Kindle Device License Limits Are Stupid

There, I said it. I’m betting most consumers and quite a few publishers don’t realize that Amazon has limits in place to prevent you from loading one Kindle ebook on more than 6 devices within the same account. You’re probably wondering why I have so many devices connected to the same account. The answer is simple: I like to test new devices and the old ones become hand-me-down’s to family members. They all remain on the same account though.

Amazon has a default maximum of 6 devices for any given Kindle ebook. Once you try to get it onto the 7th device you’re greeted with an error message saying, “License Limit Reached”, and they nudge you to buy another copy of the product. No way. I already bought it once and I’m not buying it again.

This is yet another example of why DRM sucks. Someone decided 6 was a magical number and so no title can be read across more than 6 devices. Sure, I could de-register or maybe even just delete the book from one or two of my older devices but why should I have to?!

Limitations like this, including DRM in general, are evil and should be done away with. Amazon and publishers, please start trusting your customers and eliminate stupid barriers like this. You’re not protecting your revenue stream this way but you’re doing a terrific job of irritating your customers and reminding them that you don’t trust them.

reposted with permission from a Kindleville blog

7 thoughts on “Kindle Device License Limits Are Stupid

  1. Yep. DRM doesn’t prevent people from stealing content. It prevents paying customers from doing what they want with the product they paid for. Which actually makes them throw up their hands and say screw it, where can I find a stripped copy and you know what, I’m not paying for it. Screw those guys.

  2. I think it might be the publishers who impose that limit when they opt for DRM. I’ve noticed many books published through KDP (which can have or not have DRM at the author/publisher’s option) don’t have any limit on devices.

  3. The 6-device limit is the same as for the other major e-book DRM systems: Adobe, Apple, and B&N. For B&N, the limit is just for devices on one account; the e-book files can be copied to any number of other devices or computers because they’re password-protected, not device-restricted.

  4. My understanding of it is Amazon gives the book publishers the choice to use DRM or not, and included in this choice is the device limit. 6 is the default, but there have been books with a limit of 1 or 2, and others with 10-20, and then plenty more with unlimited.

    So in my view, it’s not Amazon’s fault but rather the publishers who are still stuck in the past and refuse to accept innovation. Amazon need to provide the DRM option to attract the publishers, refusing DRM would lose a lot of business (even though it’s the right thing to do!).

  5. I’d just like to know how to delete Kindle books from my Galaxy 10.1 and not have them go to Archives!

    Thanks LRB

  6. I just now started using Amazon’s Kindle service for a book and was enjoying it, until I tried to install a certain book onto a fourth device. The first 3 installs were on 3 different smartphones (yes, I have 3 smartphones with me for various reasons), while the fourth would’ve been on my MacBook Air with Amazon’s Kindle app. Most people are probably fine with a limit of 3 devices, but some aren’t, and for those who aren’t, it’s quite frustrating more than anything.

  7. Wow, I didn’t know about the limit. I’m up to 5 devices signed in to my kindle account, and I don’t even have a kindle. I have one computer and 4 apple products and those are just for my own use. I guess I’ll have to start paying more attention to this, what a stupid limit!

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