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Ebooks purchased from Microsoft will be deleted this month because you don't really own anything again



Photo: Gizmodo / Alex Cranz

Anyone who bought e-books through the Microsoft Store is in for a rude shock in the coming days. The good news? You can get a refund. The bad news? All your books will be deleted this month.

In April, Microsoft announced that it would stop selling e-books, and that any books that were already sold would stop working in early July because the DRM servers were shut down. Yes, you read it correctly. The books that you "bought" will disappear. Even the "free" books you downloaded through Microsoft will be deleted.

Microsoft started selling e-books back in 2017, but technical limitations made them unpopular with users. As my colleague Alex Cranz explained back in April, anyone who bought Microsoft's e-books had to use Microsoft's Edge browser, and the company never made a dedicated ebook reader application. The books also came with restrictive DRM, the digital locks on media that forbid people to share the files with others. Unfortunately, the existence of the same locks is the exact reason why Microsoft can pull the plug on your books remotely.

Users will automatically be refunded to any account they hold on the file but if your credit card has expired or you & # 39; t have a payment stored by the company, Microsoft will give you a credit that can be used online in the Microsoft Store.

What happens if you have made comments or notes in your books? They will also disappear. But Microsoft gives $ 25 to anyone commenting on their books before April 2. How generous, right?

This whole debacle shows how ridiculous our current media landscape can be when we all buy movies, games and books through companies using DRM. Few people expect Apple's store to go away anytime, but what happens 10 or 20 years from now when a competitor comes together and Apple decides it's too expensive to maintain their own servers? Back in DVD days, no one could take your movies away from you. Now all that is required is a flap of a switch on many platforms, which we can clearly see with Microsoft's latest clusterfuck. As Cory Doctorow explains to Boing Boing, he predicted this exact scenario when he spoke to Microsoft 15 years ago.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to Gizmodo's questions about when tech giant would pull the plug exactly. All we know is sure it will happen this month.

Read them while you have them, I think.


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