Would questions about non-commercial usage Digital Rights Management DRM removal be on topic?

Without doubt, piracy type activity is out of scope.

General discussion about DRM would seem to be in scope.

My question is about the individual purchaser looking to remove DRM from a purchased eBook, for their personal use on devices they own.

Proposal: Ebooks


I think it would be an acceptable question, particularly since so many different vendors use DRM, and, as I understand it, it is acceptable to remove DRM when it is for the purpose of personal use.

I think it would probably be a great source of information for people who have digital libraries essentially useless to them because they require using a device that is obsolete, they no longer own, or want to have available on their primary device. For example, the Kindle does not read epub format, which numerous services use along with DRM. Removing the DRM from the files for use on the Kindle, again, as I understand it, is legal.

However, I do suspect it would become a common dupe question.

  • I'd hope that, over time, the laws might change; this forum could be a useful place for updates and interpretations. – Carl Witthoft Sep 4 '13 at 11:50
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    "...it is acceptable to remove DRM when it is for the purpose of personal use..." That absolutely depends on what country you live in. – Nathan Osman Oct 4 '13 at 17:18
  • @NathanOsman That answer applies to everything on the Internet. – Paul Nov 5 '16 at 22:40

First, the terms of service prohibit illegal activity. The content policy prohibits using the network for illegal purposes and advises caution when using copyrighted content. Arqade (the videogame site) has made piracy off topic for their site.

However, there are grey areas. On Arqade, there is a question about whether unlocking DLC should be on-topic. Note that the answer from a Community Manager leaves it up to the community, which decided such questions were off topic. More relevantly, Jeff and Joel agree that questions about removing DRM (from Kindle books, no less) should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Personally, I think encouraging such questions would attract the wrong crowd. But if someone asked a good and interesting question about it, I don't think it would need to be closed/deleted necessarily. Of course, boring and boorish questions should be removed from play quickly to avoid wasting everyone's time.

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    This answer does not fully address the question. It begins be stating a given on illegal activity and ends with a non-definitive and subjective opinion. – James Jenkins Jul 14 '13 at 12:58
  • @James Jenkins: The official answer about whether such questions might be on-topic is the Meta Super User answer I linked to. The site may declare them topical if they want. Feel free to ignore the rest of the answer if it doesn't help you. ;-) – Jon Ericson Jul 21 '13 at 21:13

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