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Kobo Customers Losing Books From Their Libraries After Software Upgrade (teleread.com) 81

Reader Robotech_Master writes: After a recent Kobo software upgrade, a number of Kobo customers have reported losing e-books from their libraries -- notably, e-books that had been transferred to Kobo from their Sony Reader libraries when Sony left the consumer e-book business. One customer reported missing 460 e-books, and the only way to get them back in her library would be to search and re-add them one at a time! Customers who downloaded their e-books and illegally broke the DRM don't have this problem, of course.From the report: A Kobo representative actually chimed in on the thread, telling MobileRead users that they were following the thread and trying to fix the glitches that had been caused by the recent software changes and restore customers' e-books. It's good that they're paying attention, and that's definitely better than my first go-round with Barnes and Noble support over my own missing e-book. Hopefully they'll get it sorted out soon. That being said, this drives home yet again the point that publisher-imposed DRM has made and is making continued maintenance of e-book libraries from commercial providers a big old mess. About the only way you can be sure you can retain the e-books you pay for is to outright break the law and crack the DRM in order to be able to back them up against your company going out of business and losing the purchases you paid for.
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Kobo Customers Losing Books From Their Libraries After Software Upgrade

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  • who would buy proprietary technology and drm 'protected' content, and voluntarily be at the mercy of decisions and mistakes of owners?
    born idiots!
    they deserve the suffering they get !

    • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Sunday May 08, 2016 @04:05AM (#52069625) Homepage Journal

      Unfortunately, the only way to get this content is either to pay for it legitimately and then have to illegally crack it, or to pirate it which is illegal from the outset. If you want the content, you have to make a deal with some kind of devil.At least if you do buy it, the people who originally made it get paid something.

      • I'm fine with making a deal with a "devil" that simply means making a copy of content I legally purchased. My conscience is clear, even if the law technically says I'm doing something wrong.

        I keep hoping one of these days publishers will wake up and figure out that they don't need to be our adversaries - that we want to reward those who create interesting stories for us to lose ourselves in, because that likely means we'll get more stuff like it in the future. Anyone who wants to get a free copy can do so

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          Want to do the right thing? Want to get treated like an honest person, like a customer?

          http://www.baen.com/baenebooks [baen.com]

          DRM free book publisher.

          • Sounds great. Let's see if they have copies of the last 5 books I've read.

            The Expanse: Cibola Burn - no

            Monument Men - no

            AD 33: The Year that Changed the World - no

            Bossypants - no

            Childhood's End -no

            Couldn't find any of these using their search tool.

            So yeah, no. Not likely.

            • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

              They only have books that they publish. They have several best selling authors in their stable but no, they don't have everything. Still, why would you buy from people that punish you for buying an e-book?

        • My conscience is clear, even if the law technically says I'm doing something wrong.

          Depends. In some jurisdiction, this can be grey-zone, or even be considered legal under Fair-Use.

          (Most of these jurisdiction are on our (European) side of the Atlantic pond)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Like another poster here, my conscience is clear. As a consumer I believe that I have the right to make one legal backup copy. The DMCA (an extremely bad and poorly implemented law) makes that illegal due to DRM. DRM should not even be allowed to exist at all! I strip the DRM from any DRM infested ebook that I buy, and convert the ebook to a plain text file.

        Further, I believe that an ebook should be no different than a printed book, as in it can be loaned or sold at the whim of the owner (thats right, w

      • Deal with the devil? Do you mean giving money for a DRM infested product? Or do you mean breaking the law?

        If the latter, I have no problem with the concept of a unjust law, and I gladly break this kind of laws.

      • All my books on my Kobos, Nook and iPad are DRM free.
        And besides one or two "iBooks" they are all *.epub

        e.g. see: http://www.obooko.com/ [obooko.com], http://www.baen.com/baenebooks [baen.com], http://www.gutenberg.org/ [gutenberg.org]

        Plenty of "free" or "trial" download sites you find here:
        http://www.freemake.com/blog/2... [freemake.com]

        Cheap and also free books: https://www.smashwords.com/ [smashwords.com]

    • Thing is, there actually are people who choose their reading based on content, not on what format the content comes in. If I want or need a book that's only available electronically with DRM, I surely won't let the digital rights mafia and the restrictions they impose on people keep me from reading what I want or need to read. Stories like the one in TFA simply confirm that my established procedures for downloading purchased e-books and for organizing my electronic library are perfectly appropriate.

      Many yea

    • who would buy proprietary technology and drm 'protected' content, and voluntarily be at the mercy of decisions and mistakes of owners?
      born idiots!
      they deserve the suffering they get !

      If you buy from the Nook store, there are many books available which explictly say that the publisher has insisted that the book be sold without DRM - stuff from O'Reilly, Baen, Tor, and so forth.

      Which current versions of Nook software will promptly download into hidden file storage that can only be accessed by rooting the device.

