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DAISY is a digital ebook format designed for blind and disabled people. There are two kinds of DAISY books, "open" books which can be freely read by anyone, and "protected" books which have DRM and can only be read if you have a device equipped with a key.

My question is, is there any way to remove/decrypt DRM from DAISY ebooks, if you don't have the key? There are methods for removing/decrypting DRM from PDF and EPUB files, so there may be similar methods here.

EDiT: If it helps, here is the DAISY ebook I'm interested in downloading. I'd like to read this book on a computer if possible.

EDIT 2: I found the same book as a PDF with DRM, and managed to decrypt the DRM on that. So now my question is moot. But let me leave it up so other people who encounter DAISY ebooks can get help.

  • This question is a bit on the grey zone (apparently we don't have an official stance about this), please take a look here ebooks.meta.stackexchange.com/q/234/136 ; besides that, if you know from some source about DRM "management" for epubs, you could try to refer to them also for other formats which you are interested in... – Sekhemty Jun 13 '17 at 8:28
  • Actually, DAISY books come in different formats, independently of DRM, depending on whether they contain speech, text to be speech synthesized or both. I think the most common standard is DAISY 2.02, which contains only speech.I am no expert, but I would expect that the type of DRM used is dependent on the standard, and may also depend on the publisher, or on the brand of the reader. Thus there may be no universal answer to your question. Maybe you could give more information about the DAISY standard you are interested in. and possibly the kind of reader or the kind of DRM if you know.. – babou Jun 14 '17 at 16:40
  • @babou Here's the DAISY ebook I'm interested in: archive.org/download/asdrivenleaf00stei/… I'm not sure what standard that is. I would like to read this book on my computer if possible. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 14 '17 at 17:12
  • It's a shame that no one seems to have a means to break the DRM on them. My closest friend is blind, and I'd like to be able to send him certain books, since he found using using a browser frustrating enough in the past (years ago, really) that I find it impossible to get him to try anymore. I suppose I'll just have to stick with PD ebooks, but there are a lot of books still under copyright he'd get good use of. Oh well, I don't really expect to find a way... – Ghod Jul 4 at 21:46
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I have no idea on how to solve the general problem of DRM removal. Depending on where you live, it may actually be very much against the law.

Furthermore, as I said in a comment, DAISY books come in different formats, independently of DRM, depending on whether they contain speech, text to be speech synthesized or both. I think the most common standard is DAISY 2.02, which (from what I understand) contains only speech, but I am no expert on DAISY which I never heard of before.

I would expect that the type of DRM used is dependent on the standard, and may also depend on the publisher, or on the brand of the reader. Thus there may be no universal answer to your question.

For a specific book, it may be useful to know the standard used, and probably the kind of reader, or the kind of DRM.

Now, you tell in a comment, which you should (probably) integrate to your question to better focus it, that you are interested in the book at https://archive.org/download/asdrivenleaf00stei/asdrivenleaf00stei_daisy.zip

I still do not know how to remove the DRM technically, and, if I knew, answering you could get me into significant trouble. The archive.org site is a wonderful site (I mean that), which by its very purpose is probably not too friendly to DRM, but there is nothing they can do when a book is still under copyright custody.

To know more , I unzipped the file, which I hope you did too. This gives you a bunch of files, including a file README_encrypted.txt which says it uses a key from the National Library Service, and point to the files http://openlibrary.org/help/faq/accessing#what-is-daisy and https://nlsbard.loc.gov/ for more explanation.

They explain that the program (for modern books, hence under copyright) is reserved to residents of the USA and American citizens living overseas. I am not quite sure how they do that legally, though they clearly enforce that with the DRM key.

Some countries do have laws that make a copyright exception to the benefit of disabled people within the country. I am not sure whether that is the case in the USA, but it would be the simplest explanation. However it does not explain giving access to American citizens in other countries, since international treaties give the USA jurisdiction on copyright only within the USA.

Now if your country of residence has a similar law (free access for disabled people) then it is possible that the National Library Service would accept to give you a key to be used from your country, since that would not raise any copyright infringement issue (though they might want to have an official agreement between countries). Maybe you can try to discuss that with the people at info@archive.org, or the people at NLS. And you shold check the copyright law in your own country regarding exceptions for disabled people.

This is just my best understanding, and all the suggestions I can give to solve your problem, and I am not a lawyer.

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  • I'm aware that you can read it if you have the NLS key. But as I mentioned in my question, I want to know if there's any way you can remove/decrypt the DRM if you don't have the key, just like you can do with EPUB files and PDF files that have DRM. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 15 '17 at 3:07
  • You knew it can be read with a NLS key, but you did not give the information in your question, as you should have, making it more general and harder to answer. My answer suggests that it might be possible to get such a key (I do not know) and also places to ask, which is the simpler way to access the book. Apparently, that is not your goal, and all you want to do is remove the DRM. This may be legal in your country, but might cause serious problem to people discussing such issues in other countries. So my answer and explanation is the best I can do, and it took me time and effort. – babou Jun 15 '17 at 16:37
  • Just so you're not in suspense, I never managed to decrypt the DRM on the Daisy file, but I found the same book as a PDF file which had DRM, and I easily decrypted the DRM on that. So now my question is moot. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 22 '17 at 0:52
  • Sorry, but I can't stand answers like this. The questioner did not express any intent (evil or otherwise) and so to presume such on he behalf is a waste of time. Yes, it is true that people steal, but answering that you won't explain how to get into a home by picking a lock because it could be a question asked by a thief actually cuts out a lot of important cases where people genuinely do need help. Removing the DRM was the question, and if for whatever reason you can't answer, then simply don't. People don't care why, but that you answer or do not. Thanks, but didn't need all the warnings. – Private Name Mar 13 at 17:38
  • @PrivateName You are misreading my answer. I never accused anyone of stealing or thievery. Asserting that I did is defamatory, as many people could witness that for many years, I spend time and energy fighting the abuses of "so called" intellectual property" in several of its guises, and published several papers on these issues. I only said that, for whatever reasons that are my privilege, I will not, maybe cannot, discuss some technical issues. I did try to find ways to circumvent that. And I am informing readers, for their own sake, that such discussion could possibly get them in trouble. – babou Mar 13 at 20:16

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