This week, ebook lovers got yet another reminder of why DRM (Digital Rights Management) is terrible for ebooks. While attending a library conference in Singapore, Jim O’Donnell lost access to the titles in his Google Play Books app. Apparently, the app detected that he was in a country where Google Books aren’t available and subsequently denied him access to his books. Stories like this crop up every now and then, each time highlighting some crazy ebook restriction or policy that most people aren’t even aware of. The way things are set up, you kind of need to protect the digital books you buy from the companies that sell them. There are a growing number of ways and reasons why Amazon, Google, or a book publisher might strip you of your digital library.
The best way to protect yourself is to break the DRM on your ebooks for the purpose of keeping a local, personal backup.