If anyone really knows me, they know I do not like DRM (that’s Digital Rights Management to the layman) and it will ultimately die a slow death. If you buy a book on the Amazon Kindle store, it comes with restrictions that don’t allow it to be sent to other people and you can only highlight so much text in any given book.

When I read books, I tend to digitally highlight the key passages that are the core of the themes and ideas of the books. So later on, if I want to review the book and be refreshed on the info, I don’t have to re-read the entire book but can review my highlights.

However, one of the stupid DRM restrictions that Amazon places on their books is that I can only highlight a certain amount of text in a book. Once you hit that limit, your highlights will not be saved and a message appears in its place saying “You have reached the clipping limit for this item.” So a book could have lots of great ideas, quotes, etc and you could hit this arbitrary limit and then go no further. It’s dumb and I’ve been looking for a way around it.

And today I found it! Apprentice Alf’s Blog shares a set of PC and Mac tools that allow you to remove DRM from Kindle books and other ebook stores out there.

I’m a proud Mac user and I found the easiest tool to use is the DeDRM 5.1 AppleScript app. So here’s how to do it… (legal disclaimer: of course you would only use this type of app for removing DRM from your own books and I don’t advocate stealing ;)

  1. Go to the Apprentice Alf Blog and download the tools_5.1.zip file and unzip thr contents
  2. Read the instructions about using the DeDRM 5.1 AppleScript app
  3. Unzip DeDRM5.1 and copy DeDRM 5.1 to your Applications folder
  4. Turn your Kindle on and press Menu and the press Settings.
  5. Copy down your 16 digit Kindle serial number.
  6. From your Applications folder, run DeDRM and hit the configure button and enter your 16 digit Kindle serial number and choose where you would like the new files to be outputted to.
  7. Then simply drag and drop .amz files from your Kindle onto DeDRM 5.1 and it will remove the DRM

Awesome, right!.  Now I can highlight passages to my heart’s content without worrying about highlighting too much.


8/21/2013: Update – The above blog has added a DeDRM plugin for Calibre (the awesome ebook management app) making this process even easier.