep a copy of bookmarks/current page inside the ebook file, for easy sharing".
  123. If you don't deselect the "remember page" or "keep bookmarks" option, then you must not open a book in Calibre before you've uploaded it (which would be a problem, if you want to confirm it opens okay after deDRM'ing).
  125. In addition to disabling Calibre's bookmarking, you also need to disable Calibre's general behavior of modifying an ebook's internal metadata when you "Save to disk." Otherwise, when you save a copy of an ebook from within Calibre (as opposed to, for example, opening the Calibre library folder that holds the original file), Calibre will embed its version of metadata directly within the ebook. This happens even if you've not added any extra metadata to the ebook's listing in Calibre (it'll still add empty metadata details). This can be turned off in Calibre's preferences:
  127. In Calibre's Preferences, go to Import/Export > Saving Books to Disk.
  129. Uncheck "Update metadata in saved copies"
  131. By deselecting these two options within Calibre, you will ensure your ebooks are left pristine, without Calibre messing with them. Keep in mind, if you make any changes to your preferences (like disabling automatic bookmarking), you'll need to redo the deDRMing of any books you have held in Calibre (it won't work retroactively) - you'll need to re-add the original DRMed copies. If an uploaded "retail" ebook is found to have Calibre-inserted bookmarks or even blank Calibre-embedded metadata, it will be disqualified as a retail upload (and vulnerable to trumping). This may seem nit-picky, but the standards for retail uploads must be kept, to ensure everyone gets the retail-quality ebooks they expect.
  133. After you've completed Step 4, you're ready to remove the DRM from your ebooks. Just import them into Calibre (the default folders/filepaths where different programs store DRMed ebooks are listed in Step 1). This will automatically remove the DRM, leaving you with a clean copy of the ebook now saved within your Calibre library. You can confirm that the DRM is removed simply by viewing the ebook within Calibre (provided you have turned off "automatic bookmarking" ). If you can open/view the ebook, then DRM has been removed!
  135. Regarding Personally Identifiable Information
  137. Several members have spent an extensive amount of time researching the possibility that any information within deDRM'ed ebooks might identify who purchased/borrowed the original DRM'ed ebook. The conclusions are:
  139. EPUBs from sites like OverDrive, 3M, Google Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, and Waterstone's do not appear to include information that uniquely identifies the downloader.
  141. Sony/Kobo and Waterstone's comparisons
  143. 3M/OverDrive comparisons
  145. MOBI or AZW3 files from Amazon include an "atv:kin" number string that could potentially identify the downloading account. An examination of the "atv:kin" string "confirmed that it was possible" to identify that two copies of the same book were downloaded by two different accounts.
  147. As a result of these findings, it is safe to say that EPUBs (most, if not all) contain no perceptible information that would lead back to whoever deDRM'ed the original copy. Therefore, an obfuscator is not currently necessary to "wipe" any personally identifying information from EPUBs.
  149. Amazon's Kindle MOBI/AZW3 files, however, use identifiers (atv:kin) that could be tracked. As of now, there have been no reports of anyone being singled out in such a way. To be on the safe side, if you intend to upload MOBI/AZW3 files, you are encouraged to use a modified form of the Calibre deDRM plugin found here: DRM Removal Tools for Kindle Rentals & Watermark Removal. This modified plugin will remove the part of the "atv:kin" string that could contain personal information. This modification of the plugin will only work when you first DRM a MOBI/AZW3 - if you have previously deDRMed a file, it will NOT change that file. You would need to re-download a fresh copy from Amazon and re-do the deDRMing process.
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