Adobe Digital Editions: PDF EPUB Ebooks, DRM & the EPUB Format
Adobe DRM Software Products for PDF Data Security
The term Digital Edition has been applied to almost any work (book, picture, music recording, film recording) prepared in a digitized form. For Adobe, the compound term means, “part of the end-to-end Adobe eBook platform for authoring, protecting, and delivering eBooks across devices.”
And the essence is the eBook. While it might be nice to have integrated multimedia offerings, like St Augustin looking for chastity – not yet. And although the Adobe digital edition is a popular format in the sense that (it is reported that) it can be converted readily into Adobe PDF format (epub to pdf). In fact it would appear that Wikipedia lists several methods for removing the ePub DRM security (Adept) from Adobe digital editions and its derivative formats, which include Barnes & Noble and Sony.
Hidden under the banner of the more proprietary possibilities was support for the ‘standard’ ePub format (a definition of book formats using XHTML rather than HTML) which might, had the overall project been more successful, have been advanced.
During its relatively short life so far (at least, as compared with physical books) Adobe digital editions have gathered a number of adherents, and copies in this format are still being sold at the time this article was published. So it seems that the failure of the DRM technology itself has not completely prejudiced the market against the Adobe digital editions format. The current version (March 2011) uses Adobe Content Server 4 as the host management system, but as recently as December 2010 available hacks of the ePub DRM system were reported to be working successfully.
So it seems that it is difficult to obtain a secure epub document, and epub security continues to be problematic. ePub DRM is not specifically related to the XHTML definition although it was always anticipated (at least by OASIS, who produced the standard) that SAML would be used. But epub DRM has not gone down that route, and anyway, SAML was not designed to provide ePub DRM because it did not seek to control use of information, just access to it.
The concept behind Adobe digital editions, to be able to publish ebooks in a ‘standard’ format (ePub ebook or PDF ebook) and have them reproduced faithfully on a wide number of different platforms, is very good. But the implementation of ePub DRM has not had a similar success. ePub DRM has not proved to be effective, and whilst Adobe digital editions will continue to be used it may be some considerable time before effective ePub security is achieved.
Should you publish ebooks to PDF or ePUB format?
Choosing the format you publish in (ePub or PDF) is very important. The ePub format (XHTML) was developed specifically for Internet publishing. It is much lighter than PDF, so it is better suited to smaller devices, but it lacks the cross-platform consistency of appearance (form and format) of the PDF and many subtler controls. ePub DRM is also not as effective as PDF DRM security due to its implementation and poor key management.
Converting Adobe ebooks – ePub to PDF
If you are looking to convert ePub to PDF format then there are many freely available ePub to PDF converters such as:
You can also convert PDF to ePub format using converter tools such as: