Saturday, 8 May 2021

Vendors & publishers don't want you to export your highlights

Prominent vendors that sell e-books don't want their users exporting highlights. Some vendors - e.g., Kobo and Barnes & Noble - don't support the option to export anything from their devices (it is possible to add code to access the hidden export feature on a Kobo device). Amazon has always supported the export of highlights and annotations. However, with a purchased Kindle e-book, publishers have limited the number of highlights that can be exported - usually, the limit is set between 10% to 15% of the book's total content. Thankfully, there are no limitations with personal e-books.

An option to bypass this export limitation - for proficient users - is to download/copy the e-book and remove the DRM. It is possible to copy a purchased book by connecting a Kindle to a PC via USB. Regarding downloading an e-book, Amazon provides a portal to manage content and devices that allow the download of e-books (both personal documents and purchased ones). 

After removing the DRM, the e-book can be sent to a Kindle device as a personal document. As a personal document, there should be no restriction on the number of highlights exported. I haven't tried this method, so I can't vouch if it works. 

Once again, DRM restrictions show that the user doesn't own the e-book they purchase. They are merely provided with a license to access the content.

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