Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Ebooks: Reading/Downloading @ the WSU Libraries

Digital Rights Management

Short description: This is a layer of control that imposes controls such as time limits and no copy/printing/sharing of  Amazon (Kindle; .AZW), B&N (nook; EPUB), Apple (iBooks; EPUB), Sony (Reader; EPUB) ebooks, OverDrive ebooks (EPUB), and others. A common DRM tool/wrapper and/or format is Adobe Digital Editions (ADE).

DRM-free ebooks can be opened by any device that reads the format the ebook is created in, and can be converted to be read in different formats and on different devices.

eBook Formats and their Discontents

We'll focus on two formats: EPUB (which can be read by pretty much any digital device except the Amazon Kindle), and .mobi (the original version of Amazon's own proprietary .AZW format that can be read by Kindles). Amazon is switching to a new HTML 5-based format, .KF8, currently in use by the Kindle Fire.

A visual metaphor...

bottle of Diet Coke - made up of soda, bottle, and wrapper

The soda - ebook contents

The bottle - ebook format

The wrapper - DRM

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us