back to article Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'

Adobe confirmed its Digital Editions software insecurely phones home your ebook reading history to Adobe – to thwart piracy. And the company insisted the secret snooping is covered in its terms and conditions. Version 4 of the application makes a note of every page read, and when, in the digital tomes it accesses, and then …

  1. Dr. Ellen
    Flame

    There are evil lawyers involved.

    Somebody has gotta simplify that agreement so it can actually be read!

    1. NotWorkAdmin

      Re: Somebody has gotta simplify that agreement

      Interesting idea. Seem to recall Google did exactly that, and the EU jumped all over it trying to get it back to several pages of baffling legalese.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Somebody has gotta simplify that agreement

        LAWYERS!

        1. BillG
          Holmes

          Re: Somebody has gotta simplify that agreement

          We need lawyers to get us out of problems that we never would have gotten into in the first place if it wasn't for lawyers.

          1. Ole Juul

            Re: Somebody has gotta simplify that agreement

            the company will be issuing an update to fix it.

            Yes, I've been robbing banks, but I plan to fix that in the future. That should get me off. No?

  2. Mitoo Bobsworth
    FAIL

    Never used it ...

    ... and now I never will.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never used it ...

      Only use I've had for it is to strip the DRM out of legitimately purchased epubs.

  3. Ian Michael Gumby
    Flame

    Shrinkwrap contracts...

    I can't wait for this to get in front of a court.

    Cue the lawyers.

  4. Eguro
    Facepalm

    "Hoffelder claimed Digital Editions 4 slurped and leaked the metadata of all the ebooks on his system – not just the ones read using the application. Adobe said this shouldn't possible, but has its developers checking again to make sure this isn't a bug."

    I'm sure it was just a rogue engine... programmer!

    1. Tromos

      A bug? In Adobe Software?

      Say it's not so!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bug? In Adobe Software?

        Yeah, the one time when it almost certainly *isn't* a "bug", Adobe would like you to believe it is.

        Or it was a rogue staff member they didn't know anything about, honest guv, and he's been sent on a special re-education course where he'll be taught that It's Bad To Insert Spyware Into Your Apps... even if your boss told you to do it^w^w^w^w^w^w^w^w^w and prove he's learned his lesson by completing a special multiple choice quiz that even an 8-year-old could get the right answers to.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: A bug? In Adobe Software? Impossibru!

          Adobe said this shouldn't possible

          ...so they accidentally the whole software!

  5. Shadow Systems

    Or it would have if I'd let it...

    Back when I could still see & PDF's weren't a *total* worthless pile of shite, I'd always listed Adobe Reader in the Firewall as Blocked & no connections allowed in either direction. It doesn't need to phone home, and I don't want it replying to anyone phoning in. It manually updated when I manually grabbed the latest version, ripped out the old, & installed the new.

    Now that I can't see & PDF's are as useful as nipples on a rock, I don't even have it installed. But if I did, it would *still* be Blocked by the Firewall for the exact same reasons.

    Do yourself, your friends, family, coworkers, & customers a massive favor & Stop Using Adobe. That includes Flash, PDF, and everything else. There are better ways, better programs, and better solutions.

    If Adobe is the answer, the question was probably "Whom sucks harder than a nuclear powered hooker?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

      This isn't about Adobe Reader, it's about Adobe Digital Editions - an eBook reader that's difficult to avoid if you want to read some Adobe DRM-protected eBooks.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

        This isn't about Adobe Reader, it's about Adobe Digital Editions

        Nevertheless, my trust in the company vanished entirely after reading this article. I'm going to delete all Adobe software from the computers I have control over, as much as feasible (it may be that removing Flash plugins from the home computers could cause too much domestic disturbance...).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

          it may be that removing Flash plugins from the home computers could cause too much domestic disturbance...

          It's OK & relatively painless to do this, you just have to make Chrome the default browser, then delete everything Adobe from your PC/Mac. On PC you can D/L "foxit" & keep it updated, Mac has Preview for pdf's. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads/

          Chrome has the built-in (& always updated) Flash-Pepper player, keep checking "about Chrome" in order to update the browser itself. Uncheck all the spyware that Chrome offers {chrome://settings/ show Advanced Settings} then de-select the following: [If you need the protections then you can get this functionality free in OpenDNS without giving all your data to the Google Bubble]

          [NO]Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors

          [NO]Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar or the app launcher search box

          [NO]Predict network actions to improve page load performance

          [NO]Automatically report details of possible security incidents to Google

          [NO]Enable phishing and malware protection

          [NO]Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors

          [NO]Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google

          [NO]Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic

          [NO]Enable "Ok Google" to start a voice search

          add Ghostery extensions to all browsers, [Select All (1600+!!!) Trackers, Select "Enable tracker library auto-updating" but do not select "Enable Ghostrank"]

          and remember to only use Gmail from your Firefox browser!

          this works fine for me, family haven't yet noticed that they are in an Adobe-free environment!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

            Foxit is worse than Adobe when it comes to installing adware/malware on your PC. I would avoid it and choose another.

            1. Blip
              Thumb Up

              Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

              I like SumatraPDF as an alternative to Foxit.

      2. Robert Helpmann??
        Facepalm

        Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

        This isn't about Adobe Reader, it's about Adobe Digital Editions...

        Well, the product in question is Digital Editions, but the article is concerned more broadly with Adobe, their actions and their responses which seem to be designed solely too deflect and mislead.

        For friends and family, I have advocated ditching Reader because it is attacked enough to essentially qualify as malware in its own right. I was further encouraged to avoid their products when they moved to a subscription based program for their Creative Suite. I viewed this as milking it for all it was worth and am not interested in contributing to the Buy an Exec a Yacht charity program. This revelation was another nail in the proverbial coffin from my perspective, but the box had to be pulled out of the ground before the nail could be pounded in.

        Next question: do other e-book reading applications and e-book readers also report home in the same manner?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

        Can be done. Install digital editions, then install calibre. Calibre can use the DE keys and rip out the DRM. You can then put the ebook on your reader in whatever format you like (Calibre can convert them.)

    2. DropBear

      Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

      "Whom sucks harder than a nuclear powered hooker?"

      Hmmm... Say, is that band name taken?

    3. joeW

      Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

      I haven't used their Reader or Acrobat software in years, and Flash is installed but under tight controls.

      I can't entirely cut out Adobe though, until credible alternatives to Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator come along (please, nobody say GIMP).

      1. Fungus Bob

        Re: please, nobody say GIMP

        GIMP!

        1. joeW

          Re: please, nobody say GIMP

          Dammit Bob!

        2. bpfh
          Mushroom

          Re: please, nobody say GIMP

          After discovering a small, light, coherent interfaced and above all, totally free tool called Paint.NET, The Gimp was ripped off my PC, beaten with a nailbar to make it release it's grip, got dragged out the back, given a good kicking for good measure then was summarily executed and dumped in a ditch.

          I cannot express my loathing for Gimp, it's almost has intense as my loathing for that other freeware application, Photoshop*

          *What does that keygen.exe do again?

  6. dan1980

    DRM is just plain anti-consumer.

    Rights are well and good - essential, really. The problem is in the view that any measure that is there to MANAGE (enforce) those rights is acceptable - as if preventing 'piracy' is sufficient justification for anything*. Unfortunately for the consumer, these measures are almost inevitably invasive.

    Any system that requires your computer to transmit information about what you are doing back to home base should be illegal.

    I am not required to tell a record label every time I play a CD, nor am I required to tell a movie studio every time I watch their film or what parts I skip or when I pause, nor am I required to tell a publisher when and where I read a book or what chapters took the longest to read or if I skipped ahead to the end first.

    These groups (publishers, record labels and movie studios) keep wringing their hands and crying that digital media should be treated just the same as 'traditional' media - claiming (for instance) that each and every upload/download of a movie/song is equivalent to the full retail price of the content. This has seen truly outrages damages being sought.

    In claiming the equivalence of digital media to 'traditional' media, these groups of course only do so in those circumstances where it is advantageous to them. If it's equivalence they seek then let's start with removal of all 'phone home' DRM, because Virgin sure as hell doesn't know that I have listened to Mezzanine a hundred or so times or that I always skip track 6 on Heligoland. Nor does Universal know that it took me three goes to get through Mulholland Drive, or that, while I have watched every episode of 30 Rock, I haven't managed to get through even the first season of Suits.

    They don't know that, while I snapped up Galactica, I passed on Caprica (though they can probably guess that . . .).

    That's all a bit of a rant, as is my wont, and I am not sure my point was lucid or even relevant but I feel better anyway. That's El Reg - you're always there to listen . . .

    * - Much like 'but terrorism!' is seen as justification for anything from our governments.

  7. Frank N. Stein

    Good thing I have no interest in reading e-books. This could've been a problem for me if I did.

    1. LaeMing

      Good thing I only read things made available in HTML.

      1. dan1980

        What's this 'HTML' you speak of? Sounds heretical. TXT is where it is at, if you please.

        1. LaeMing
          Boffin

          Nah, I like a /leeeeeetle/ bit of formatting in my text.

          Not so much that it inteferes with reflowing the text to whatever screen/resolution I choose to use, though!

        2. Stretch

          Pff magnetised needle and a steady hand

    2. Adam 1

      >Good thing I have no interest in reading e-books. This could've been a problem for me if I did

      Oh thank heavens. I was about to ask whether anyone knew whether this would be a problem for Frank.

    3. Fungus Bob

      >Good thing I have no interest in reading e-books.

      Good thing I only read DRM free epubs.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Maybe incorrect assumption on my part..

    but this implies as does the previous article that you download and read while connected the 'Net. Obviously there's a flle being kept somewhere on the PC... assuming it's a PC. Can we kill it? Overwrite with maybe a porn movie? Or random characters? I'm thinking fun and games instead of block and forget as they might change the server it goes to put that in a "software" update.

    I don't use e-books. My books are paper and I'm waiting for someone to tell me I have to pay something everytime I re-read one.

    1. dan1980

      Re: Maybe incorrect assumption on my part..

      @Mark 85

      Quite possibly, although it could be stored in such a way as to be inside the program files themselves or not readily extractable save when it actually transmits the data.

      Moreover, now that this is found out, perhaps it will be stored and transmitted in a more secure fashion but one that is much harder to tamper with or prevent.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: Maybe incorrect assumption on my part..

      No, the best way to fight this is given the failure to encrypt the phone home to randomly send millions of books read (to the point where they cannot differentiate which requests are real)

      1. Vic

        Re: Maybe incorrect assumption on my part..

        to randomly send millions of books read

        Hush now. There's noi need for that sort of thing.

        I intend to tell them all about my recent history of reading the book "Adobe are a bunch of fuckwits" many hundreds of times. And I turn the pages a lot...

        Vic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe incorrect assumption on my part..

      I generally block Adobe calling home at my firewall (just in case). But I've got this nasty impression that if it happens when you open a DRM pdf and the little darling won't be able to shake hands with daddy, it will promptly stick a middle (?) finger at you and close. So firewalling won't work. Well, no problem for me, I don't buy drm-locked files, but yes, it might be a bit irritable to those who do. Are there any current drm tools available (no links please!), or is just mentioning such a terrorist idea as drm-stripping in public, AD 2014 - "streng verboten"?

  9. Old Handle
    Facepalm

    I'm not at all convinced one vague paragraph in the EULA covers that level of spying. It only it says "communicate with Adobe", it doesn't say anything about the content of that communication. Or even hint that it collects or reports data on your reading habits. I think a reasonable person would understand that paragraph to mean it only sends as much information as needed for one of the purposes mentioned. So reporting individual pages or reading time is totally unexpected behavior except in the (highly unlikely) event the particular book you're reading had a license where that mattered. And it shouldn't report anything at all on DRM-free eBooks.

    And that's without getting into the allegations that it sends data on books you're not even reading with it or fact that sending it unencrypted is inexcusable. You'd think even from an evil corporate perspective they'd want this encrypted in transit.

  10. P. Lee

    Just when you thought avoiding "cloud" was enough

    Adobe: "We're very sorry we were so sloppy that you could see what we were doing."

    Is there any reason to trust proprietary software?

    1. dan1980

      Re: Just when you thought avoiding "cloud" was enough

      @P.Lee

      If you ask me (you kinda did . . .) there's no reason to trust any company that stands to gain more by treading on your rights and privacy than they stand lose by you finding out.

  11. AustinTX

    Watching the Watchers

    Just a random idea off the top of my head... it would be sweet to have a modular, updateable firewall system, that I could put on my router at home or work, which would intercept these "phones home". It would send me, the owner of that information and the tattling device it came from, an email with a full report. Perhaps with some anonymizing function that tells the publisher "Just reading page 129 of War and Peace again! Send OK certificate so device doesn't lock!"

    1. LaeMing
      Trollface

      "Just reading page 129 of the EULA again."

  12. Tree

    "Your privates are very important to us"

    What about MY RIGHTS? Digital rights management for me means I never use this product. Adobe is evil like Google.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Your privates are very important to us"

      as a non-owner, your rights are... limited.

    2. dan1980

      Re: "Your privates are very important to us"

      @Tree

      Rights, yes, but I if my privates are important to them then that really is the bigger issue, I feel.

      Certainly much harder for them to justify.

  13. J__M__M

    I hope this doesn't hurt sales of my upcoming e-book

    The plan was to distribute exclusively through the Adobe ecosystem, but now I'm not so sure. The title, by the way, is called "Fuck You Adobe, You Fucking Suck". Watch for it.

    1. Michael Strorm

      All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Del Boy

      @J__M__M; "The title, by the way, is called "Fuck You Adobe, You Fucking Suck"."

      Would I be correct in assuming that this magnum opus consists of nothing but the book title itself, repeated over and over, and over again, across the book's entire 700-page length, in a variety of increasingly-psychotic layouts?

      I'd like to see the bit where Shelly Duvall comes across your neatly-typed manuscript.

      1. dan1980

        Re: All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Del Boy

        @Michael Strorm

        Incidentally, I read somewhere that Kubrik had Duvall do take after take until she was mentally strung-out and exhausted. He also made his secretary type ALL the pages of that manuscript - day after day, by hand. (No photocopying.)

  14. msknight Silver badge
    FAIL

    Interesting...

    To be charged on the basis of the time spent reading a book.

    That's an interesting one. A tax on slow readers.

    This is REALLY going to promote the electronic versions of the "Early Learners" series!!!

    Epic fail, and no messing. Obviously the twit responsible for this bull shit should be taken out and shot. - (this is my personal, humble opinion and the author accepts no liability for twits that ARE actually taken out and shot.)

  15. msknight Silver badge
    Coat

    So ... thinking on this again...

    I could buy an e-book in the UK at a flat rate. Take it on holiday to Spain and get an unexpected bill for the % of the book that I read, or the leisurely holiday time I spend reading it because the pricing model is different there.

    Is Adobe NUTS?

    Some greedy bean counter clearly hasn't thought this through.

    Mines the one that had the e-book of 1984 in the pocket which Amazon removed.

    - or vice versa. Buy a cheap e-book in Spain (or wherever) then come to the UK to read it and pay no more for it because the model is different. - this is epic facepalm territory here.

    1. Woodgar

      Re: So ... thinking on this again...

      Maybe not...

      Maybe it'll only let you read it in the country you purchased it in, so no holiday reading for the likes of you.

  16. frank ly

    Adobe: Managed by a pack of jerks

    That's the title of a short and simple e-book that you could easily make for yourself and pass out to all your family and friends or maybe put it on some torrents. I'm sure it would cause amusement at Adobe when they look at what is 'trending'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adobe: Managed by a pack of jerks

      Adobe are actually doing a lot of interesting work on the future internet standards, especially the digital signatures, {stuff like: PAdES (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures)} although I was told by a lawyer that some Adobe staff really do work for the NSA, but luckily I didn't believe him, I'm sure he was joking. For all I know he might have meant the NSA

      I have never met the Adobe management so I can't verify your statement either!

  17. WonkoTheSane

    DRM-Free Library

    Books in my house are analog-only!

    1. Neal Stephenson
      Thumb Up

      Re: DRM-Free Library

      But assuming you use your fingers to turn the pages, does that not make them digital ?

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: DRM-Free Library

      Books in my e-reader - with one exception that I bought just to see how it worked - are *all* scans of paper books I also own.

      EPUB and Kobo. One of my Kobo readers is also about to do double duty as a navigation aid - XCSoar http://www.xcsoar.org/hardware/ - can you do that with the Adobe reader?

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: DRM-Free Library

        Actually, I think Kobo is using the Adobe Digital Editions DRM system, so it is probably just as screwed.

        I personally use Kindles where de-DRM is easy and if it will ever start getting difficult - Amazon can kiss goodbye to my custom. Kindle has an option where it reports the page you are on to their server so that you could synch to it if you read the same book using another Kindle, but it can be switched off (which I invariably do).

        Also, I normally keep my Kindles in offline ("airplane") mode and none of them has ever complained. So far. Just like with DRM, if this ever changes - out goes the Kindle, but I think Jeff Bezos knows this and he won't do it.

        Adobe, on the other hand, is staffed and run by voyeuristic control freaks - you can see it designed into all of their software. They are pushing hard the always-require-connection-home always-ask-daddy's-permission model in every area - licensing, DRM etc. They would claim it is the evil publishers that demand it from them but that's crap - they are the culprits.

    3. Vic

      Re: DRM-Free Library

      Books in my house are analog-only!

      Books on my devices have been through Calibre...

      Vic.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could be useful

    Adobe should start a web page showing the page hit rates for eBook novels, will take all the effort out of finding the naughty bits!

  19. Whitter
    Boffin

    The Sony payout

    "...Sony backed down and ended up paying out millions of dollars in compensation to music buyers..."

    Not really: they paid a pittance to some US music buyers and a tasty load to some US Lawyers.

  20. JimmyPage
    Boffin

    There's a gap in the market here ...

    for a domestic router which effectively runs off a whitelist to prevent dodgy apps phoning home.

    At the end of the day, I'd guess 80% of netizens probably access <1% of the net. Facebook, email, news, banking, shopping, Amazon, eBay, Twitter and a handful of other sites.

    Much safer to risk some inconvenience, than allow unfettered access to the web.

    Almost a reverse net version of a Truecall box .....

  21. The Mole

    DPA vs EULA

    That EULA certainly wouldn't stand up in the UK courts against the data protection act. They admit they are transmitting a user id which is connected to billing information. They therefore need explicit and informed concent given they are collecting and processing *sensitive* personal data for at least some users. Sensitive because page and chapter reading statistics give very precise details of what part of a medical text book, guide to obscure religious rituals, sexual handbook someone is interested in, and therefore what medical conditions, religious views or sexual life they may have.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: DPA vs EULA

      Don't worry, the EULA will be fine once Theresa May's got us out of the ECHR; then the "DP" in DPA will just mean that you're getting fucked from both sides: Government and corporations.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about other Adobe software? Does Photoshop "phone home"?

    In the case of Photoshop, the "rights" usually belong to the Adobe customer. But maybe Adobe have plans to change even that!

    Just saying......

  23. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    All I can say is..

    Booooooooooooooooooooooo! And Adobe can eat a dumpster full of dicks for this intrusive, slimy, and mistrustful treatment of their customers. I'll have to look at what port/cloud site is being used and have my router block it ASAP.

  24. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Pirate

    Wouldn't it be a great shame

    if ne'er-do-wells were to flood the Adobe servers with well formed but totally bogus data? Not that any of us would condone such behaviour, of course.

    1. Mike Smith
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wouldn't it be a great shame

      A terrible shame indeed - but I wouldn't regard myself as a ne'er-do-well for drowning Adobe's servers with garbage. I think there's some sort of moral obligation here to do exactly that.

      The trick, as I think I've mentioned on here before, would be to generate a flood of traffic that appears to be legit, but which wouldn't amount to a DDos attack. The idea would be to get Adobe jizzing in their pants at the sight of all that lovely data coming in, without realising that it's nearly all random junk.

      I think this might be worth looking into properly. The sooner the likes of Adobe are given a resounding DIAF for this sort of crap, the better.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldn't it be a great shame

        generate a flood of traffic that appears to be legit

        this will last only until the next update of EULA, I'm afraid. Or before, if any of the Adobe folk read this thread.

  25. Frankee Llonnygog

    Adobe, it's not me, it's you

    I'm not a graphics pro so - Adobe? Goodbye. I'm uninstalling everything made by you. I've had it with the bugs, the daily updates, the privacy violations...

    But wait - how will I live without Flash? Somehow I'll manage

    1. Cipher

      Re: Adobe, it's not me, it's you

      Ubiquitous HTML5 can't get here fast enough...

