Help Kym crack the obsolete DRM on her ebooks

BBG reader Kym paid legitimately for her e-books, but now the e-books don't work because the DRM behind them is dead.

I refuse to buy another darn ebook until I have unfettered access to the thing and as an engineer I’m DYING to have a good solution so I can read digitally and carry my library with me, but until DRM is GONE or there is a good way around it, forget it. I don’t trust anything if it has DRM, at some point I’m going to be locked out of it and the hassle involved in getting it unlocked is too much. I’ve tried all sorts of tech support trying to get these existing ebooks to open and when microsoft’s reader updated a few years ago, it is a lost cause, I cannot get them open. It is beyond aggravating.

I've never used any e-book DRM and don't know jack about it. What's the insider advice on defeating dead systems?

The part that aggravates me is how content providers screw over those who actually give them money. Such behavior is an advertisment for piracy as the only way to be sure you're getting a durable, quality product. Take, for example, Wal-Mart: rather than give the DRM keys to their customers now that it's killing the entire system anyway, it instead issues self-serving advice like "burn your tracks to CD and then re-rip them." This is expensive, time-consuming and likely to result in recompressing compressed data, which seriously reduces audio quality.

Kym, maybe tell us a bit more about your ebooks, in case someone out there has a direct fix for your particular cut of cloth.

Published by Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.

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10 Comments

  1. I buy all my ebooks in Microsoft reader format since the DRM is easily broken. AFAIK, Mobipocket and eReader don’t have a crack or workaround yet.

    Google ConvertLit v1.8 (it’s short name is clit18, but googling that gives more interesting results.) It can be run from the command line, so a quick script can be set up to remove the DRM from all your ebooks.

  2. I second what Grayz said. If you have to buy it with DRM, but it in MS Reader format since it is by far the easiest to crack.

  3. Oh wows!

    Thanks for this guys. Secure MS Reader ebooks are the only DRM laden products I’ve ever bought, and every time I see stuff about how stupid DRM is I worry that one day I too will be locked out of my legally-purchased stuff. I’ve just downloaded Convertlit GUI version (gui made by a third party) and will give it a whirl. 🙂

  4. I thot Skylarov spent a year in jail because he tattled that eBook encryption was essentially ROT-13? Eh, that was long ago, I guess.

    You can buy his employer’s products (which I think include fair use protected eBook to text converters?) at elcomsoft.com.

    –Charlie

  5. I cracked ereader a while back. Used the debuffer debugger and set a breakpoint in the middle of the loop used to search the text. That way it walks through all of the characters in the document. I modified debuffer to output each character into a file. Couldn’t get the pictures out – but it does recover the source so you can rebuild the book in ebook studio with the original formatting.

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