Some ebooks unfortunately disappear
For many readers, ebooks are a simple variant of the traditionnal books that we are used to since Gutenberg and before. As a book owner, I am free to use the book as I want, share it with others, … Unfortunately, many ebooks are different. Companies like Amazon with the kindle, Apple with iBooks, Adobe, Microsoft and others consider that an ebook is a software product that is subject to a license. The ebook license allows you to read the ebook, take notes, … However, these licenses are not always perpetual. In April 2019, Microsoft announced that they stopped their ebook business, probably because it was not profitable enough and planned to stop the licensing servers for their ebooks in July 2019. Microsoft announced some refunds, but all ebook readers are now warned. Their preferred ebook might stop to be available due to a decision of the ebook publisher.
This problem will not affect open educational ressources like Computer Networking : Principles, Protocols and Practice. The ebook and its source code are freely available and nobody has the right to prevent you from reading it or recreate it from the source files.
Several magazines have published more detailed articles about the termination of the Microsoft ebooks:
- Microsoft’s Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM in wired
- Cory Doctorow’s post on Microsoft is about to shut off its ebook DRM servers: “The books will stop working”
- Ebooks Purchased From Microsoft Will Be Deleted This Month Because You Don’t Really Own Anything Anymore in gizmodo
This blog post was written to inform the readers of Computer Networking : Principles, Protocols and Practice about the evolution of the field. You can subscribe to the Atom feed for this blog at https://obonaventure.github.io/cnp3blog/feed.xml. These notes are also posted on the ebook’s Facebook page