How to Add a Kindle DRM-Removal Plugin to calibre

Update: These instructions were updated on  22 August 2013. They worked for me on that day.

DRM is the bugaboo of ebooks.  It's the cause of more pain and agony than a Snooki photo, and today I plan to help fix that. I have long been on the side of removing DRM (it's the best way to protect your purchases), but up until today I had never gone beyond pointing my readers at tools.

A few hours ago I was reading a post on Cult Of Mac. They explained an easy way for someone to automate a process for converting Kindle ebooks to Epub and transferring them into iTunes. It's OSX only, of course, but I gave it a try on my windows laptop anyway. I wanted to see how good their instructions were before I shared the link.

I figured I'd get as far as removing the DRM before being forced to stop. Unfortunately, CoM glossed over the setting up the DRM removing plugin in calibre so that post isn't nearly as useful as I would have liked. But I'm not one to stop a project once I've gotten started, so I went ahead and set up calibre so it can remove Kindle DRM.

The process is minimally difficult and I'd like to share it with you.

  • Note that these instructions are Windows only, and some details will be different between the various versions of Windows.
  • Note that these instructions were written without the permission or participation of Kovid Goyal, the creator of calibre.
  • These instructions are written in order to assist the average user in protecting their purchases. I did not write it to assist in committing piracy; I believe in buying content, when possible. But I also believe in controlling the content I buy and that is why I strip the DRM.

First Things First

You need to download and install these apps on your computer. If you have any of them then you do not need to install them again:

Calibre is of course the ebook library management tool. I've mentioned it once or twice, and that's what you're going to use to remove the DRM.  And K4PC is how you'll download the ebooks.

Install the apps one at a time (and set up your account with the K4PC app, if you haven't already). While they're being installed, go download this ZIP file full of plugins:

Got everything installed? Good.

  1. UnZip the ZIP file you just downloaded. Open the folder called calibre and you should see a folder full of plugins.
  2. Launch calibre. When it's open, look at the icons on the top row. There's one on the far right called "Preferences". Click on it.
  3. It will bring up a new window with a bunch of icons.  Look on the bottom row for the one that says "plugins". Click it.
  4. And now you'll get another new window. Look at the buttons on the bottom row. Click on the one that says "load plugin from file".
  5. Use the file browser window to find the folder you downloaded. Open it, and then open the DeDRM_calibre_plugin folder.
  6. There should only be a single ZIP file in that folder, and it should be called "DeDRM_plugin". Double click to select it.
  7. Shut down calibre and launch it again. Some times the plugin won't kick in until you after you do this.

Yippee!

You've just installed and configured the plugin (assuming all went well).  You should be able to copy any ebook you've downloaded from the K4PC app to calibre.  Calibre should now be able to read the ebooks and convert them to whatever format you prefer.

But before you can do that you'll need to find out where the Kindle ebooks are stored. This varies depending on which version of Windows you're running, but they can usually be found under the My Documents folder. I'm looking at my Win 7 laptop right now and the  Kindle ebooks are found in "My Kindle Content" under My Documents.

The ones you will need to copy are:

  • AZW/AZW1/AZW2/AZW3
  • MOBI
  • PRC
  • TPZ

After you copy the files into calibre, you might have some trouble getting calibre to open them so you can read them.   Windows will need to be told that calibre can open the files. This should only happen once, so it's a relatively minor issue.

Note that if you simply convert the ebooks, you won't have this issue.

 

310 thoughts on “How to Add a Kindle DRM-Removal Plugin to calibre

  1. There is no need to have Mobipocket Reader installed, nor to configure the plugin with its PID, unless you have bought books for it at an ebook store (e.g. Fictionwise) that required you to enter that PID.

    The PID of a Mobipocket Reader installation has no relationship to the encryption keys used by Kindle for Windows for the ebooks downloaded to it.

    The calibre plugins pickup the needed info from the Kindle for Windows installation automatically. If you’re only removing the DRM from books downloaded to Kindle for Windows, the plugin needs no configuration.

  2. ‘Edit: Okay, I think it does say that; it’s certainly not clear.’

