Much has been written on the ephemeral nature of e-books and e-bookstores, and we’re losing yet another one at the end of the month.

I just received an email that Rainbow eBooks is closing their web store on September 30. They will remain open so customers can download their purchases through the end of the year.

This is another reminder that while e-books are convenient, readers need to manage their purchases. Backing them up is an excellent idea, especially when purchasing from smaller, niche stores like Rainbow. Do I think Amazon is going out of business and that you’ll lose all your books? No, but I recommend backing up all purchases, even those from Amazon, especially of books you know you’re going to want to read again.

There are several excellent online tutorials on how to remove DRM so you’ll never have to worry about losing access to your purchases, even if you change devices. Naturally, we only recommend removing DRM for your own use, not for sharing/uploading to pirate sites.


  1. It’s important to note that there is often residual information identifying you after DRM is removed. If you follow Juli’s advice and do this only for yourself, there shouldn’t be a problem. You can look for and excise the obvious things such as your CC number but there may be more subtle indicators of your identity such as a purchasing timestamp; that is accurate to the millisecond. It might be possible to use such data to tie you to the initial purchase.

  2. @SM, actually, I was surprised. Highly niched stores like this often do well enough to continue. But my point wasn’t that. It’s just another example of why backing up your library is a good idea and why DRM ultimately hurts consumers.

    @Frank, you are completely correct. The people I know who create the tools to remove DRM deliberately do not add tools to hunt down and remove all the markers. I only support DRM removal for personal use to back up your library only.

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