Found in the MobileRead forums today: one of Fictionwise’s e-book servers, Overdrive, is terminating its contract with them as of January 31st. Because these files are actually DRM-encrypted and delivered by Overdrive’s servers and not stored on Fictionwise itself, this means that customers who purchased them will no longer be able to download those files as of the end of the month.
According to Fictionwise’s FAQ about the Overdrive matter, this affects 300,000 e-book units sold to customers (less than 4% of Fictionwise’s total sales). The affected units include some Secure Mobipocket, Secure Microsoft Reader, and Secure Adobe Digital titles, but Secure eReader and Multiformat are unaffected.
Fictionwise is in negotiation with the e-books’ original publishers to allow them to provide replacements in Secure eReader format for affected Overdrive books. They have covered about 80% of the affected titles so far, and continue to negotiate with other publishers to try to cover the rest. For more information, see the FAQ at the link above.
Kudos to Fictionwise for their efforts to make sure their readers don’t lose access to the books they’ve paid for!
(I personally wish they could replace every Secure Mobipocket book I have ever purchased with a Secure eReader version, but perhaps that will happen eventually.)