    I have read in many places how easy it is to dedrm books. Not clear does not touch it.
    I have tried 4 different processes and have hit a road block at the 1st, 2nd or 3rd step.
    To bad someone couldn’t just make a dedrm tool and sell it.
    Of course, they would be spending time in jail!

    1. One step that’s easy to gloss over, the one that nailed me the first time, was that all the software installed must reside and run on a machine registered to the Kindle account which bought the book. You can’t just take a kindle book to another machine and deDRM it. Which is only fair. (Assuming a generally accepted standard of moral fairness and not the legal definition.)

      1. Well, no.

        If you go the full step of entering the PIDs then this plugin can strip DRM from just about any Kindle ebook – but you’ll first need the PID from the Kindle that you copied the ebook off of.

        1. Really? That’s terrific. The more work I can do on my linux box the better.

          Now, if you could tell me how to hide those hideous Calibre/Qt toolbars in Linux I’d be halfway to nirvana.

        2. There’s a generic PID only for Kindle 1, Kindle 2 with early firmware, of Kindle for iOS.

          Kindle 2 with latest firmware, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Touch, Kindle non-Touch, and current versions of Kindle for Mac & Kindle for PC DO NOT have a PID that will decode all books downloaded for them. Every book has a PID unique to that book, based on the Kindle device and metadata in the book itself.

          1. Well, it is a bit complicated Nate but I managed it and I’m not exactly an expert. It helps if you actually read the instructions for using Calibre – some of the moves are not really user friendly.

  3. When I load the “tools_v5.1.zip” plugin, it gives me the following error!!! What’s wrong?

    calibre, version 0.8.47
    ERROR: Unhandled exception: InvalidPlugin:The plugin in u’D:/temp/tools_v5.1.zip’ is invalid. It does not contain a top-level __init__.py file

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “site-packages\calibre\gui2\preferences\plugins.py”, line 306, in add_plugin
    File “site-packages\calibre\customize\ui.py”, line 339, in add_plugin
    File “site-packages\calibre\customize\ui.py”, line 54, in load_plugin
    File “site-packages\calibre\customize\zipplugin.py”, line 160, in load
    File “site-packages\calibre\customize\zipplugin.py”, line 255, in _locate_code
    InvalidPlugin: The plugin in u’D:/temp/tools_v5.1.zip’ is invalid. It does not contain a top-level __init__.py file

      1. You’ll be laughed at by everyone in the midwest Detention Camp. “Why are you here? Making bombs? Fomenting revolution? Not paying your mortgage?” “I linked to DRM-stripping sites.”

        1. Actually intent is the only prosecutable crime. if you did not intend to break the law and only read the ebook in another viewer like me then you HAVE NOT committed a crime. You will our record wiped clean.be convicted on the facts and then your record wiped clean. When you buy something it is your property and the US constitution prevents all these EULAs and DRM crud. The caviate is that you must bring it up in court. That is why the people are being fined and jailed. i have no problem. learn the law.

    1. You do realize that readers have had it with not owning their books, but only renting the right to view them?

  4. Interesting article. I am considering buying a Kindle, which would be my first, and I have been thinking about preemptively deDRMing everything, just so I can’t be locked in.

  5. BTW, those are all the steps I followed too back when I asked about it. But my PC is so FUBARed for disk space right now — and K4PC is so slow with over 1,000 books in it — that I can’t yet tell if anything works, so I’ve given up for now. And it doesn’t help that every time I blink, there’s another new version of Calibre available. That program has the *worst* install record of all software for me. Always fails and I have to go through Repair — which also sometimes fails several times before working. (And I also have crap from a prior version that I can’t get rid of!)

  6. Rez, you need to open the tools zip file and then you install each of the 5 listed zip files separately into Calibre that are inside the tools file, but don’t open those 5 zip files when you add them to Calibre (or just add the zip file for Kindle, if that’s all you plan to use).

  7. If you believe in controlling the content you buy, you should start saying the politicians that represent you that they should make laws that allow citizens to break DRM for lawful purposes or stop buying content with DRM.

