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I have Adobe Digital Editions installed on my computer. Adobe Digital Editions is tied to my Adobe ID email address, oldemail@domain.com.

Over the past several years, I have purchased several (non-public domain) ebooks from the vendor ebooks.com, both EPUB and PDF. My ebooks.com account is, like my Adobe ID, associated with oldemail@domain.com.

When I purchase and then download ebooks from ebooks.com, I am given an .acsm file ("Adobe Content Server Message" file). Once I have downloaded the .acsm file to my computer, I double-click on it, Adobe Digital Editions opens, and the ebook file (EPUB or PDF) is downloaded to my computer and automatically placed in Adobe Digital Editions.

Once the ebook is in Adobe Digital Editions, if I right-click on it and select "Item Info," it says:

Permissions
Licensed To: oldemail@domain.com
urn:uuid:########-####-####-####-############

where # is a number 0-9 or a letter a-f. When it says Licensed To: oldemail@domain.com, what does that mean?

My overall question is, are ebooks tied to (i.e., licensed to) a particular email address?

Are they tied to a particular email address as soon as they are purchased or only when they are opened on Adobe Digital Editions for the first time?

Another way to ask this question is the following: which of the following statements is true?

  1. An ebook is tied to a particular email address as soon as it is purchased. So if I purchase an ebook from a vendor (e.g., ebooks.com), the ebook is tied to the email address I used to purchase the ebook as soon as I click purchase. In other words, if I use oldemail@domain.com to purchase an ebook from a vendor, I can only open that ebook using software that is authorized to oldemail@domain.com.

  2. An ebook is tied to a particular email address only when the .acsm file is actually opened and the ebook is loaded into Adobe Digital Editions (which itself is tied to a particular email address). In other words, if I use oldemail@domain.com to purchase an ebook from a vendor, I can open it for the first time either with Adobe Digital Editions authorized to oldemail@domain.com or with Adobe Digital Editions authorized to newemail@domain.com. However, once I open it with either authorization (either oldemail@domain.com or newemail@domain.com), the ebook is forever tied to that particular email address and I can no longer open it with the other authorization.

My issue is that I want to change my email address, from oldemail@domain.com to newemail@domain.com, without losing access to my ebooks. To do this, do I need to ask the vendor (i.e., ebooks.com) to change the email address associated with my account, or do I need to just to redownload the .acsm files and open them in an Adobe Digital Editions authorized to newemail@domain.com? Neither support team is at all clear on what I will need to do.

5

I do disagree with idiotprogrammer's answer because this question does dive into DRM which plays a large part in ebooks.

You could try changing the authorization of your Adobe Digital Editions account, reference: "How do I change the authorization on my laptop" with a re-install.

If that doesn't work you would need to contact ebooks.com. Since you're getting a .acsm file I would 99% think they are using Adobe Content Server.

First, it's ridiculous to think that a DRMed ebook is tied to an email. Instead, it is tied to a user account created for a specific vendor. Every website under the sun allows you to change the email for the account. Even if the sign on you use is the email I suspect you will be able to change the email associated with it from account management on the user's site.

Actually not.. ebooks.com might treat the email address as the ID and use it for validation to prevent transfer.

Your issue will need to be addressed at the vendor if a re-install of ADE is unsuccessful. To my recollection DRM is scoped to what they have identified as the ID. In this case your ID is your email address. You might be allowed to change your email address in the account settings of ebooks.com but I do not have an account there so I wouldn't know.

I did run across this in research: "I figured out the .acsm problem!".

1

Let me say that I have no idea what the answer to your question is. So what follows is my best guess based on a hunch.

First, it's ridiculous to think that a DRMed ebook is tied to an email. Instead, it is tied to a user account created for a specific vendor. Every website under the sun allows you to change the email for the account. Even if the sign on you use is the email I suspect you will be able to change the email associated with it from account management on the user's site.

Because I feel pretty sure of the first point, I think it's fair to assume that all instances of this app on different devices with the same username will allow you to access that DRMed ebook. (the DRM may limit how many devices you can share it with). That is because the app probably checks with a central server.

You are asking a question which is probably too vendor-specific. Different companies implement DRM differently. I am not sure whether a single Adobe account is used for other vendors or whether each vendor has its own DRM server; probably the latter (even if they use an Adobe content server).

DRM is notoriously buggy, so I'd check with the vendor instead of hoping for a general answer. But I think your issue is not with email but with the vendor's limit on how many devices can open the same DRM content.

Finally I should add that my Adobe ID for using Adobe Digital Editions has nothing to do with the account I have for the ebook distributor. So I would expect that all Adobe DE's to be able to open and view the file. (But then again, I have no special knowledge here).

Updated thought: We need to differentiate between "default account names" (which can sometimes be identical to email address) and "email associated with the user account". For one ecommerce vendor, my account name is "fakename@hotmail.com" when in fact that address is no longer valid. Instead the email associated with the account "fakename@hotmail" is "fakename@gmail.com" even though my account name is still "fakename@hotmail". Confusing? Yes!

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