Defective by Design

Guide to DRM-Free Living: Literature

DRM-free

Literature · Video · Audio
Software (external)

DRM-encumbered

Worst offenders

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Welcome to the guide to living DRM-free. Please submit corrections and new items for the guide by adding it to the LibrePlanet wiki (you will need to register and login first) or emailing us at info@defectivebydesign.org.


We recommend that you always read ebooks using Calibre or some other free software ereader to avoid software surveillance and remote kill switches in proprietary ereaders. Also be sure to get your ebooks and literature not only without DRM, but also in a free format, preferably EPUB. While PDF is also free, it is less ideal for ebook viewing, reflowing, and editing. The sites listed provide files unencumbered, but it's important to be mindful that both of these can still contain DRM elsewhere.

See also: Calibre DRM-free ebook directory contains thousands of ebooks organized into genres.

Crowdfunding, Community, & Self-Publishing Platforms

  • Smashwords sells ebooks from independent authors.
  • Foboko -- A place for authors and readers to create and download ebooks, all in a fun, social environment.
  • Literate Machine -- No charge downloadable eBooks, comic books, magazines and artwork from independent artists and writers.
  • LuLu is one of the largest ebook self-publishing stores on the web.
  • Ownshelf -- A service for eBook readers to share their ebooks with friends across devices.
  • Unglue.it crowdfunds DRM-free books, some under free culture licenses.
  • Wikibooks -- Aimed at supplying educational textbooks.
  • Wikisource -- A collection of documentation (eBooks).
  • XinXii is Europe's leading indie eBook self-publishing and distribution platform with 20,000 DRM-free eBooks (every day, numerous titles are added), 10,000+ independent authors and publishers from all over the world, and is available in 7 languages and 3 currencies.

Literary Archives & Libraries

  • Adelaide University Contains Classic books on Literature, Philosophy, Science, History, Exploration and Travel in ePUB format or for reading online.
  • BeBook Catalog -- These are PDF books properly sized for 6" readers. They also have plain text directly from Gutenberg.
  • The Book Depository provides access to over 11,000 ebooks at no cost. From classics to obscure titles.
  • Bookyards library has ebooks and other items. eBooks are PDF.
  • Classic Reader online library of thousands of free books by authors such as Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare and many others.
  • DigiLibraries -- No cost eBooks library, with over 20.000 Free eBooks.
  • E-Books Directory -- No cost eBooks, documents, and lectures from all over the internet, available in PDF format and organized by subjects.
  • Free-ebooks.net -- Free eBooks in various formats.
  • Internet Archive: Text -- Free Books from a variety of sources, most available as scanned PDFs and OCRed plain text. More that 2,000,000 books available.
  • Internet Sacred Text Archive -- Books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric.
  • Library of Congress -- Historical books, images, and music from America. Books are normally scanned to PDF but the text is often available on-line.
  • ManyBooks.net -- No charge eBooks, in a variety of formats, mostly from Project Gutenberg. They provide excerpts and sometimes a book description. They allow readers to leave book reviews.
  • Marxists Internet Archive -- Books and articles by hundreds of writers, Marxist and non-Marxist. Some of the books have an option of PDF download, but the PDF version is the webpage printed to a PDF file and thus not very suitable for most ebook readers.
  • Memoware -- A collection of texts usually in different PDA formats.
  • The Mille Tre Digital Library is a personal collection of DRM-free ebooks of history and adventure.
  • MyFree-eBooks -- Thousands of ebooks in various formats at no charge.
  • Munseys has 20,000+ titles in a variety of formats.
  • The Online Literature Library provides full and unabridged texts of classic works of English literature.
  • OBOOKO -- Hundreds of ebooks for direct download at no charge. Fiction and non-fiction. Authors may publish books on the site free of charge.
  • Open Library -- Millions of books indexed, many are downloadable (select the "Only show ebooks" option). It's an initiative of the Internet Archive.
  • Planet eBook -- Free classic literature that has fallen out of copyright. Available in PDF format.
  • Planet PDF Free eBooks Archive -- Older eBooks downloadable in PDF format.
  • Project Gutenberg is the original purveyor of DRM-free eBooks. The project aims to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks that will be readable on any device you choose. When you obtain an eBook, you should not be locked into using one particular eBook reader. Instead, you should have the freedom to read that book on any device. All of the material available through Project Gutenberg is free of charge, including the complete works of William Shakespeare, Peter Pan, and the United States Declaration of Independence.
  • Project Gutenberg Australia -- Provides books that are public domain in Australia.
  • Project Gutenberg Canada -- Canada has different copyright laws than the US. These eBooks are public domain in Canada. Content is HTML and TXT.
  • Project Runeberg is a volunteer effort to create free electronic editions of classic Nordic (Scandinavian) literature and make them openly available over the Internet.
  • PublicBookshelf -- Over 540 books to read using a built-in, easy-to-read book format, specializing in all types of romance books including classics and contemporary.
  • Renascence Editions specializes in English works written between 1477 and 1799. PDF or HTML, generally, and an excellent source for works in Early Modern English.
  • RetroRead -- Library of over one thousand Google ePubs converted without DRM. Users may upload Google ePubs and they will be converted and added to library.
  • Stanford Collection -- Documents and some eBooks - check the dime novels and medieval collection.

