Do Barnes and Noble’s Digital Magazines and Newspapers Have DRM?

Nook News

I noticed something odd today while working on the review for the Pandigital Nova. I was able to open newspapers and magazines from Barnes and Noble with the Aldiko Android app.

After further testing with other Android apps and on a computer with EPUB readers, all my newspapers and magazines from Barnes and Noble are indeed DRM-free. But there’s a catch.

They are all free trials that I cancelled before buying the actual subscription. Does that make a difference? It might. If you download a free sample of an ebook from B&N it too will be DRM-free, but the full version will be crippled with DRM once you download it.

So is it just because the newspapers and magazines issues are from the 14 day free trial? Or do all of B&N’s newspapers and magazines come DRM-free?

If you have a subscription to a B&N periodical, let us know if it will open with a different program or not. It seems strange that trial issues would be different from subscription issues when they are exactly the same otherwise. Do they just automatically switch to DRM’d versions after the 14 days are up? If not, this could be interesting.

6 Responses to “Do Barnes and Noble’s Digital Magazines and Newspapers Have DRM?”

  1. I’m interested in finding out the answer to this as well, as I noticed this on one of my free trials from B&N last month. I cancelled the subscription (as I’m going to take advantage of free trials for this particular magazine from all the major vendors before actually settling on purchasing a subscription ongoing, and the lack of DRM would be a selling point.

  2. I subscribed for a short period of time to a paid Nook publication and cancelled once I got billed for the first month’s issue. That issue I was able to open with e-pub editory Sigil without any problem. I also noticed the file naming convention was different than for the “trial issue”.

    If what you’re saying is true then wouldn’t people discover this and start to share issues?

  3. I am able to read my Nook magazine subscriptions on our Kobo Touch and in Calibre’s built in ereader. Calibre can also convert them. That is why I switched all my subscriptions to B&N. I like having the capability of reading my mags on any device that is not being used by someone else.

    My 4 subscriptions are all from the same publisher so I thought it was their decision to make them DRM free.

  4. That’s very interesting and surprising. I wonder if it’s just certain publishers of if they are all like that. It’s funny what you find by accident sometimes.

  5. Reason Magazine didn’t have DRM when I still bought it from BN. Each issue was a plain epub file.