Microsoft's eBook store vanishing and the horror of DRM

Some of you might have read this news:

Basically Microsoft is closing its eBook store launched in 2017. All the eBooks bought from the store will ‘vanish’. Microsoft is kind and rich enough to return the money but not all eBook store may do that if they close down.

This is another reminder of how bad is DRM (Digital Rights Management). You never really own the product, you just ‘rent’ it. Imagine all those eBooks on your Kindle and one day Amazon decides to stop selling eBooks (even though it exists because of selling books online)?

This is one of the main reasons why I recommend those eBook bundles from Humble Bundle. When it’s DRM-free, you own the books and it won’t just vanish because the digital store closed down.

What’s your take on it?


I read these articles some time ago. I agree with most of the arguments. That’s why I support GOG and similar services.


I put my music cd collection on windows and then found out they had done DRM on them so I couldn’t play them and have lost a lot of stuff. When I complained to Microsoft they ignored me and I can’t unlock the DRM anywhere as I have been trying for the last 5yrs to do so. To me DRM is daylight robbery and shouldn’t be allowed.

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DRM really isn’t the problem–Microsoft is. Sure glad I don’t store anything with them or buy anything from them.

Why? How?


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Maybe you had better educate me. I have an objection to any proprietary systems that interprets a purchase as a rental, which is what Microsoft is doing.

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Yes, and you don’t really own any DRM’ed software by definition. It’s like buying a car that only starts with a single unique key in the whole world and if you ever lose, destroy or otherwise get rid of the key, the car is basically useless and you can throw it away, just because you lost a piece of hardware worth $40 max. If the car is truly YOURS you should be able to even drive it without a key, if you wish to. Or make your own key. Or remove all windows without the car saying “you modified the original product, now you are not allowed to use it anymore”.

This is btw. exactly what GOG does. Whenever I can, I try to spend some money on this website. I even seriously consider pre-ordering Cyberpunk 2077 even though I never in my life spent more than 40 bucks on an initial game purchase, just to get the license, let alone pre-ordering anything. I would break these taboos this single time just for GOG, because they deserve every penny of it.

Same goes for any other provider/website that actually SELLS you the stuff you buy and not let it rent you.

Funniest thing most people don’t know even though it is a huge thing:
If Steam EVER (who knows what will happen in 30 years? even Romans, Mongols, Osmans, etc. which were hughmongous cultures, were defeated…) will get broke or die in any way, all these wannabe pros with 5000 games on their account will lose them in an instant.
That is DRM for you. A pain in the ass. And an immoral one, too.

DRM-free software rules. Open Source Software, even more. Open Source and Libre Software is the king.

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I f–king DETEST DRM! I think of it as extortion… it’s morally equivalent to extortion anyway…

What I nearly always do when I can - (requires a Windows “workflow”) is remove the DRM and save a DRM free version of the e-book (I mostly use epub). If that doesn’t work?

I bought the thing, already - so - I locate a DRM free version of the same ebook via “alternative means” (e.g., or a torrent) - so I might have the DRM version of the book on my Kobo, but I keep a “backup” DRM free version stored in my e-book repository “off site”.

Recently happened when I bought Neal Stephenson’s latest book “Fall: Or Dodge In Hell” (“sort of” sequel to “reamde”) via Rakuten / Kobo … my work recently started blocking Adobe Digitial Editions, so I couldn’t remove the DRM… so I went to and grabbed a DRM free epub file…

DRM is evil… like region locking of digital content… what happened to the free market? Isn’t this bulls-hit against the principle of “world trade”?

Any Linux users on here had any success getting Calibre DRM removal plugin to work? I use Calibre - but I’ve never gotten the DRM removal to work… Just last weekend I decided to plonk my Calibre “database” on Dropbox - so I look at the same book collection from my home desktop, my home laptop, and my work laptop…

Here’s a more recent “thing” that happend to me.

Rakuten / Kobo only had book 1 of the Foreworld Saga / Mongoliad to purchase… I found outher sources for books 2 and 3… NOBODY had books 4 and 5 except Amazon (and I detest Jeff Bezos - he’s the “evil” that google are talking about with their “don’t be evil” motto) - so I sold my soul and bought e-books 4 and 5 for Kindle… how can I read them on my Kobo? I can’t!!! I don’t have a Kindle… I can run Kindle’s app on Windows or my iPad… no solution for Linux or Kobo… Installed the Kindle app on my work’s Windows 10 laptop (using VPN and resktop!) - installed a couple of Windows only apps that promised to remove the DRM (can’t remember which one worked - could have been “Any eBook converter” - could have been “ePubor Ultimate”) just so I can read them on my device… PITA

This is anti-competitive extortion!

As for Steam? I do realise the implications, but at least Valve offer multi-platform solutions… It was Apple who stopped their game streaming client app for iOS, not Valve… :smiley:

And in thirty years I’ll be 87, and the men in my family tree hardly ever become septengarians, never mind octegenarians :smiley:


Also : music…

I’ve only ever bought one “album” off iTunes… Apple did give me a really SH!T album for free they forced onto my iPad (that f–king U2 pezzo di merda - which I eradicated as best as I could)… anyway I only bought from Apple 'cause I had an iTunes card, and no money (was unemployed for a sizeable chunk of 2017 and early 2018) - what a PITA! I had to use a Win7 with iTunes installed to download m4a files then convert to mp3.

I’ve bought a reasonable amount of music off Google Play… prefer Google Play mp3 download to iTunes m4a… but both have “evil” featuers… e.g. Google Play will only let you download a song/album “twice” - and - you can only have 10 “devices” connected, and can only remove 2 every 12 months - and I rebuild my Linux systems probably 3-4 times a year, and generally have about 3 Linux systems I use day to day, so my Google Play Music account has like “Google Chrome on Linux” 12-15 times in my history, and I can only remove two at any one time… so f–k them!

Most of the music I listen to is kinda “alternative” - and I’ve been buying a lot of music off bandcamp just lately - it’s FANTASTIC!

They’ve got a smartphone app too (iOS and Android) - but I don’t use it…

From Bandcamp ( I can download FLAC or MP3 320 kbps (either or both - as many times as a I like - plus a whole swathe of other formats like ogg/vorbis) zip files of albums I buy… I usually nearly always mostly listen to FLAC versions of stuff (found a brilliant FLAC player for Android : “Music Folder Player Full” - that does exactly what its name “claims” no bells or whistles! But it does do cool stuff like “gapless” playback - and it has a nice single track positioner/slider doohicky - i.e. you can swipe back within a song like on a PC).

The album I bought off iTunes in May 2018, was the one I just bought again off Bandcamp today (was payday yesterday)…


So we all agree that DRM is hateful and I liked @Akito way of saying about - We should all support Open Source and not allow any to steal from us or control what we do with things. Not a political point, but just a statement of fact


I found a thing that leaves DRM for dead when it comes to over-thetop messing with customers. Four years ago, I had registered Filmora video editor and paid the damn $40. Didn’t keep up the rental as I was busy with other projects, Recently noticed that video and now it has a giant Filmora banner nearly the whole screen across.

This was the only piece of video edit of my border collie (a rescue dog) and a friend’s boxer running madly around a paddock in great chase mode.


OMG, that sucks (if I read correctly) personally I subscribe to bugger all that needs a credit/debit card, mostly because we don’t have any. I defer to sending any of that shit over the internet. Most requirements can be covered without. Some may be dubious though?