February 24, 2012
A thread posted on MobileRead claims that the DRM attached to iBooks e-books can now be removed by using the latest version of a popular DRM-removal tool. Version 3.3 of Requiem, an app which has long been able to remove the DRM restrictions from music and videos purchased from the iTunes Store, reportedly introduces the ability to decrypt e-books bought from the iBookstore. Apple uses its own DRM technology known as FairPlay to protect the different forms of content it sells from being accessed through unauthorized means. In the case of iBooks e-books, FairPlay renders them unreadable on devices other than Apple's iOS devices. Now that Requiem finally has a method for circumventing the limitations of FairPlay in iBooks e-books, they can already be read on any device or application that supports ePub (the e-book format adopted by Apple) and converted to any e-book format. Note that Apple and Requiem have been in a tug-of-war for a long time, with the former updating its iTunes software to overcome the workaround that comes out with each new version of the latter. So, expect iTunes to be updated soon in response to Requiem's DRM-removal threat. DRM-protected e-books bought from other sellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, have been cracked a long time ago, and they continue to be stripped of DRM by using special plugins for Calibre, a popular e-book management program. Whether the ability to decrypt iBooks e-books will significantly affect sales in the iBookstore is yet to be seen. Now that you have a way to process iBooks e-books so that you can freely read them on any e-reader and share them with others, are you more inclined to get your e-books from the iBookstore?