Barnes & Noble wipes out Nook ebook, replaces it with off-brand "study guide"


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Great book. Wish VV would write faster/more in this universe. Having the real thing removed and a crappy study guide subbed in its place? Stay classy B&N!


Sounds like one for the DRM horror story pile. Nook DRM is/was pretty pitiful, which is why it is still safely in the Calibre library; but if there is an obvious-even-to-the-non-techies flavor of DRM abuse, it’s the ‘ebooks are from the magical world where we can retroactively unpublish anything at any time without even an unaesthetic book burning!’ Even if you have no interest in the finer points of first sale and ‘licenced, not sold’ building a feature that any censor in history would be desperately jealous of into your book infrastructure should make you a trifle nervous.


Never be under the Illusion that you “own” an e-book, or anything really that you sign a license to access. Now somebody is just about to say that they own their pirated/ripped version and that the problem is DRM in all of its insidious badness. “Ownership” is the set of legal rights that come with legal possession. If you don’t legally posses something, either because you bought it free and clear or because it was given to you by a legal owner or somebody designated by the to have the authority to give it to you, then you merely possess it.

There’s nothing wrong with deciding that you have no interest in getting the full set of rights that owning something comes with. Just like renting a car, sometimes you don’t particularly want to own a book outright. But if you don’t actually read the contract that you’re agreeing to, don’t be surprised when the actual terms are favorable to the person who handed it to you. And just because you have been presented with a “contract of adhesion,” don’t think that the terms are automatically unenforceable. They’re only considered unenforceable if they are SO onerous that a court finds then to be “unconscionable,” which is a pretty high bar.


Oddly Barnes and Nobel have been awesome for me - and the many ebooks I’ve bought.

More importantly when I sub to a literary magazine through them - I keep all the issues. Unlike Amazon which gives you 6 months and then deletes them.

I had a 2 year sub to Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine - of which I own 0 issues and can’t read because that’s how Amazon does things. I wouldn’t trust Amazon with a 10 foot pole and will never buy an ebook from them.


Nook store TOS excerpt :

We reserve the right to modify or discontinue the offering of any Digital Content at any time. If an item of Digital Content becomes unavailable prior to download but after purchase, your sole and exclusive remedy is the refund of the purchase price paid for such Digital Content to the maximum extent permitted by applicable local laws. Some Digital Content may not remain available for re-download from your NOOK Library, if for example, the publisher of the Digital Content no longer retains the rights or other licences, consents or permissions to that Digital Content. Digital Content already downloaded to your NOOK Device or NOOK App will generally not be affected.

IANAL, so don’t know for sure if this counts as becoming unavailable after purchase but before downloading.

Also, I wonder what the study guide publisher would think about them BN giving you their book for free?


Calibre, and ApprenticeAlf, are your friends.


TIL there’s Cliff’s Notes for A Fire Upon The Deep


Just came back to give two thumbs up to A Deepness in the Sky from the Zones of Thought universe. Best of the bunch, read and reread. Wish he would write more in this series!


And that’s why I leave the wifi turned off on my Kindle, and only load books through Calibre.


Disclaimer: Unless you strip out the offending DRM and keep your own backups, which is probably illegal.


Yeah, why is that?


It’s good that there are cliff notes, that means that somewhere someone is assigning it as reading for a class. I wish when I was in school (before this book was published) that there was more science fiction in my high school curriculum than Brave New World, 1984 and Animal Farm. It was’t like I needed prompting from English class to read anyway.

I take it things, and curricula are different now.


Goofy off-brand cliff notes may well exist in the same place as similarly titled foreign sourced novels…They’re just a plot to get ignorant people to click on the wrong thing and pick up a little lose change…


After reading the article, I dunno about this level of outrage he manages to muster.

First, if you read the article, they didn’t wipe it out, as he had it backed up in Caliber and on Dropbox.

Second, it doesn’t appear it was ever DRMed at all.

Third, he never bought it from Barnes & Noble. From what he wrote, he bought it from another company which B & N acquired much later, and eventually offered to try to automatically transfer it into his Nook library with no guarantees. That transferred copy got fucked up.

It offered to transfer what titles it could from customers’ libraries to
Barnes & Noble’s Nook library, but warned that “A few Fictionwise
titles may not transfer due to discontinued publishing programs” and
recommended customers download those and save them and a copy of the
current eReader app for reading them in the future. (Of course, there
were other ways of backing them up even then, one of which I took
advantage of. Given that B&N wasn’t going to be able to move over at
least $200 worth of my e-books, it would have been dumb not to.)

I notice he does not say that he checked it was transferred at the time, and kind of implies that he never did check its contents in his collection.

Now he’s incredibly huffy that they’re not fixing the problem for him, when he in fact already has a copy that he could install to the Nook himself - as he would have had to if B & N hadn’t tried to transfer his purchases in the first place.

Somehow this turns into another round of “Wake up sheeple!”


No one tell him, but his dead tree version is sitting on my bookshelf courtesy of his little brother.


That’s a bit like complaining about someone’s false outrage over being shot because they happened to be wearing a bulletproof vest.

The average person isn’t going to have a third party tool to make unauthorized copies of their ebooks. (Caliber doesn’t include DRM-stripping - only in that DRM-stripping comes as third-party plug-ins.) Nor should they need to, in a system where they’re not supposed to. Where they’d likely be declared a pirate for doing so


Great business, now if you could just find since customers…


Just let me have my little bit of hope…

But you have an excellent point, I keep thinking it is hard to write and sell e-books, but it is only hard to write good ones. If you write enough bad ones algorithmically you might just be able to make money with a wrong click. Still getting future shocked by this dystoptian future I live in.


It was DRMed.