    It does not matter if you bought the content. If someone breaks the DRM, one’s breaking the law and one’s being a “pirate”.

    Because the whole purpose of the legal protection to DRM was not to prevent piracy. That was the excuse used to convince politicians to pass the law.
    If you know how DRM systems work you understand they couldn’t prevent piracy anyway. And the fact is, they didn’t.

    The legal protection to DRM is not for pirates, is for honest citizens. That’s right the ones that buy content.

    Warner told us, in the beginning of this year why legal protection to DRM exists: to force citizens, the honest ones, to pay 3 or 4 times for the same movie. The idea is:
    Citizens bought DVD with DRM through the years, and now they want to put the movies into the laptops, into the tablets, and so on. But because the DVD have DRM, citizens cannot do it. So, Warner will let them do it, if they pay for that. But citizens want their films on the cloud also. So, Warner will let them do it too, if they pay a fee.

    But if you have DVD without DRM, you don’t need to pay to do all of this. Because all of this is private copying, which is legal (except in UK, I think).

    I’m sorry to say this, but even if someone paid for the content, if they break the DRM they’re still breaking the law and they’re still being a pirate.

    And this will continue until citizens tell politicians that they want their rights back.

    (English is not my mother language, so please excuse me if I made errors)

    1. Amen!
      What she says is accurate. Not right, but accurate. Makes me wonder if we, the people with the illusion of freedom, need to rethink the ideas of the weirdos with the black hoodies and balaclavas in the streets. God! I wish not, but, maybe.

      1. I got a kdnile when the kdnile 2 first came out I’d ordered the original at Christmas week, and within a month, Amazon announced the Kindle 2 was being sent out in place of the original. I ended up getting mine at the end of February 2009 (2 mos after I ordered!). I absolutely *love* my kdnile. I am completely spoiled having the ability to have a book (or hundreds) at my fingertips no matter where I am I always have my kdnile with me. I haven’t even read a paper book since I got it. It’s just nice knowing I am not using paper/ink/shipping etc for reading. I have the kdnile PC loaded to my computer so if I want (haven’t yet) I can read on my computer too.I fall asleep with my kdnile all the time too side sleeper here and my husband will periodically turn the light off for me.. I’ll wake up a while later and put it on the table. I’ve never before fallen asleep while reading, but since my kdnile, I read so much at night, I do, ha.Also, i’ve never been much to read out loud to my kids I have a hard time with it because I start yawning obsessively.. since having my kdnile, my boys and I read every night at bedtime and it’s been great! We are currently reading a series called Fablehaven.My kdnile has been worth every penny spent, both on it and on books. I am like you though, I stay under about $7.00 or so, unless I’ve been reading the series, then I may splurge on one book for closer to $9.. Enjoy!

    2. No we do not follow laws that are unethical. Just as we protest war and racism and other unethical laws with civil disobedience we must break these unjust laws until the corporate-bought politicians recognize or human right to share the property we bought.

    3. the thing with this particular law is that it is the type of law that exists “just in case” but will not be enforced against an honest citizen ever.

      for example there are no issues for doing this for private use
      this is undetectable
      unenforceable
      and noone really cares

      the only way you’ll get legally slammed by this provision is if you take the next step of uploading their DRM free copies to torrent sites. and even than only if your stupid about doing it like i don’t know using your home computer or personally identifiable information to register for that TPB account.

      but otherwise this law exists only in case a true pirate uses the personal copying as a defense against a more well build DMCA case

      essentially it is the same thing as a speed limit technically your breaking the law going 70 in a 65 highway but in order to get in trouble you have to catch an officer on a really really bad day or be doing something stupid and reckless to actually have them take notice.

  8. Just installed the plugins on Calibre to remove DRM from Kindle books, which I paid for, so I can read them on my Nook. Calibre says it still can’t do it. I have the latest version of Calibre as of June 2012. Suggestions?

