[free-sklyarov] ebook restrictions

Vladimir Katalov vkatalov at elcomsoft.com
Wed Aug 8 04:51:21 PDT 2001


> I will be holding a speech on DeCSS at HAL2001 and I plan to skip
> ebooks shortly, comparing them to DVDs. can someone (offlist, since it
> doesn't help Dmitri much) summarize exactly WHAT possible restrictions
> ebooks offer?
> I know that you can not:
> - copy

Please note that "copy" means not copying the book itself, but copying
the selected text into the Clipboard. I'd say that this permission is
extremely important, because when enabled, allows to use 3rd party
text-to-speach software (if "read aloud" is not available -- see

> - (read aloud) (*)
> (*) I'm only partially counting this, since it's actually a feature,
> when enabled.

Yes. However, that feature works (when enabled) under Windows 2000

Also, you've missed "give", which is almost the same as "lend", just

Btw, just for fun. I have a few Adobe eBooks installed on my computer
-- some of them purchased at Barnes and Noble, and others are free
(downloadable from Adobe site). Here are the permissions for (free!)
book "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn":

The publisher of [...] has given you the following permissions for

You may copy 10 text selections to the clipboard every 10 days

You may print 10 pages every 10 days

Same for "Dracula" and all other "free" books I've seen (except just
"Alice in Wonderland"; but it was also restricted some time ago).
Interestingly, that the publisher for both books ("Finn" and
"Dracula") is "Glassbook Inc." (at least, as stated in "Info" window),
but it seems that Glassbook has been purchased by Adobe recently (so
"GlassBook Reader" became "Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader"). Please
correct me if I'm wrong.

For all books that are not free (from ones I have), *everything* is
restricted -- no permission to copy/print/lend/give.

And another issue. It seems that the only way to know what exactly is
allowed (for particular ebook) is to purchase (or just download, if it
is free) that book. I was not able to find any information about
restrictions, until the book is opened in Acrobat eBook Reader. As far
as I know (but that have to be confirmed), this is also a violation of
Russian law: the seller should give *all* information about
product/item (any one) features *prior* to purchase. Assuming that Adobe
is selling some books themselves... Please continue yourself ;)

vkatalov at elcomsoft.com

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