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eBooks + DRM = Fail

Published Sat, 30 Jan 2010 • 1 comments

Yesterday I made the mistake of buying 2 e-books from a site called "PeachPit". I chose the eBooks because in the past, having an electronic PDF that I can read on my desktop, Linux netbook and iPod Touch is way more convenient that having a physical book to carry around.

However it seems that PeachPit is not very honest when it comes to advertising the fact that their "PDF eBooks" have Adobe Digital Editions ADEPT DRM, and can only be view on "authorised" PCs and select other hardware (pretty much just the Sony eBook reader). Had I known that the eBooks had this DRM, I wouldn't have paid for them in the first place; particularly considering I could buy the physical books (which can be resold when I'm done with them) for the same price on!

Fortunately the ADEPT DRM has been broken by an enterprising hacker by the name of I?CABBAGES. I was able to liberate my purchases so that I can actually use it as intended. I've documented the process here, as it took me longer to get this done than the books were worth.

These steps assume that your're running a Windows system, as that is what I?CABBAGES's removal scripts were written for.

  1. Download Python 2.6.4 - make sure to get the 32-bit Windows release, even if you're running 64-bit Windows!
  2. Download PyCrypto -
  3. Install both to C:\Python26
  4. Aquire a copy of "ineptkey.pyw" and "ineptpdf.pyw". These are the two DRM removal scripts.
  5. Install Adobe Digital Editions, authorise your PC and install your DRM'ed eBooks (if you haven't done so already).
  6. Run the "ineptkey.pyw" file by double clicking on it (or run "python ineptkey.pyw" from command line). This will extract your Digital Editions key to be used to decrypt the books in the following step.
  7. Run the "ineptpdf.pyw" file by double clicking on it.
  8. Select your DRM'ed book - you'll find them in your "My Documents\My Digital Editions" folder.
  9. Specify an output file, .e.g "my_drm_free_book.pdf".
  10. Decrypt!

That's all there is to it.

About the Author

Richard Nichols is an Australian software engineer with a passion for making things.

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