    1. Here’s the thing and this is what bugs the crap out of me, and yet I do know I’m a total hypocrite because I just got through stripping a few more books for my own reading pleasure (so I can read on my preferred android phone / nook app), but people, you aren’t buying a story that you have a right to protect and read in whatever format you want in some nebulous future. You’re buying a “copy” of someone’s original story that they sold you in whatever version you bought and that’s it. Nothing more. So, yes, when you/we convert, we’re making a copy that we don’t have a right to make because we bought a license for that one DRM-hobbled copy and that’s it, and when we convert, we’re putting our legal copy into another form. Everyone assumes we’ve bought a story, when we didn’t buy a story, we bought a particular version of a particular file with particular restrictions and if you don’t want to be a thief and admit you’re being a thief, then don’t do it!! Gah. If you do do it, at least admit you’re a thief! You’re not protecting your items because your item is a DRM file and THAT is the only thing it would be okay to protect. Not a derivative DRM-free copy.

      Sorry, I don’t have a problem with people stripping books, because like I said, I do it for my own collection, but I just think it’s stupid to keep pretending you have rights you don’t really have when you haven’t freaking paid for those rights. You paid for a DRM file. You got it. You want to change it, be a thief and make your illegal copy. The idea of fair use in this regard is just ridiculous because copying an entire work is not fair use; making a derivative of an entire work is not fair use; and backing up your file means leaving the dreaded DRM in place because that’s the file you paid for (assuming your thievery has a limit).

      We’re all thieves when we strip DRM. How desperate some people are to keep their good opinions of themselves…

      1. I beg to differ. If I buy tomatoes and pay my water bills and I use them to make tomato soup I’m not a thief because I turned the tomatoes and water into soup. Converting to a different format is not stealing.

        Legally they may have defined DRM infringement as stealing but morally it isn’t. If someone redefined insulting someone as ‘murder’ it wouldn’t overnight become murder. Legally it might be, but morally it wouldn’t.

        I get so annoyed with our culture. On the one side we have people stealing the works of creators and not paying a penny, justifying it by the actions of the likes of the RIAA, MPAA and their international equivalents. Meanwhile the aforementioned companies and organisations are making unreasonable restrictions on games, ebooks, music and videos and justifying THEIR actions by the actions of content pirates. Have either of these two groups heard of ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’.

        I will attempt to remove the DRM of pretty much anything I want to that I’ve paid for. Unless they put up in BIG LETTERS on the sales pages the TRUTH: “You do not own the content – you are buying a licence to view it and essentially leasing it” then they are committing fraud.

        1. “If I buy tomatoes and pay my water bills and I use them to make tomato soup I’m not a thief”

          This is the wrong analogy. But I’m not sure there *is* a good analogy.

          For legal purposes, traditional books have always consisted of two parts: the physical book (paper, ink and glue) and the intellectual property content. When we buy a traditional book, legally we only buy the paper, glue and ink; we don’t not get ownership over the intellectual property.

          This has always been the tension between intellectual property rights on the one hand, and consumer rights on the other. Doctrines regarding first sale, etc., are predicated on the fact that you own the physical book, and that is what you sell back to, say, a used bookstore; the intellectual property, being indivisible from the physical book, goes along for the ride, but is still the property of the copyright holder.

          With the advent of digital media — and for our purposes specifically ebooks — we have finally separated the intellectual property content from the physical medium. When you “buy” and download an ebook, there is no physical medium, just pure intellectual property. And the consumer has *never* been entitled to any rights over that.

          The problem is that we ebok readers still insist on viewing what we have as a PIG (paper-ink-glue) “book” over which we have “ownership” when it’s not. There is no physical medium, so there is nothing left for the consumer to “own”. When the PIG disappeared, all our legal rights disappeared with it. Because an ebook is 100% pure intellectual property, unless you’re the copyright holder there is nothing over which you have ownership rights. You cannot legally “own” an ebook, because there is nothing for you to own. We want to insist we do, because we insist on thinking of ebooks as “books”, but we’re wrong.

          Hence publishers’ insist that we don’t *buy* an ebook — that would entail some sort of transfer of ownership — we merely purchase a license to view the intellectual property. And since there’s nothing for us to own, then we have no rights over the ebook whatsoever.

