DRM Must Go! Digital handcuffs be gone

Status: Under Review

Barnes and Noble / Nook now has the backing of Microsoft and some of the biggest publishers in the world. This means they have the ability to push the publishers in the inevitable direction that music has already gone -- with the elimination of DRM (Digital Restrictions Management).  Its high time to do away with DRM.  There are so many ludicrous things about DRM - let me tell you about just one ridiculous situation that came up tonight. 


Tonight I bought a gift NookBook for my mother in law.  Except for some reason it never got to her.  Suffice it to say that it was a technical snafu and it ended up in my account instead of hers.  But when I called to ask to have them transfer it to her account the "customer service rep." actually said that they didn't have a way to do that!!!  Can you  believe that??? They actually suggested I buy it as a gift a second time to "solve" the problem!!!  In other words they made an insulting suggestion instead of offering some kind of solution.  Yeah, I'm going to give more money to you to buy the book (that I don't want for myself -- its for her not me) because your company isn't competent enough to offer real customer service?!?!?


What a joke DRM is.  If it weren't for DRM I would just move it myself, problem solved.  When I buy a physical book I can gift it to whoever I want.  I don't need some special key to remove the lock on the book or to give me the ability to actually read the book.  We have the right to do with our possessions and to share them as we please.  DRM is unethical.

by ‎01-21-2013 09:15 AM - edited ‎01-21-2013 09:32 AM

DRM is not the choice of the distributor, in this case Barnes & Noble.  It is dictated by the publishers, and B&N is such a small piece of the distribution (compared to Amazon) that they cannot dictate or even have any considerable influence.  It is precisely the example of music, where a huge percentage of consumers are not paying for the content they use, that the publishers want to avoid.


In your example, you bought a book on your own account and now want to give it to someone else.  There are arguments in favor of removing DRM.  That isn't one of them. Removing all digital protection for all people because one person misentered a transaction hardly seems like strong justification.

by Sun_Cat on ‎01-21-2013 02:35 PM

The way B&N implements DRM is probably the most gift-friendly, share-friendly, family-and-friends-friendly way available. To share that ebook with your mother in law, you just have to follow these steps:


  • Download the book onto your PC using the Nook for PC app.
  • Locate the book's file on your PC and copy it ("sideload" it) onto your mother in law's Nook.
  • Try to open the book from the Library on her Nook. It will ask for authentication. Enter your full name as it appears on your B&N account and the credit card number assigned to your B&N account. You just have to do this once. Your mother in law will not be able to see your credit card number on her Nook, and she will be able to read the book.

For more details, search the forum or ask on one of the support boards here. Ranting about this situation as an "issue" is not helpful.

by ByTheSeaJJ July

I can understand having DRM on purchased texts, but I find it strange that I can purchase the same book in VitalSource and have greater rights than that purchased on B&N.  Using NookStudy should allow for copy and paste w/ references for writing papers.  Though the function does exist, nearly everyone of the books I have purchased fails to provide those rights. As I said, same book in VitalSource allows this as well as limited printing.

by July

So...use Vital Source instead?

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