E-Books at USC use DRM (Digital Rights Management) to handle downloads.
What is Digital Rights Management?
DRM is how publishers keep track of how long a book is checked out electronically. The same way you have a loan for a regular book, when you download an ebook you have it for a certain amount of time. Once that time is up you can no longer read it. DRM is how this is tracked.
Digital Rights Management is also used in other industries like video games and music downloads as a way to fight piracy.
How do I use eBooks that have DRM?
Much of the time, you will not need to worry about this as you will be downloading portions of e-books to PDF format. However, some e-books will be available for electronic check-out. These items will require you to use the Adobe Digital Editions software.
Does every book from USC have Digital Rights Management?
No, some are available directly for download as single-chapter PDF's.
Can I make DRM disappear from my download and have it forever?
No, it's illegal to remove Digital Rights Management from a document.
Wow, I want to learn more about DRM!
There's lots of stuff about DRM on the web, but one place to start is the Wikipedia page here: Digital Rights Management and eBooks.
Below is a short video about downloading e-book content through USC Libraries. For optimal veiwing, click the to expand to full screen.