Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook in 2014 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

You don’t own your ebooks with DRM. You’re merely licensing the privilege to read them. Some readers overseas have learned this the hard way (yet again) now that Nook is going out of business in the United Kingdom. But don’t worry, they’re working to let you maybe possibly transfer all those books you bought.

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The Register and TechDirt brought this notice from Nook’s UK site to our attention (emphasis mine):

Effective from March 15, 2016, NOOK will no longer sell digital content in the United Kingdom. The NOOK Store on NOOK devices sold in the UK, on the UK NOOK Reading App for Android, and at nook.com/gb will cease operation.

To meet your digital reading needs going forward, NOOK has partnered with award-winning Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand to ensure that you have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books at no new cost to you. Further instructions on how to transfer your NOOK Books to a new or existing Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand account will be sent to you by email over the coming weeks. Please ensure that you look out for these emails as they will contain important information on what to do next.

Your action is required.

“...continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books...”

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They’re not even promising that you’ll be able to transfer all your books!

Digital rights management (DRM) is absolutely crippling our ability to preserve digital knowledge for the future. And it’s half the reason I prefer deadtree books.

Even when it’s an accident (like when Amazon deleted everybody’s copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from their Kindles) it shows just how little control we have over the books we “buy” from digital retailers.

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So repeat after me...

You don’t own your ebooks.

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You don’t own your ebooks.

You don’t own your ebooks.


Contact the author at novak@gizmodo.com.