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A primary objection to Amazon Kindle and other similar ebook technologies is that the documents you get from them–Adobe PDFs–are locked down tight. You can’t copy-n-paste them, or do much of anything with them except read them on the screen. While this seems like great stuff to businesses who want to use “digital rights management” (DRM) to control access, it’s a pain in the rear to customers…which is why I vowed to never buy a Kindle. Far better to get a netbook and read what I want to read that’s out “in the open.”

Of course, Kindle popularity isn’t hampered…the masses of consumers appear to not give a darn about open content:

On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books,” reads an AMZN) press release over the weekend.

Since every DRM technology eventually gets cracked, I was thrilled to read this announcement:

The popular e-reader, the Amazon Kindle has been hacked this week, allowing for all purchased content to be transferred off the device via a PDFfile.
Kindle e-books are sold as .AZW files which haveDRM that stops users from transferring the purchased books to other devices that are not Kindles.
That should no longer be a problem thanks to Israeli hacker “Labba” who has cracked the DRM. A second hacker, “I ❤ cabbages,” has released the “Unswindle” program, which will reformat digital content downloaded and stored on the Kindle for PC app, converting it to easily movable formats, such as PDF.

You can read and download the process how online in various blogs. One of the commenters shares this remark:

Thanks for all your hard work on this. I just converted my recently purchased Amazon (Kindle for PC) book to a mobi file, then to a pdf using Calibre. Now I am free to enjoy my book the way I choose.

Another remark…

Thank you for coming back. I’ve been aching for someone to un-DRM Kindle4PC. A few of my textbooks for this semester and next are only available on Kindle and dead tree. I have an eink reader already so don’t want to buy a kindle, but the $10 kindle book is so much better than a $30 paper book, not to mention it’s reflowable and I can more easily make it fit my eslick’s screen (unlike ADEPT protected PDF ebooks).

Cheers! This makes my next semester a touch more affordable, and I can read on eink rather than my monitor!

I don’t own a Kindle and have no plans to purchase one…but isn’t it amazing what people will do so that they can embrace openness in their content and how they use their devices?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure