Reflecting on O’reilly’s Departure from DRM Free Technical Books and Finding Alternatives | on

I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve been so disturbed by Oreilly Media’s closure of their online bookstore. It feels like I’ve lost an old reliable friend.

The long and short of it is that they are no longer selling DRM-free versions of their technical books (i.e. in epub, mobi aka Kindle format, and PDF formats). Instead they have gone down the path of forcing customers to either have a Safari Books Online subscription ($399/year for individuals) or to purchase individual physical/electronic books through Amazon where the electronic version would be the Kindle format (i.e. a DRM mobi file that could be removed by Amazon at any time). Both of these options do away with the ownership of electronic books…

(I tried importing my article into Medium but Medium’s importer cut half of my article so to continue reading this article — please go to (sorry about this))

Originally published at on July 26, 2017.