When shopping from Kobo Store, how can one determine if a book is encumbered with DRM? And also to determine what kind of DRM is used?

I.E., there is an italian publisher called Newton & Compton that uses a watermark social DRM. For example, if you take the Sherlock Holmes Omnibus on their site, under the tab informazioni aggiuntive it is labeled as protected with watermark; on bookrepublic, another italian store, the same book is labelled as protected with Social DRM (the same thing as watermark); but on Kobo Books, I can't see the DRM specifications anywhere on the page.

Also, ebooks from LiberLiber (a site similar to Project Gutenberg but with a focus on italian works) are offered without any protection; it is reflected, in example, on bookrepublic, where ebooks are clearly labeled as DRM free. Again, on Kobo Store I can't get any information about this.

Is it possible to determine in some way what kind of protection have the books when shopping from Kobo Store without having to rely on other stores or publisher's sites?
And I am correct to assume that Kobo uses the same DRM restrictions of the original publisher (i.e. watermark for Newton & Compton and DRM-free for LiberLiber)? Or does it apply its own kind, without any notice to the end user?

  • Are you shopping at Kobo for books to add to a Kobo device? If it is a different device what brand/model? Feb 4, 2014 at 19:51
  • Shame on Kobo for keeping their customers ignorant. This is a good reason to avoid purchasing from their store.
    – Sam Tuke
    Mar 16, 2015 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


If you look at the bottom of the page you linked:
you'll see:

enter image description here

As you can see, this book is listed as "Senza DRM" (DRM-Free on the English language site).

You'll also see books with Adobe DRM such as "Mitologia classica" https://store.kobobooks.com/it-IT/ebook/mitologia-classica

enter image description here

Bonus tip:
To the right of the Product Information you'll see the heading "Read This On" ("Leggilo su"):

enter image description here

If the device list includes Blackberry, you can download the file directly to your computer rather than loading it through the Kobo Desktop. If there is Adobe DRM, you'll still need to use ADE to get the file to your Kobo. There's a link to the device list directly under the "Add to cart" button.


Outdated Answer

With the current design you can not tell while shopping at store.kobobooks.com directly. In fact some authors have taken to claiming in their title so you can be aware. Tales for a Dark Night--Book 1--an Archon DRM free anthology of horror. You should not rely on a publishers listing of DRM status, while researching for this answer I found several mentions of Kobo adding DRM when they had been specifically requested not to.

Kobo makes no attempt to notify the end user of the DRM status of the work being purchased. I found reference to Kobo using both a proprietary 'Kepub DRM' and Adobe digital editions DRM protection. It is reasonable to assume that they are not fully forth coming about all of their DRM protection formats.

As Kobo ereader use ePub file types, there are multiple shopping options to purchase works for your reader where the DRM status is clearly defined.

  • However if Kobo has added DrM when publisher says not - complain to the publisher who normally would sort this out.
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 5, 2014 at 22:55
  • There's no such thing as a "Kepub DRM". Everything you get via wifi from Kobo comes as a kepub, everything you download to a PC is an epub. Either one may or may not have DRM added. Kepub is an epub with a few proprietary additions. Nevertheless, this doesn't alter the fact that you don't know whether a book has DRM until after you buy it, when it shows in your library as either EPUB (no DRM) or "Adobe DRM EPUB"
    – Auspex
    Sep 16, 2014 at 1:23
  • I looked on Kobo and the answer by beaker is correct, Kobo now shows the DRM information at the bottom of the page. Jul 4, 2015 at 4:40

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