Remove DRM from Adobe Digital Editions – How-To guide

[updated 17 Oct 2011]

Like Adobe says: “Make reading an engaging experience!” So engage yourself and break free your pdf books, which you bought legally. In the first article “Remove DRM from Adobe Digital Editions – Background” I showed how it was started. Now let’s roll up the sleeves. I will show how to strip DRM protection.

STEP 1 – Find the inept files with code for Python

Find in the internet two text files: ineptkey.pyw — version 5.4 and ineptpdf.pyw — version 8.4.50. Versions can be different, but they should not be too far away from what I have indicated. Save them in your folder, we will need these files a little bit later.

STEP 2 – Install Adobe Digital Editions and activate

I used version 1.7.2 of ADE. Here’s a screenshot below:



Remove DRM from Adobe Digital Editions – Background

adobe-pdf-encr-slideThree years ago I wrote an article about breaking of Adobe Digital Editions DRM protection on books purchased legally, when you want, for example, to access your books with alernative PDF readers like Foxit. Or some people simply say that we should not be treated like criminals. Since then Digital Editions hit version 1.7.2 and I’m curious to see if that Open Source method with Python source files ineptkey.pyw and ineptpdf.pyw still valid. At least I saw newer versions of those files in the internet (ineptkey.pyw — version 5.4, ineptpdf.pyw — version 8.4.50, and ineptepub.pyw (to use for EPUB books instead of PDF) — version 5.2). Let’s have a look.

DRM in your book
Vanished like a sigh
Of weakening wind in the sunrise


It is all started by a guy (or a girl) under nickname I love cabbages or i♥cabbages or i-u2665-cabbages :)) — you can find his blog here. He found a way to unlock Adobe ADEPT-encrypted PDF files and ADEPT-encrypted EPUB books. There were two steps to follow:

  1. Key retrieval (for that key-retrieval Python script should be used: ineptkey (version 5.4))
  2. Decryption (for that two decryption Python scripts should be used: ineptepub for EPUB books (version 5.2) and ineptpdf for ebooks in PDF (version 8.4.50)

Break Free Your Digital Editions

/ First published in 2008 — Please see 2011 update here /

Decrypt Adobe ADEPT-encrypted PDF files, AKA Digital Editions

I recently bought an Adobe Digital Edition of a decent book titled “Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS4” from Peachpit (if you decide to buy something there, do not forget to register—you will get a good instant discount as a member).

The book is fine, but I hate this DRM stuff as I need to access my books sometimes on a casual machine and that is impossible unless you install Adobe™ Digital Editions and activate it via Adobe’s DRM Activator site (for some reason it is called “Eden”, there is no sign of Eden there at all!). So I decided to find a way to overcome and remove DRM protection from Adobe pdf file, not for sharing this book, but for my convenience.

Digital Editions

After an extended search, I found a way, and everybody can repeat the same sequence. So far, this protection (ADEPT encryption) was considered to be officially unbreakable, but it seems not anymore.