          The same is true of any other digital content stored on a physical medium — CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, VHS tape. What you own is simply the physical medium; you don’t have squat for rights over the content. And when no physical medium exists, you don’t have squat for rights, period.

          1. “Because an ebook is 100% pure intellectual property, unless you’re the copyright holder there is nothing over which you have ownership rights.”

            Such a high-minded, noble thought. If that were actually the case, we would be purchasing it from the author or his/her great great great great grandchild who now owns the copyright. How does Amazon figure in this? According to your view, Amazon must have some ownership over something or they have no right to transfer a “view” of the document to us tho they charge for this transfer of air. No, there is no PIG but they charge us anyway.

            When I buy a traditional book, I can choose to lend it to a friend, give it to someone, sell it to someone and never pay the copyright holder anything. Do you consider this wrong? I consider the outrageous length of US copyright to be wrong. The public should have a right to works, literature or crap, whichever, after maybe 20 years. Generations after the death of the author, it is still tied up. All I want is the right to view an ebook on whatever device I might have. I want to lend it to whomever I want. I want to be able to treat my ebooks the same way I can treat my PIG books. And I will. And I don’t feel guilty. And I am not intimidated as some of you seem to be, by fear. So…thank you for the info on how to deal w/ DRM removal.

          2. “When we buy a traditional book, legally we only buy the paper, glue and ink; we don’t not get ownership over the intellectual property.”

            “The same is true of any other digital content stored on a physical medium — CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, VHS tape. What you own is simply the physical medium; you don’t have squat for rights over the content.”

            Just because copyright law limits what you can do with your intangible property doesn’t mean you don’t own it. This often repeated “you own the medium but not what’s on it” is not the correct way to look at the situation legally speaking. There are plenty of cases where you own something but the law restricts what you do with it. Copyright is no different. Both the medium and that single copy of the content are your property. You’re not purchasing the copyrights, but copyrights != property rights. Unfortunately the term “ownership” is all people seem to understand.

    2. I have kindle for pc not the device- but I archived all the books in my kindle desktop ap, uninstalled kindle and deregistered in amazon. Then I reinstalled kindle for pc, registered the new kindle for pc and opened all my archived books again- then dragged the books to calibre- worked on all my kindle books but 1

  9. Hadve been for some long time been successfully and easily converting my Kindle books to ePub with Calibre on my PC to use on my Sony PR600 as an alternative to K4PC or to K4Android on my Android tablet. But then it all broke! This month (July) bought some books and downloaded them twice, separately onto my Samsung Tab 10.1 and my Samsung Netbook, (with K4PC) i.e. just exactly as I have done before. Also up-dated Calibre and added new versions of plugins. Stuck the AZW files (copies from the “My Kindle Content” folder) in the folder Calibre looks in automatically to upload/convert and … Nothing! Well, not exactly nothing. I got the message that so many people seem to refer to these days, namely that I need a 10-digit PID. Now, everywhere I have looked it says that K4PC doesn’t need (or have) a PID. WTF! I tried importing directing from the Kindle folder — same message. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on here?

  10. Yeah, I was so hopeful that this would work, but I got an error message saying that the book is DRM’d and can’t be converted. Looks like Amazon changed something in July because every tutorial on removing DRM from Kindle books that I’ve found is outdated now.

    1. I have also struggled now for weeks, have tried just about everything, and as you say, what worked before does not work anymore ….. SIGH what a mess …. hope someone has some answers grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  11. Make certain you’ve got the latest “tools” plugins; version 5.1. You may have to uninstall Calibre and reinstall it with the latest version too. You shouldn’t lose anything if you do uninstall-reinstall, at least I did not. Don’t forget to restart Calibre after reinstalling the tools 5.1 plug-in.

  12. Yeah, Amazon did SOMETHING to lock the darn books. I was very successful with this method previously but now not working. This was a different computer than I used before so I’ve downloaded all of the newest versions of calibre and the plugins. Still get error DRM protected. Anyone have another idea yet? Thanks!

  13. I was having the same issue after K4PC updated, but just updated to the latest calibre version and the tools 5.1 and it is working again now.