      So, technically, this sounds like a blatant violation by Barnes & Noble of their contract with the publisher.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        If the content has no DRM added by the Nook, it doesn't sound like a violation at all, and certainly not "blatant".

        Perhaps you should purchase a dictionary and look up the meaning of "blatant".

        • If the content has no DRM added by the Nook, it doesn't sound like a violation at all, and certainly not "blatant".

          There are other forms of DRM than encryption. Making the file inaccessible is one of those other forms.

    • by tom229 ( 1640685 )

      who would buy proprietary technology and drm 'protected' content, and voluntarily be at the mercy of decisions and mistakes of owners?

      Most of the users on this website own Apple products so... them - and in all probability, you.

  • The publishers were really lucky this time that the bug only deleted books. It could have been far worse. You couldn't have imagined the losses for the publishers if the bug for example would have allowed the normal sheeple customers to circumvent the intellectual property protection mechanisms. That would have been really bad.

    </sarcasm>

  • Ah yes, the old BTO vulnerability... where pirated versions are Better Than Original.
    • by Pieroxy ( 222434 )

      Abiding by the law is - in general - simpler than not doing it. Think taxes. Declaring your revenue and paying local, state and federal taxes every year is a burden. Not doing it is much easier.

      Think driving. Not respecting speed limits, lights, stop signs is a lot simpler than doing it.

      In the virtual world it's also the case for now. It's fundamentally stupid as in the virtual world there really is no need for it to be this way... But it's not something that has to be singled out.

      • Abiding by the law is - in general - simpler than not doing it.

        By the context, I guess you mean "abiding by the law is harder", not simpler? You give examples where disregarding the law is easier, not where abiding by it is.

        I think the analogy fails because you can decide to adhere to the law, at least somewhat, while still using the better version. Suppose you purchase a game with a really restrictive DRM system and then download the pirated version afterward. By the letter of the law, you might be doi

  • Said nobody ever. This is why I didn't buy many ebooks until I could strip the DRM. First thing I do is strip the DRM and save a copy to an external drive. Then I put that copy on any device I want to use without having to ask permission. Usually my phone. And it doesn't matter if the company that published the content goes under and stops validating my purchases.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      And because I'm generally law abiding, I've never bought an e-book. I have a few thousand, mainly from The Gutenberg Project. (Well perhaps I've bought one or two that clearly had no DRM. Baen Books http://www.baen.com/ [baen.com] used to sell some that way, but I find on-line advertising for books to be nearly intolerable. Somehow the people who do it don't get the idea.)

      Of course, a contributing factor is that I don't like the form factor. I bought a Nook through Radio Shack, back before it had turned into a ph

  • Huh,,,,??? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Who the fuck is Kobo?

    • Kobo is of the major ebook reader manufacturers in the world - they are the market leader in Canada and France among others.
      • by Geeky ( 90998 )

        Big in the UK as well, as they're promoted heavily in WH Smiths, which is on most high streets.

    • Kobo is an eBook Reader manufactor/seller and an electronic book store.
      The devices are excellent, e.g. I have a Kobo mini and a Kobo glow.

      The devices run Linux and the Apps are programmed with Qt. They are famous because they are basically routed by default. On boot time they read from the inserted smart card, if there is a certain file "run_me.tgz" it is unpackaged and the shell scripts inside are executed. Hence you can install basically everything on it as you like. The file has a slightly different name

  • by Sir Holo ( 531007 ) on Sunday May 08, 2016 @04:39AM (#52069665)

    Funny how all this DRM actually motivates people to 'piracy' (== unauthorized copying of an electronic file). We all saw this coming ten years ago, but apparently the public happily swallowed the whole thing, fish-hook and all.

    Why the fuck would I ever "buy" a digital copy of something. It is not a purchase of an item, but of a limited license, which can be revoked at any time if corporate problems arise with the controller. As in this very case, and others, as various 'digital retailers' go belly-up.

    Anyone 'purchasing' anything by digital download/access, with a DRM restriction, is really only purchasing a limited license of use, and nothing more. By doing so, you have given up your rights under the Doctrine of First Sale. That is, when you're done, you can't loan it to a friend, sell it, or even give it away.

    Buy real books. et cetera.

    • by daid303 ( 843777 )

      I think the implementation of said DRM has much more to do with it then the actual DRM.

      My steam library has 208 games. It's easy, it's cheap, it's quick, and it never caused problems.

      Our (shared with my girlfriend) e-reader has no bought e-books anymore. Why?
      First off, it's expensive. My girlfriend goes trough about 2 books a week, as ebooks costs just as much as a paperback, that's about 20 euro a week. For some digital copies of something that gives a few hours of medium entertainment. (These are not top

      • by nadaou ( 535365 )

        What happens if Steam gets bought out by EA, Microsoft, or Comcast?

        You still need to protect yourself even if the current owners treat their customers well.

        • by daid303 ( 843777 )

          Depends, if it keeps working the same, if it keeps doing the same, if nothing else changes but the owner. I'm fine.

