DRM: Microsoft’s ebooks are not working anymore

Microsoft will shut down the DRM server infrastructure of its e-book offering in July 2019. Thus already purchased books are no longer usable. Readers should get their money back and probably have to switch to another platform.

DRM: Microsoft's ebooks are not working anymore

Since the beginning of July 2019, owners of e-books in the Microsoft Store can no longer read them. That’s because the Windows creators shut off the DRM servers for all digital books bought in the store. This infrastructure checks documents for authenticity – they can no longer be opened without servers. “The books will stop working – this phrase sounds worse after every posting,” writes game developer Rob Donoghue on Twitter.

Microsoft closes the complete ebooks category in its store and removes all books from buyers’ libraries. At the beginning of April 2019, no new documents could be purchased via the platform. However, owners of books should get their money back. Repayments are also due to begin in early July.

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Refunds in real money or Microsoft credit

Refunds will be made to the account specified by the customer. Only if this no longer exists, the credit will be deposited as money in the Microsoft account. This can only be issued for Microsoft products. Persons who have written bookmarks and anecdotes in their documents should also receive an additional $ 25 credited to their Microsoft account.

Large publications like Wired see this method as a major flaw in digital rights management. Even Amazon, Apple and other services sell their customers only licenses to use protected goods. These licenses can be withdrawn by the owners at any time. Even gaming platforms such as Steam can make goods inaccessible by blocking accounts. Wired calls this the “dark side of DRM.

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