    1. Did you enter a serial number or a PID on the plug in customization? I’ve never had to do that before, but figured out my PID and entered that, but still doesn’t work. I don’t own a kindle device (but my mom does so could I use her serial number?), I buy books and use a kindle reader – just want to use other readers also. Thanks

  14. Tried that and still can’t get it to work. I have the latest version of calibre and tools 5.1 and can’t get the drm off. I tried to revert to an old K4PC version, but they are all expired. Any suggestions? I just want to get the books I paid for!

  15. May be I’m doing something wrong but it works for me.
    Calibre on Mac OS X 10.7.4
    ‘tools’ version 5.1
    just entered Kindle 3G’s serial(one you see in manage your devices(starting with B006) or on kindle’s box) and it worked for me for both azw and topaz.
    And yes, if it stops working I will likely stop buying from Kindle Store

  16. I’ve been using Skindle for years to remove the drm from my legally purchased ebooks so I can format them the way I want — but when my older version of Kindle refused to open or be re-installed, I had no choice but to use the latest Kindle version and unfortunately, Skindle cannot working with that. After searching for possible solutions, I ran across this page and, while doubtful that something so simple could actually work, I tried it anyway — and it WORKS!!!!! I can’t believe it!

    Thank you so much for posting this page and for those responsible for the tools — I really appreciate it!!

  17. Nope, this did not work for me. Install the everything new…calibre, kindle for pc, and did the plugins. It still will not work. Any suggestions?

  18. I’ve been applying hacks for long enough to know that two people can follow the exact same instructions to the letter! and come away with different results. All I know is this (tools 5.1 and a new Calibre install) worked for me and it has worked for others. I did add, “Don’t forget to restart Calibre after reinstalling the tools 5.1 plug-in.” because the first time I applied the new tools it failed but after a restart it clicked. Good luck!

  19. Calibre will NOT unlock/deDRM azw3 files for me. This probably started in early July.

    Any Tips?

    I’ve uninstall calibre, installing the newest version, cleared the register keys, reinstalled the plug-ins, applied, closed yadda yadda and it wont work with the azw3 files.

    Im about to pull my hair out!

    1. eh…..

      what a bother, but if I change the file extension to .azw it will deDRM and convert. But I’d love any ideas ya’ll have so it works properly!

  20. I’ve been using these plugins for quite some time, and upgraded to the 5.1 version as soon as I realized the problem with the new AZW3 format. There’s another handy thing to know that I don’t see mentioned in this thread yet. You can bypass K4PC completely and use any pc with Calibre (and the plugins) installed. The trick is simply to select the transfer via usb option when you download the book. As long as your registered Kindle’s serial number is recorded in the plugin’s customization dialog, you can open into Calibre directly from your downloads folder.

    But now I’ve finally gotten sick of Amazon and their format shifting game, and am transitioning to epub files to read on Nook instead. The 5.1 tools have an equally good plugin for working with epub, and most other standard formats.

    1. Part of the problem with all of these posts is the nonstandardization of the environments. I don’t have a kindle. I use Kindle for PC. But it is, what it is and I’ve appreciated all the posts on the subject; even those I was uncertain if they pertained to my environment.

      One word of caution, Jollyfoo. I agree with your sentiments completely but what keeps me from doing business with B&N is they store your creditcard number into the encryption mechanism. As a long time hacker and encryption hobbyist I can assure you that’s just plain and unwarrantedly stupid.

  21. So I notice today that when it decrypts the files, they are in azw3 format instead of mobi. I thought maybe it wasn’t working, but I was able to convert the file to other files…so it did successfully take off drm, it just didn’t also convert it a mobi file.

    1. azw3 is a mobi file. Amazon bought mobi and just renamed the file extension to show that it came from amazon and has their drm. But they are the same thing if the azw3 file doesn’t have the drm on it. If it really bothers you, rename the file to .mobi, but its pointless to convert it back into itself…

  22. I was trying to install the plugin’s but I keep getting the same error as Rez above.

    ERROR: Unhandled exception: InvalidPlugin:The plugin in u’C:/Users/ /Downloads/tools_v5.1.zip’ is invalid. It does not contain a top-level __init__.py file

    When I click on the “load plugin from file”, it only shows one file & won’t allow me to open it to chose the calibre file.

