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What does ‘DRM-free’ mean?

The short answer is: Some books can be used outside the application

‘DRM’ stands for Digital Rights Management, and it refers to a type of encryption applied to files to tie them to a particular user – it’s one of the mechanisms publishers use to try to prevent piracy.

DRM unfortunately also makes some legitimate uses of files tricky. For example, you can’t easily move ebooks purchased for your Kindle onto your new Kobo device. And you can’t convert an DRM-protected EPUB into a .mobi file, or upload it into your library.

For this reason, some publishers have decided to do away with DRM, to give their customers more flexibility and confidence. In stores, these books are marked as DRM-free, and in these cases the books are available for you to download from your Library in EPUB format. The EPUB format is compatible with many devices that don’t have a built-in web browser.

Please be aware that DRM-free books are still very much in the minority, and unless clearly stated, most publishers do not make EPUB files available for download.

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