Adobe Won't Fix DRM Screw-Up Rendering E-Books Unreadable

If you use Leopard on a Mac and plan on buying e-books, be very careful—according to the various complaints on this thread, Adobe’s Digital Editions still doesn’t work on Leopard, and yet most places selling Digital Editions e-books won’t warn you of this, leaving you with activated books you can’t return but also can’t read.

Adobe has been promising a Leopard-friendly version since at least November 13th of last year, but as of today they’ve still released nothing. In the meantime, students who’ve spent considerable amounts on e-textbooks are out of luck and money.

The forum notes that there are a couple of potential workarounds that have seen some success, but the truly astounding aspect to this is that Adobe hasn’t stepped up to help ensure refunds for those who weren’t told their purchases would be useless—and that e-book sellers aren’t making it clear at check-out that Leopard won’t work.

(Thanks to Tyler!)

“Digital Editions in Mac OS X Leopard” [Adobe Forums]


Edit Your Comment

  1. trujunglist says:

    It’s funny how many people were accusing Apple of shenanigans by not seeding developers with Leopard, because the people who did that cited Adobe as the example due to compatibility issues with CS3.
    But people who really knew what was going on know that Adobe and Apple are not friendly. Based on the history between those two, Adobe has no qualms about ditching Mac OS users for any reason at all, and would definitely drop the Mac OS from support if it didn’t have a suitable market share, especially one so entrenched in computer generated imagery.

  2. Manok says:

    Windows. Works 100% of the time for 100% of the people.

  3. Empire says:

    @Manok: Show me a Windows system that works 100% of the time and I’ll call the Guinness Book of World Records right now. Hell, show me a Windows system that works 90% of the time and I’ll stare at it in awe.

    Windows. Works 50% of the time for the people who know the multitude of workarounds required to keep it running. But it does run Adobe though.

  4. BrianH says:

    DRM is a scourge. (Scourge being defined as “A source of widespread dreadful affliction”)

  5. ptkdude says:

    @Manok: I have to reboot my Windows machine at work 3 or 4 times a day, and my WindowsMobile phone a couple of times, too. The only time I’ve ever had to reboot my Macs at home are when there’s an update which requires a reboot.

    Do programs crash on Mac? Of course they do. Do they lock up? Yes. But when either of those happen, they don’t hose up the OS.

    I’m not saying OS X is perfect, because it isn’t. But it is faster and much more stable than any version of Windows I’ve ever used (i.e. every one since Windows 3.0)

  6. azntg says:

    If your internet connection is a bit flaky, you can also have an unreadable activated e-book too. I learned that the hard way, but at least I didn’t have to pay anything for it. Thank You Adobe Digital Editions!

  7. catcherintheeye says:

    @ptkdude: That sounds like it could be the shortcomings of an IT department.

    I’m no Windows fan myself, but we run Windows OS exclusively for about 100 people (2000, XP, and about 20 2003 servers), and nobody has to restart 3 to 4 times a day. Perhaps you should bring it up?

    If you have a Windows system that is properly installed and tested, with software that is approved, installed and tested by your IT department (sorry, no Weatherbug), you really shouldn’t have any problems.

    I’m not saying this is the way it should be with Windows, and I’ve had Linux boxes run months without needing a reboot, but your case sounds a little extreme, and shouldn’t be used as a baseline comparison for all Windows installations. This is the result of attempting to create an OS which is compatible with everything under the sun.

    Of course, the “100% of the time” comment is on the other side of the extremes.

  8. edrebber says:

    If the ebook doesn’t work, then dispute the charge with your credit card company.

  9. Shadowmist says:

    Well, that’s not too good I don’t think. On one hand, while Apple sounds nice, I can’t bring myself to buy it due to the lack of support for a lot of the programs I like. Sure you can get the workarounds, but finding one for different programs can be a pain. I’d rather stick with my Windows comp for now, until Apple becomes more mainstream, thus easier to use.

