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Pearson Closes DRM-Free eBookstore, Will Delete All eBooks From Customers' Account

Pearson has just informed its customers that it is shunting down its ebookstore at, and that it will be deleting purchased ebooks by 30 April 2018.

While the ebooks don’t have encryption DRM and thus could be regarded as DRM-free, Pearson does use digital watermarks to invisibly identify the buyer of the ebook.

I am still seeking confirmation from Pearson, but my source, Axel Rauschmayer, writes that he:

Bought DRM-free ebook “Effective JS” a while ago. Now Pearson tells me:

  • They’ll remove it from my account
  • To rub it in, they let me know they still offer it on another platform

Very disappointed. Not surprised that Amazon and DRM are winning for ebooks.

To be honest, I have trouble summoning sympathy. Yes, Axel is going to lose access to the cloud copy, but the ebook he bought will continue to work after April 2017, and he didn’t have to break any laws to make that happen.

In comparison to the closure of Fictionwise, when many thousands of customers lost their purchases, or when Google bricked the Revolv smart hubs, or Amazon when it shut down its pre-Kindle bookstore, this story is less a tragedy than a reminder of why one should always have a local backup.

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Allen F November 13, 2017 um 1:04 pm

Dear not-so valued customer,
We are changing the rules, pray we don’t change them further …

Kate November 13, 2017 um 5:33 pm

Should we point out that in the deep mists of time, Amazon once did the same thing?

Don’t trust anyone – businesses change or close for all kinds of reasons. Always keep a backup!

Nate Hoffelder November 13, 2017 um 6:09 pm

Amazon was actually worse – they were selling DRMed ebooks before shutting their store in 2005-ish.

Pearson, WTF? Badges, patents, and the world’s ‘least popular’ education company | November 21, 2017 um 1:31 am

[…] in 2012 by Mozilla.”  Additionally, he notes that ” they have closed their DRM-Free ebook store, and will now proceed to delete all ebooks from their customers’ accounts.” Well, […]

Ebook Industry News Feed – About Ebooks November 21, 2017 um 7:23 am

[…] Closes DRM-Free e-Bookstore 13 November 2017 The Digital Reader It’s a wrap for Purchased ebooks will be inaccessible after 30 April […]

Steph@InformIT November 21, 2017 um 11:23 am will/is a Pearson store that will continue to sell IT related books, eBooks, and video training. Most eBooks are watermarked/DRM-Free and available as PDF, EPUB, and MOBI.

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