Apple won't let me read the ebooks I bought from them

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that sucks, you were brave to buy them in the first place.


Gee, I guess you’ll have to move all of the books you’ve purchased legally to another platform.

Ha ha, just joking.


The Apple iCloud/family/id DRM world is one gigantic thicket of madness. It’s working for us at the moment, but I think I’m just lucky. It is really, really confusing.


sounds like someone forgot to remove older devices from the authorized device list. it happens.


Funny - I learned years ago to avoid DRM ebooks from reading this blog.


This happens for Movies and Books. Both things where Apple’s hands are contractually tied by paranoid publishers or studios to impose DRM and other customer hating restrictions.

The App Store which is just Apple’s baby doesn’t have this restriction at all. Blame the publishers. Campaign to get rid of DRM - it’s only hurt them by giving Amazon a stranglehold on the ebook market.

As for Apple IDs being confusing. Yes - I’ve lost track of the number of people who’ve ended up with multiple Apple IDs by accident because they didn’t realise their old iTunes account from their first iPod was the same thing as an iCloud account. Or had a “family” iTunes account that caused confusion and misery when each member got their own iPhone or iPad and got shared Messages or lost access to their old music. Apple have promised merging and splitting Apple IDs for a long time, but haven’t got it done yet.


Use Calibre and other tools to remove DRM from your copy of said books on your desktop/laptop and then copy them over?


Seig Heil Herr Apfel.

That’s what happens when you buy the fruit.


Apple has a big stick. They could easily have told publishers to buzz off.


I know your post is about DRM more than about the books, but the books are the part about which I might be able to contribute something helpful, so here goes.

In my experience as an iBooks user, you are not being locked out of your books, you are being locked only out of redownloading them, and only on the particular gadget(s) whose account has recently changed. If you get copies of your books onto the device from another source that is not blocked in this way, they should be readable.

If your books are also/still on a computer, or on another device that can be synced to a computer, then you should be able to get them onto this device by syncing it with that computer (or if necessary first using Family Sharing to pull them onto your computer if they’re on another family member’s computer).

That should work. It has done for me, though I haven’t had this problem in a while and it’s possible the mechanisms have changed. I am sorry about the DRM frustrations though.


I do not “pay for licenses” of DRMed works. They can give me plain pdfs or dead trees for my money. Screw 'em otherwise.


Amazon doesn’t do this. You deauth and you can instantly reauth. It’s confusing at times, but it’s confusing without consequences if you get it wrong.

Apple does this with music on iTunes, as I recently had to figure out. As if using iTunes isn’t enough of a nightmare to begin with.


As a publisher and owner of many copyrights, I have chosen not to use DRM in any digital products my company has put out. It just creates an unpleasant experience for the honest consumer.


This is the same Apple which engaged in price fixing? Maybe you don’t understand Apple.

More seriously, the business model of Apple is based on selling devices that access a common pool of content tied to AppleID. Buy an imac. Buy an more portable mac, Buy an AppleTV. Buy an ipad, and iphone and an apple watch. Buy a developer account. And then have it all fall apart because the things you buy to run on your devices are licensed to run on only a subset of your devices.

It’s absurd, and about as rankling as the penchant for companies to treat “mobile” and “computer” as if they were separate, incommensurable things.


It’s to stop you handing your phone to a friend so they can quickly log into their account, download a song, book or movie and hand it back to you to log back in as yourself. DRM is to stop you from borrowing from a friend or sharing.

As long as you’ve got the book (or movie) on your computer you can still sync it back into your iPhone or iPad through iTunes. You’re only prevented from directly downloading over the air.

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Except that I can copy the file directly and give it to my friend, in the case of music, which makes the restriction inexplicable. And again, Amazon doesn’t do this. So it’s obviously not an immutable law of the universe. Stop talking like it is.


Which is why I refuse to buy ebooks. You have nothing tangible to show for the money you spent. You never really own the book, and you can’t resell it. The ownership of said ebooks is an illusion and a rip off.


I love them. They mean that I always have a bunch of books with me. I can easily read them (one handed) on my iPhone. I use Kindle/Amazon, though.


But they love lock-in so why would they (public comments by them aside…that’s just politics)?