    Adobe sounds to be at fault here too, and as a student I can’t say losing money on e-books is that great. Rather annoying IMO to get a book and be unable to read it, but because you opened it you can’t return it. Adobe should step up and help them out. Or maybe they just suck at programming or Leopard is too hard for them to develop for…

    And for the record, my windows comp has crashed only one time (actually my fault, fell on top of it and it stopped working). And I leave it on 24/7, turning it off once on Sundays. Run a lotta rather big programs on it too. My friend’s problems with windows seem to stem from faulty machines, rather than the OS itself. Mind you, I’m not an expert on these kinda things so take my word for what it’s worth.

  10. dotyoureyes says:

    One word: Chargeback. Let the credit card company deal with it.

  11. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    The dude who can fix it is too busy waiting for Comcast to come fix his shit…

  12. wildness says:

    Buy the ACTUAL book.

  13. goodkitty says:

    I’ve stopped buying Adobe products, and I try my best to not buy Microsoft’s products (since you usually don’t get a choice). I know neither of those horrible companies will so much as flinch at my small loss, but I can still daydream that both of them will go bankrupt sometime soon, or at least start serving the customer and not their pocketbook. Even Apple is starting to get bad.

  14. matto says:

    @goodkitty: When you find a useable alternative to Office, Creative Suite, and Final Cut Studio, give me a call. We’ll make a killing.

  15. MDSasquatch says:

    The “APPLE DOESN’T HAVE THE SOFTWARE I WANT” excuse doesn’t hold water and hasn’t for quite a while. With their new processors, you can install you Windows and Windows applications onto the MAC.

    I have an iMac and a laptop and haven’t rebooted either in a VERY long time for other than software updates.

    BTW, for those of you that don’t like MicroSoft Office, the Macs come with their own version of Office and I hear a lot of folks like them as much if not more the MS Office

  16. Kavatar says:

    I hate Adobe with all of my soul.

  17. sleze69 says:

    People actually PAY for Adobe products? Wow.

    Also, people need to understand that supporting such a small market as Leopard users is disproportionately costly as to supporting the larger Windows market.

    (less users = less revenue)

  18. whydidnt says:

    This is precisely why I avoid making purchases that are encumbered with DRM. It’s absurd to think that you pay for something only to find out you can’t actually use it because they are so concerned about a NON-Paying person stealing their “work”. And then these companies wonder why their product is widely adopted?

  19. ct03 says:

    @wildness: I don’t know the average page length for e-books, but my girlfriend is getting her doctorate in pharmacy and the book her e-book is meant to replace is literally three inches thick (not to mention several hundred dollars). She takes the bus to school and has several classes a day. Toting that beast around isn’t really an option, especially if there’s more than one e-book class a day.

  20. Sidecutter says:

    @Empire: OK, I have one for you. Mine. All three of mine, in fact. 99% minimum uptime, almost no fussing with settings except those I choose to for purposes of wringing that final few percentage points of performance from it.

  21. etinterrapax says:

    I lost like $3 on this. I don’t care if they don’t want to play nice with Leopard, but I do expect to know ahead of time that they won’t, so I don’t bother ordering. That’s the real issue, not whether they should. I read the system compatibility statement and absolutely nothing about Adobe Digital Editions was mentioned, let alone that it wasn’t Leopard-compatible. I’m glad I don’t have to depend on it for textbooks; I can just refuse the whole thing on principle, regardless of what they do in the future.

  22. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    If you’re buying anything with DRM on it you’re a retard & get what you deserve.

  23. mavrc says:

    Solution: Stop buying intangible property when tangible property is available at nearly the same cost. And if you buy intangible property because it costs less, consider what you forfeit for that savings.

    If they didn’t explicitly say that they would work in Leopard, then there’s no reason why they should. DRMed products are insidious like that. And it isn’t their responsibility to tell buyers what things their product WON’T work on.

  24. Rusted says:

    Paper books work just nicely. Free at your local library and you can even give em’ back for more.

    @Empire: My w2000 ran fine for five years. More then 90 percent. But I maintained it. Computers need TLC too. Also stay the heck away from Norton or any other ANY high buck security software. The free stuff is better.

    Now on XP Pro and not happy since they moved some of the stuff around. At least it’s a direct descendant of W2000 so it’s easy to fix.