Book stores

  • Book View Café sells ebooks without DRM or an EULA
  • Chicago Shorts, DRM-free ebooks, passages and short stories selected by the University of Chicago.
  • Closed Circle -- Small DRM-free ebook store, direct from the authors themselves. Specializing in fantasy.
  • Delphi Classics sells copies of classic texts edited and formatted as ebooks. All epub files are DRM-free, but not the .mobi files.
  • EbookGratis -- the first Italian website to sell only DRM-free ebooks.
  • Ediciones Babylon -- Spanish books and ebooks free of DRM.
  • Editions Fleurus is a French publishing house with over 1000 titles available.
  • Elegant Solutions Software and Publishing Company -- eBooks in a few portable formats.
  • The Fifth Imperium CD-ROM images. Mostly the images are of the free CD-ROMs included with some Baen Books. Baen Books allows the CD-ROMs to be copied and distributed for free. Every CD-ROM contains several complete novels in HTML format, and some have extras, like MP3 readings. All CD-ROMs also contain artwork for the CD-ROM itself.
  • Girlebooks is a resource for classic and contemporary ebooks by female writers.
  • Immatériel.fr -- a French distributor of ebooks that indicates DRM-free titles with smiley faces.
  • Weightless Books is an independent DRM-free ebooksite devoted to ebooks of all sorts.

Publishers

  • AK Press is a worker-run collective that publishes and distributes radical books, visual and audio media, and other mind-altering material.
  • Baen Ebooks sells DRM-free ebooks from an assortment of science fiction and fantasy publishers, including Baen Books, Del Rey, and Tor. They also offer a number of no-cost downloads in their "Free Library".
  • Le Bélial is a French publishing platform free of DRM.
  • BookCyclone sells new releases, self-published books, and the works of the biggest-name authors. The classics, and other works in the public domain, are also easily available online.
  • Bragelonne will provide a DRM-free download of their ebooks for customers who first purchased it through a DRM service.
  • Carina Press is a digital-first imprint from Harlequin covering many genres.
  • Flat World Knowledge is the world's largest publisher of free and open college textbooks.
  • Les éditions la matière noire is a 100% digital French publisher.
  • Manning eBooks publishes computer books for professionals--programmers, system administrators, designers, architects, managers and others.
  • Momentum Books -- Australian publisher
  • New Internationalist is a not-for-profit cooperative "exist[ing] to report on the issues of world poverty and inequality; to focus attention on the unjust relationship between the powerful and powerless worldwide; to debate and campaign for the radical changes necessary to meet the basic needs of all; and to bring to life the people, the ideas and the action in the fight for global justice."
  • Momentum Books -- Australian publisher
  • Numeriklivres -- is a French anti-DRM publisher
  • O'Reilly sells DRM-free computer and technical books in a variety of formats
  • Packt Publishing has DRM-free books for IT professionals.
  • Polzer Media Group is a special interest small book publisher offering ebooks via KAGI and BEAM.
  • The Pragmatic Bookshelf has DRM-free books by and for programmers in a variety of formats.
  • Publie.net is a French publisher that offers most titles DRM-free displaying a smiley face icon.
  • Rosenfeld Media sells DRM-free ebooks about user experience design and also includes a DRM-free digital copy with every physical book they sell.
  • SIGNAL 8 PRESS is a publishing company focusing on East Asia and the Pacific Rim which publishes engaging novels, short story collections, and nonfiction written in English.
  • Sophia Institute Press publishes faithful Catholic classics and new Catholic books by the enduring figures of the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • Springer Science+Business Media is an international publisher of books on science, technology, and medicine.
  • Take Control Books offers highly practical, tightly focused ebooks covering Apple products.
  • Tor/Forge -- Science fiction and fantasy publisher of Macmillan

