Yes, Adobe's version of DRM seems to be fairly widely used by publishers and device manufacturers. For me, after buying my first ebook, which was DRM-ed by Adobe, I had so many problems with opening/viewing it (between my PC and my ereader) and using it for learning purposes, e.g. quoting and citing short sections of text, that I decided it wasn't worth the effort. I re-bought the book in hard copy (which is much easier to bookmark pages, slip notes in, zip back and forth between different pages, etc.), and then, in order to legally and legitimately quote and cite sections of text, which is "fair use" and by no means copyright infringement, I just use my smartphone's camera with built-in optical character recognition (OCR) to copy and paste. I guess you can scan texts in the same way on ereaders too.
Sure, ebooks are convenient for reading novels and maybe magazines but when you want to use texts for learning purposes, with the added obstacles from DRM, I don't think it's a workable solution. Not in my case anyway. Buying the hard copy means I own the book forever and it's not dependent on Adobe and whoever else they have contracts with for me to read it. You can't lend or sell your books. There's no second-hand ebook stores so that you can find out of print books. What if the publisher goes bust? What if Adobe or the publishers get taken over/change management/ change their policies? You soon realise that your personal library isn't actually yours.
If you think I'm being unreasonable or paranoid, in a fit of irony, Amazon remotely deleted its users' copies of George Orwell's books from their Kindles, including Nineteen Eighty-four, (which in many countries are in the public domain, i.e. the copyright has expired) http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2009/07/why_2024_will_be_like_nineteen_eightyfour.html Down the memory hole!
Amazon can and does do this. According to Amazon's actions and not their PR:
- They don't need a court order - They unilaterally and arbitrarily decide what they will allow you to do and when.
- There's no such thing as "fair use." - Your legal protections in this respect disappear.
- You can't copy sections of books for quoting and citation purposes.
- There's no such thing as ownership, unless it's Amazon's ownership. - You don't control your ereader so it effectively belongs to them.
- There's no such thing as lending or borrowing. - Your effectively "renting" your ereader and ebooks from them.
- There's no such thing as second hand - How many less than wealthy students find second hand text books a life-saver?
- There's no such thing as public domain. Publishers are currently claiming copyright over everything, whether they own it or not.
- Amazon hates public libraries.
- You effectively have no consumer protections because anything you do with their ebooks is likely to be a breach of their terms of service.
- This isn't limted to Amazon. Others are just as bad or worse, e.g. Apple/iTunes, and there are only a small handful of publishers than have more ethical and equitable ("balanced") terms of service.
- ereaders typically monitor your reading habits; what you read, how long it takes you, where you read and when. They can do anything they want with this data.
I think for these reasons and others, the majority of people don't really trust ebooks and ereaders and would rather have hard copies (The percentage of sales of books on ebook has levelled off at a small percentage. Amazon's figures claiming that ebooks have overtaken hard copy are narrow and misleading, i.e. it's Amazon's own sales figures, not the overall publishing industry's). If you can print out a PDF/HTML page/text file, you can do so much with it that is useful for study; margin notes, highlighting, folding corners, slipping in extra pages, etc.