image B&N has implemented its own DRM scheme for the Nook and ePub books, says the blog I Love Cabbages. B&N has partnered with Adobe to use encrypted credit card numbers as the DRM key. We’ve made the point before, but it bears repeating for new Nook owners and others.

What does that mean if you own an e-book reader whose makers have used an Adobe Software Developers Kit? How about the Sony Reader, for example?

Well, until changes are made, B&N encrypted e-books will not be able to be read on Sony Readers, or any other machine that uses Adobe’s original form of DRM encryption. Luckily Nooks at least can read Sony-encrypted books (updated with info from Adobe).

Meanwhile, though, other issues exist. Anybody want to say how wonderful DRM is?

Related: Previous TeleRead writings on Adobe DRM and the Nook. Also see the previous word on the compatibility issue directly from Adobe’s Jim Lester (thanks as usual, Jim). Still applies. – D.R.


  1. Since Sony’s ePub’s use regular Adept Adobe ID encryption I don’t see why they wouldn’t work on the Nook. Other Adobe ID ePub’s work on it.

    The biggest problem I see with everybody using some form of Adobe encryption (either Adobe ID or eReader style Password), beside the fact that it’s DRM in the first place, is what happens when Adobe decides CS4 encrypted books must be updated to CS5 encrypted books or you loose them, like they recently did for CS3 encrypted books? Will we simply be unable to use those “updated” books on our older devices unless the device manufacturers are kind enough to issue new firmware for what will be at that time old devices?

    Hooray for i♥cabbages

  2. There’s no real news here. The B&N/Adobe encryption scheme was announced MONTHS ago. It’s being included in the next update to Adobe’s RMSDK, meaning the encryption scheme will be available to their customers beginning in early 2010. Once that happens, there’s no reason why this can’t be used by anyone else. Also, it doesn’t break existing DRM’d files, so yes, you can read your Sony ebooks on the nook.

    Check out Jim Lester’s post over at Mobileread:

  3. I wonder how this credit-card number as key works on the new credit cards that generate new random card numbers for every transaction, as a security measure?

    But yes. DRM is indeed ‘the cream of the jest’ as Caball put it.

  4. “B: Jim Lester at Adobe was nice enough to offer his own explanation to our readers. It appears there is at least a temporary problem with incompatibility, which Adobe, Sony and B&N plan to address. I’m no fan of DRM but do want want people to know all the facts.”

    Thanks. I don’t see there where it says Sony’s encrypted epub’s are incompatible with the Nook which is the part of your post I was addressing.

  5. To address both ~B and Paul:

    Sony (or any other ACS4 customer such as Overdrive) provided ePubs will work on the Nook (it is an RMSDK device), it is B&N provided ePubs that won’t work on other readers until firmware updates (or software updates for ADE/Sony EBL) by the respective manufacturers are issued.

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