    I am not sure what I’m doing wrong?

    Thank you!

    1. Sarah, you first need to unzip the folder, then go to the folder in the zip file named Calibre_Plugins.

      If your computer doesn’t have a built-in unzipper, try 7zip – it’s free to download.

  23. Yesterday after installing it the PlugIn worked fine. Today the book imported into Calibre has the file extension.AZW3 and Calibre won’t open it.

    I must be doing something wrong???? Pls HELP!

    1. Yup, Dum Ole Me – All I needed to do was update to version 0.8.63, go to Preferences /Behavior and check the .azw3 box.
      Now I need to go to Paypal and send a “THANK YOU” for Calibre – one heck of a terrific program!

  24. I am writing this just in case anyone is having a similar problem to what I have experienced recently when trying to remove DRM from Amazon purchases in Calibre using the guide and plugins above.

    Firstly,
    I have used Calibre and the K4DeDrm plugins from this blog before to remove DRM from my kindle books bought on Amazon, simply following this guide worked perfectly.

    However,
    Following a recent update of my Calibre and update to version 5.1 of the tools, I was noticing some problems.
    Calibre was still importing my books and still converting them to MOBI format and I assume removing DRM. However when I transfered the books to my Kindle Touch and tried to read them the files wouldnt open, I received the following message:

    Unable To Open Item! It said if I purchased the item from Amazon to delete it and re-download it from archived.

    I deleted and downloaded the files multiple times ‘Via whispernet AND direct to PC using Kindle For PC and imported them to Calibre from different folders to try and troubleshoot the problem.

    I am thinking it has something to do with recent changes to Amazon purchases to try and stop us removing DRM.

    Long story short,
    If you are having a similar problem to this here’s a two phase solution that has worked for me on the last 12 books I have bought.

    Phase 1: Visit http://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/windows-python-ebooks-and-drm/

    Follow his guide precisely to install Python 2.7 and some Python Crypto, I am not massively computer savvy but found the guide easy.

    Once you’ve installed the python stuff you can use a kindlebook tool from the latest vers 5.1 tools you downloaded above.

    The tool I use is in the following path on my PC : downloads/tools_v5.1/tools_v5.1/Other_tools/KindleBooks

    Read the README first for usage instructions. Which is basically choosing the input file (the book you want to remove DRM from), choosing your ouput folder to save to unlocked file to (something like Unlocked Ebooks worked for me) and also put in your Kindle’s serial number case sensitive in the last box.

    To finish phase one simply use this tool as per the instructions to manually remove the DRM, its got a 100% record for me so far.

    Phase 2: Is similar to this original guide, ensure you have the latest Calibre and plugins.

    Simple import your unlocked book from ‘Unlocked Ebooks’ or wherever you saved them from phase 1. Calibre will import them and convert them as usual. Et Voila! you should now be able to transfer them to you kindle with no problems opening them at all.

    This is my first ever post/guide, hope it helps someone out there.

    1. Thank you very much! I wasn’t able to remove the DRM with the Calibre plugins but by using your method instead, I was able to strip the DRM, rename the file from .azw3 to .azw, convert it to LIT in Calibre then to PDB in ABC Amber Lit Converter and upload it to my Tungsten E2 Palm Pilot PDA with the Palm Desktop install tool. Who ever thought that reading a book in bed would be so complicated! (I know that Calibre can convert straight to PDB but then the install tool insists on storing it in the memory card, which I keep changing, and not the PDA’s main memory.)

    1. Has anyone any experience with this DRM stripping software? Or is it something nefarious and should be avoided at all cost?

  25. After updating my Calibre software, adding the DRM plugin, and restarting Calibre, it still wasn’t converting the .azw file for me. However, after I removed the book from the queue and added it back in, the conversion then worked. Hope this helps, if anyone is still stuck after reading all of these!

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