Audiobooks

  • Language Audiobooks is offers a variety of versatile language programs and downloads.
  • Learn Out Loud is an audio eBook store where users can purchase CDs or MP3 downloads of books, ranging from educational non-fiction to classic fiction like Herman Hesse's Siddhartha.
  • LibriVox is a wonderful archive of audio eBooks, completely free from DRM. Highlights include recordings of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, and Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland.
  • Naxos Audiobooks -- A variety of contemporary and classical audio books, without DRM and in the MP3 format.
  • Podiobooks -- Audiobooks that are are free to download and share.
  • Tantor Audiobooks has a wide selection of DRM-free audiobooks on their site, but make sure to not use the Audible download option, which does come with encryption.
  • Telltale Weekly is a one-stop source for audiobooks, including the work of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen Poe. Starting from $1, enjoy these beautiful readings of classic stories. What's more, every file is free of DRM and guaranteed to play on any music player you own. Accepts payments in PayPal or BitPass.

Individual Authors and Books

  • An Anarchist FAQ A comprehensive introduction into the philosophy of anti-authoritarianism and anarchism. Licensed under the GNU FDL.
  • Anna Galore A french writer who offers most of her novels and short stories DRM-free.
  • Blake Crouch is a suspense writer who has made it to the top ten Kindle bestseller list.
  • Kati eBooks contains original eBooks by Bruce Anthony that are all-rights-reserved but available for free download. They have support for ePUB, and PDF
  • Craphound -- Author's site. Fiction and non-fiction by Cory Doctorow.
  • Diane Duane wrote the 'So You Want to be a Wizard' series and sells copies of not only the original published version but also a new updated version which is only available at her site.
  • Green Comet a novel of love and adventure on an inhabited comet. It is available to download in various formats, including ePub and OGG under the free culture CC-BY-SA license.
  • J.A. Konrath is an author of detective novels and suspense novels.
  • John Moyer is a self-publishing fiction writer of short stories all available DRM-free in pdf format.
  • Libreleft Books publishes Laurel L. Russwurm's free culture licensed mystery novels.
  • Philippe Aigrain is an internet activist involved with La Quadrature du Net.
  • Lessig.org Lawrence Lessig's author page, whereat his eBooks may be freely downloaded.
  • The Pirate's Dilemma by Matt Mason -- Author's book-download page. The Pirate's Dilemma is available on a "pay-what-you-want" basis, and may be had for zero dollars. The book looks at the history and current iterations of pirate culture in a pretty groovy way.
  • Simon Hayes writes the popular comedic space opera ‘Hal Spacejock’ and the 'Hal Junior' series.
  • Stories for My Little Sister -- Free original kids' books written and illustrated by a team of two sisters. These are available for children of all ages.
  • Thomas A. Knight is an independant, self-publishing author of fantasy novels, all available for purchase DRM Free.
  • Thomas Galvin is self-described as being "an author who spends far too much time thinking about vampires" and you can find his works on his website.
  • Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air by David MacKay -- A readable discussion (with actual metrics!) of our options for energy development.

Graphic Novels & Comic Books

  • Comic Book Plus -- Comic books in CBR/CBZ. Requires free registration.
  • Black Mask Studios stems from the comic book anthology called Occupy Comics.
  • Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by seven of Marvel Comics’ best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become the third largest comics publisher in the United States.
  • NYC2123 -- Graphic novels optimized for PSP but can be read online or converted for other devices. Released under Creative Commons.
  • Panel Syndicate is a pay-what-you want website for comics by artist Marcos Martin and writer Brian K. Vaughan.
  • Thrillbent is a digital comics site created by award-winning comics writer Mark Waid and television writer/producer extraordinaire John Rogers.

Reference and educational materials

  • BookBoon publishes over 200 textbooks that students can download totally for free.
  • Connexions is a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc.
  • Calculus-Based Physics -- Free introductory Physics textbook
  • Light and Matter -- Introductory physics textbooks in available in HTML and PDF. Released under both Creative Commons and the GFDL.
  • Linear Algebra, A first course -- A free linear algebra textbook available in PDF and released under the GFDL.
  • Linear Algebra -- A free linear algebra textbook in PDF format. Licensed under both Creative Commons and the GFDL.
  • Motion Mountain -- Free physics textbook available in PDF. Released under Creative Commons.
  • OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. They provide free textbooks, developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable and accurate.
  • TechBooksForFree.com -- Free programming and computer science books.
  • Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning.

Journals and Magazines

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