          If not, we would pirate the shit out everything again, just like we did in the 90s and 00s

        • What happens if Steam gets bought out by EA, Microsoft, or Comcast?

          You still need to protect yourself even if the current owners treat their customers well.

          That doesn't even need to happen.

          Steam crippled Hitman: Absolution, at least access to the many user-generated Challenges, when Square Enix bought the Franchise. They're coming out with a new one so, even though the previous version is still for sale, it doesn't fucking work. The workaround is a pain in the ass, and works unreliably.

          From Square Enix: "Dear fans. Thank you for making all of those user-generated Challenge maps, and letting the world use them for free. The kept Hitman: Absolution alive lo

      • FWIW, my family has a few Nooks from B&N, and buying books from B&N is dead easy. Getting them from elsewhere (legal or not) is a little more cumbersome, since I have to hook the Nook to my computer and copy them over.

        The DRM doesn't bother me, for reasons I think I'll not mention on a public forum.

  • by burni2 ( 1643061 ) on Sunday May 08, 2016 @04:47AM (#52069681)

    to put all your data at risk of:

    - loosing everything because your Cloud-Provider was hit by a ransomware attack

    - loosing everything because your Cloud-Provider was overtaken by another company that gave you a two weeks notice and your were on your three week vacation.

    - loosing everything because your Cloud-Provider didn't do backups and now the company is bankrupt and the damage is "Ltd."

    - loosing everything because your Cloud-Provider did do backups - even encrypted ones - but forgot to check if the encrypted backup data was decryptable

    - having your data mined and analysed by advertisers & three letter agencies

    • There is a certain multiplier effect by starting almost every line with an incorrect "losing" vs "loosing". Pretty sure the (normally dormant) grammar nazi inside me is about to have an aneurysm.

      Well done sir!

    • by zopper ( 4044367 )
      Still better love story than not having a backup at all (or having the only backup of two months before on the clumsy, battered, five years old 4GB USB2 stick which can fail at any time), as your mom/aunt/grandpa... Seriously, why all you cloud-haters have to shout about cloud everywhere? Just don't use it. I don't like ermine cheese, but I'm not telling it to everyone under every article which is remotely touching food.
      • by burni2 ( 1643061 )

        Ohh, to the contrary, I love the cloud!

        Cheap storage space, ideal for automated backups from my backups.

        However I have the technical knowledge to make use of cloud storage in a way that the cloud serves only me.
        And nobody else.

        What I hate is, that every cloud provider does nothing for the customers data to be only readable by the customer itself (MEGA is an exception)

        Also that people are left under the impression, that everything in the cloud is safe (in more than one sense).

        Soley dependence on the cloud is

    • by tom229 ( 1640685 )
      I read about the cloud in Forbes so you have to be wrong. Now, put it on my iPad.
    • The cloud's great. If all my computer equipment were destroyed, everything I really care about is in the cloud. Of course, if my cloud provider goes away for whatever reason, everything I really care about is on my own equipment also. Since the files on my computers would be destroyed by completely different things than my files in the cloud (barring a thermonuclear war or really big asteroid hit), I think they complement each other nicely as backups.

    • All of those are problems with storing data in a single location, whether or no that one location is "the cloud".
      All of those are mitigated by storing in more than one location, whether or not one of those locations is "the cloud".

      "The cloud" isn't what makes them problems.

  • iTunes... DRM... Kobo... ebooks... music on phones - lost, wiped out, erased, "called back" etc. etc.

    At what point will legislators protect their constituents? We are long past the time when we consumers need to fight back with class-action law suits. Enough is enough.

    • "At what point will legislators protect their constituents?" They are protecting them, it's just that their "constituents" are those who have the most "free speech". Which means corporations, especially since Citizens United means that "cash"="free speech".
  • ...One customer reported missing 460 e-books, and the only way to get them back in her library would be to search and re-add them one at a time!...

    Vendors should make it easy for paying customers to use their product, and not punish those paying customers.

    .
    It is becoming more and more apparent that the media industry is using DRM to punish its paying customers.

    That is just backwards.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This could be solved by a version controlled filesystem. Lose all your music because iTunes sucks? No problem, revert to the previous change. Lose some ebooks? Revert. Wonder if you've lost anything important? Just look through the change history for a given directory.

  • My first ereader was a used Kobo touch. I found I liked it, including that I could just plug it into my Linux workstation at home, and copy stuff on - it *does* run Linux.

    Eventually, it started freezing, and I had to power cycle it to get back to reading. So I got myself a Kobo Glo (or whatever the low-end one with a backlit screen is). One week later, after spending several *hours* to read THIRTY OR SO PAGES, I started working on returning it.

    Including a support-directed upgrade of the software (which I'd

  • For casual reads, it equally doesn't matter if the paper book spine falls apart, or if the service eventually goes out of bussiness. For something you are planning to keep in family library and read to your grandchildren - buy an actual hardcover book.

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