      1. dan1980

        Re: Adobe, it's not me, it's you

        Unfortunately there are still sites out there with Flash and some of these are essential to the daily functioning of some people. While it's all very macho to just ban Flash, in many instances it's just not that simple.

        There are several government web sites I know of that some of my clients need day-to-day that rely on Flash. They literally couldn't do their jobs without them and thus without Flash. In some instances you can sandbox some VMs for this and mitigate the security risks but not always as it depends on budget.

        Sometimes you've just got to explain the risks, take some backups and trust to fate.

        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: Adobe, it's not me, it's you

          Government websites that rely on Flash? I would drop a note to the responsible department telling them you intend to take action under the relevant equality laws. That'll put the fear right up 'em

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    adobe digital editions

    I would use a better calibre of software

    1. Alistair
      Coat

      Re: adobe digital editions

      *cough*

      ISWYDT

  27. Crisp

    I bought the book. It's mine.

    And if there's one thing that I hate more than anything else when I'm reading, it's someone reading over my shoulder Adobe!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    amazing

    but hardly unexpected. And while 0.00001% of us will froth, fume, spit and promise never to buy anything to do with Adobe, the rest of the world will happily continue to chew on.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    developers checking again to make sure this isn't a bug

    google should sue adobe for infringement on the original idea (it was an engineer's error, his fingers slipped on the keyboard and...)

  30. A Twig

    "While some publishers/distributers charge for 30-days from the date of the download, others follow a metered pricing model and charge for the actual time the book is read."

    Whaaaaaa? So in theory they support a pricing model where a book will cost more to people who read more slowly. Wow!

  31. Down not across Silver badge

    license validation

    The Software may cause Customer’s Computer, without notice, to automatically connect to the Internet and to communicate with an Adobe website or Adobe domain for purposes such as license validation and providing Customer with additional information, features, or functionality."

    Most users would probably take this to mean license validation with regards to the reader software rather than feeding back what/how/when/where something is being read.

    Obviously the ambiguity is intentional to avoid declaring what kind of snooping license validation it does for the actual content being read.

  32. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Well, well...

    As a result, the cause of DRM in music was set back significantly and music companies backed away from using it on CDs. Purely digital downloads rarely use the technology these days. It's possible Adobe's decision could have a similar effect for the written word.

    One can hope that it does have that effect, but in reality, that's not the effect I'm hoping for. I'm hoping that it has the effect of users staying away from all Adobe software like the plague that it has become.

    John Warnock, your company has become a pariah; right up there with Symantec, Facebook, and numerous others. How did you let this happen?

  33. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    So, I must be able to strip their DRM

    I am planning to use this spyware as the basis of a complaint to the Secretary of State requesting that he gives permission for stripping Adobe DRM.

    Clearly this is unacceptable behaviour by ADE, and ADE is the only (legal) way to read books I have purchased which are infected with Adobe DRM. There is nothing in the purchasing of the books which involves me agreeing to spyware. Also, it is well known that there is software easily available to remove Adobe DRM. So, the SoS clearly must give permission for that software to be used so that people can safely exercise their rights to read the books they have purchased.

    This is exactly the sort of case of unacceptable TPMs for which the law gives the SoS the ability to grant permission to circumvent a particular TPM.

  34. BernardL

    Sony

    2005? Was it really that long ago? How time files!

    I haven't used a Sony product since that rootkit fiasco, and I never will.

    Adobe, take heed.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well thanks, Adobe! As if it wasn't hard enough to stop my customers' IT departments throwing a fit about your piece of shit software and its staunch inability to handle an unattended silent install, now you go and throw this fucking curveball in there. Digital Editions just gets worse with each update, and I really wish that publishers would stop using Adobe DRM as the standard.

    AC because there'll be a few men among you that will shortly be giving me grief over this.

  36. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    That's DRM for you

    I would not purchase any DRM-infected product where I cannot strip off the DRM and have a clean file to use. The couple ebooks I've gotten, they were available DRM-free so of course I got that; some have a obvious watermark (the back page has my name on it!) and I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a hidden watermark or two. It's fully effective -- I can use these files with whatever software and hardware I'd like, since they are DRM-free. But, a pirate's going to have problems getting anyone to supply them with content to pirate when the purchaser's name is on it!

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