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Am I not allowed to download copies of DRM-free books? Do I have to use the app to view them?

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So I messaged Kobo's customer service and got this response

Thank you for contacting Kobo Customer Care. We are more than happy to assist you.

The book(s) you have purchased have been released by the publisher in the new ePub3 format, which can only be synced through the Kobo cloud. If you are not using a Kobo device or application, you will not be able to add this book manually. Additionally, ePub3 books are not compatible with some of our older Kobo devices such as the Original, Wifi, and Vox, nor the Kobo app on a Blackberry device.

We apologize for this inconvenience and would be happy to offer you a store credit or refund. Please reply to this email and let us know which you would prefer.

I thought ePub3 is a standard? But I guess that's another issue entirely. At least now I know why those download links were missing.

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