Cross a border, lose your ebooks

That was what I was thinking. When E- readers first came out the people I knew who bought them were all folks who travel extensively and want to take a suitcase worth of books with them. Essentialy, that was the whole point of e- books in the first place.

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The irony of these international difficulties with Google Play books is that, when travelling, there’s a good chance the books you’re trying to access are your travel books! Luckily, I didn’t lose my Google Play books while in Turkey, but did run into trouble there when changing the display format of my Google Play books — the Google “Play Books” reader would lock me out the (travel!) book if I changed between “flowing text” to “original pages” — and wouldn’t let me change back unless I had internet access … which, during my travels in a foreign country, I clearly didn’t always have. I almost feel that they shouldn’t sell travel books unless you can use them effectively while in the country covered by the book.


I’m just internally screaming “WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?” That they weren’t evil? That DRM would be fine this time? If you don’t have a file you can access offline and whenever you need, you don’t have anything.

Although I’m not a fan of DRM, this problem is more illustrative of the flaws in Google Play’s methods for handling DRM. I’ve talked to their ebook people, and they are probably the least consumer-oriented of the bunch. They are very cloud oriented, and they don’t really understand how someone could ever bump into any problems with their implementation – until someone does and it’s impossible for them to notify Google that there’s a problem.

There’s only one book that Amazon has “zapped” off of people’s Kindles, and my wife and I actually share the same account so we can read the same ebooks on our respective devices. The DRM doesn’t affect me negatively, and although I’d prefer if it wasn’t there at all, I admit that I’m selfish enough that I’d rather just read the books.

Google caved in to every demand that content provider wanted without any resistance just so they can catch up to apple
My kindle Books do not disappear when i travel , actually i use my kindle without VPN outside USA
my friends use Itunes with little or no VPN to buy movies and books ( or so they say )

Google on the other hand cut you off books once you connect outside the USA , apps not showing in Play Market

This is stupid, but I don’t have much hatred for Google over this. Google is just navigating the absurd DRM laws and contracts that they are forced into. Google would happily have all the apps and all the books in all the countries if they ahd any say on it.

Until sanity reigns, use a VPN if you travel. They range from cheap to nearly free. Also, buy DRM free books when you can. It isn’t always an option, but if you have it, take it. The music DRM nonsense ended when consumers started to speak up.

I guess the lesson here is to always pirate your books.


On the contrary. DRM is only one possible enforcement mechanism. Since the government has ALREADY asserted the right to search the contents of hard drives and any other digital devices AND that violating contract terms is “hacking,” in principle they can search your media and then JAIL you if crossing international borders violate the terms hidden in paragraph 471 of the agreement with amazon or apple or whoever. And with operating systems becoming increasingly friendly to content providers, it won’t be long (or are we already there?) before automatic, routine checks of what is on your drives for infringement of terms are required for use of most electronic devices. What we NEED are a serious look at how to balance the rights of copyright owners and copy owners instead of contracts of adhesion. Something like “ownership” in the digital world.

Or you know, don’t go to Singapore. :stuck_out_tongue: I’m only half-kidding, part of the problem is how these other countries don’t bother to respect copyright laws. Or we can blame Google. Or we can blame the content providers for requiring Google to use DRM in the first place. Or we can blame the number of people here who have openly admitting to just pirating the content anyway, which in turn encourages any content provider reading this to try harder to protect their content.

The bottom line to my thinking is that people suck. People don’t want to pay for things they want, and people who create stuff are too restrictive on how people can pay for and acquire their stuff. It’s just plain complicated, and I don’t think there’s a good, one-size-fits-all solution. I think Rindan had it right - it’s just going to take time and if it bothers you buy DRM-free whenever you can.

You’re right. They can try to enforce laws to search your HD. If you have non-DRMed ebooks then you can encrypt them or keep them somewhere you think they won’t be found. If you have DRMed books you’re S.O,L. Laws won’t help. Laws can be changed. The only way to ensure you can keep the ebook is for you to control it. Laws won’t help you control them. Only non-DRMed books can be controlled by you.

Provided you don’t change it so often that it gets Amazon’s attention, you can change the country your Kindle works in. Set up a billing address in the country in question and make it the default in the ‘manage your Kindle’ part of Amazon.
Mine is set to the US, for the bigger range and better prices, but every so often I have to switch it to Australia when someone gifts me a book. Slight hassle, but ultimately worth it.

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Apprentice Alf is my hero. I prefer ebooks because I can adjust the font and page color to be easier on my eyes. Vision issues that make reading smaller,or even regular, print tiring go away, and I can enjoy the books without stress.

If you’re going to count every aspect of using materials like silicon for an ebook reader, be sure to compare that to all the issues with using paper.

Such as both the energy it takes to collect the wood, turn it into pulp, bleach it with chemicals - and transport all the materials every step of the way to the person’s house that bought the book.

I have plenty of paper books and plenty of ebooks, I love them both. I’m trying to cut back on the paper books I have because when I move I don’t want to relocate 400 books across the US.

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This is one of the many reasons we built our eBook storage and sharing site It puts your library safely in the cloud.

You can encrypt a DRM’d file just fine. As long as you have access to encrypt files on the medium it is stored. DRM usually just trys to prevent you from reading a file without permission.

Encrypting a DRM file won’t help you if you have to decrypt it so the DRM can function and the DRM decides you’re not allowed to read it. Only an unDRMed file is yours to do with as you please.

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I may be misreading here, but this seems more a case of an app update which didn’t warn him he’d need to re-download his library than it is a case of “Hey, he’s in another country, lets delete his files.” Had he done the app update in the US he’d also have lost his library (if I’m reading this correctly) but could have downloaded the files again. Had he not updated the app, again if I am reading this correctly, his books would not have disappeared. It is certainly not his fault for doing so, but I think it important to point out where the real issue is. I’d place the blame less on DRM (though I am far from a fan) and more on the app update process which doesn’t clearly outline the ramifications of updating.

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Yeah, jumping in to say, as well, that if you pirate a PDF, you OWN that PDF in every sense of the word.

Combine this with the fact that, if you buy an eBook, and somehow your computer is compromised and the watermarked eBook makes it onto torrent sites, YOU will be found responsible.

Because of these awful policies, we should never, NEVER buy any eBooks at all unless they are totally DRM free. To do otherwise is simply irresponsible.

Exactly right. And there is a lot. Far more than many of us can truly weigh honestly. To use silicon again. Its plentiful. Relative easy to process versus paper. But what is used to refine gold? Acids? Alkalines? What about germanium or some of the other rare earths that are also used in digital components? What does it take to handle the waste of those processes? Including paper. As I said, there’s for too much for any of us to truly comprehend. So, we must decide using more simplistic approaches.

I prefer paper books for two simple reasons. I like them. I’m old school and they are more comfortable, for want of a better word, than a digital device. The second reason is that paper is both renewable and recycleable, where as minerals are recyclable, but not renewable.


One more point in favour of books. No batteries!


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