I'd like to know if ebooks bought on Google Play are always encumbered with DRM, even when the publisher is selling them in a DRM-free version1. As an example, Newton Compton, an italian publisher, sells all of its ebooks in a DRM-free format (they just use a watermark).

As an example, let's take one of their books, Artemis by Andy Weir. They sell it DRM-free on their site, and also other stores respect this choice from the publisher, like IBS, Kobo, Bookrepublic, and surely others.

On Google Play it is instead listed as being protected with DRM, but it is not specified if this refers to the watermark or if they apply the hard Adobe DRM.

I usually buy from other sources, but I've received a coupon and I'd like to know what I will get if I buy from here.

1. In this context, when I speak of DRM, I am referring to the hard types, like Adobe DRM, and not about the soft ones, like the simple watermarks that don't cause any technical difficulties when trying to open and access them.

1 Answer 1


Google Play does supply non DRMed books.

I have bought ebooks from Google Play published by Baen who have never had DRM and I can downloaded them as .epub with no DRM.

It is up to the publisher and not the store to decide if the book is encumbered with DRM.

If a store says something is DRMed and it should not be ie the publisher says it is not then you should contact the publisher to giving the store details and the publisher will tell the store to change it.

In this case note the original publisher (Random House) of the English version of Artemis have asked for DRM. see here

  • 1
    Can you please link a book that you bought from GP that had not DRM, so I can compare how the description is different from the DRM encumbered ones?
    – Sekhemty
    Dec 14, 2017 at 22:29
  • 1
    Here's one: play.google.com/store/books/details/…. Under the "Content Protection" heading in the "Additional Information" section, the page notes that "This content is DRM free."
    – thinkulum
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:44

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