Digital rights management (DRM) is an approach to copyright protection for digital media that can include publisher restrictions on borrowing time, number of simultaneous users, and the copying and printing permissions of ebook pages. Bluefire Reader is the recommended app to use from most ebook publishers, in accessing DRM ebooks on your iPhone, iPad etc. With Bluefire Reader you can read EPUB and PDF eBooks, using an Adobe login and password.

Carleton University Library has several ebook collections that require an Adobe ID and Adobe Digital Editions including:

Note: Before downloading an ebook, it is recommended to complete the following setup process, to avoid download complications.

Setting up your Adobe ID and Bluefire Reader

Go here to set up your Adobe ID, which is a free personal account. This ID and login are limited for use on six (6) personal devices.

Note: Record all login information for future use.

Download the Bluefire Reader app from your devices App Store

Install and open the free app.

Authorize your device(s) with Bluefire Reader and Adobe ID

To read ebooks on a device (or multiple devices) you will need to authorize each of them using your Adobe ID. (If you haven't yet set up an Adobe ID, you will be prompted to do so)

Enter your Adobe ID and password that you have created (and made note of) and click "Authorize" to authorize your personal device. You are now set up to borrow ebooks.

Downloading ebooks and reading with Bluefire Reader

To access ebooks, search, for example, Omni or check the Databases tagged 'eBook Collections page. From there, you can select a database and browse a selection of titles we have access to.

Note: We may not have access to all e-resource material within a given database. Most database subscriptions vary over time, with new titles being added or some removed from the collection.

Most databases include their own online reader so that ebooks/chapters can be read within the browser. Ebooks that are issued as EPUB files, make it easier to resize text on a small, mobile screen. However, it is recommended to use a DRM compatible app for a better reading experience. Most database providers, recommend BlueFire Reader for mobile devices. (The equivalent, Adobe Digital Editions, is recommended for desktop/PC devices)

If you wish to borrow or download the entire book, some ebook databases also require additional logins (personal accounts set up on their platforms). These personal logins also provide additional features such as placing a "Hold" on an item, highlighting portions of text, adding notes, sharing references etc.

Note: These personal accounts are used along with your MyCarletonOne, and are usually free registrations. It is recommended that you set these up in advance, again, making note of all login credentials.

When you click on a link to download the ebook of choice, follow the prompts. When the download is complete, it should automatically detect Bluefire Reader and appear within the main Library screen of the app.

The following screen shots provide an example of the "Full Download" process of a title to Bluefire Reader, from within the EBSCO ebook collection database

Choose your loan period. This will vary depending on the publisher.

Ensure you have checked off "I have Adobe Digital Editions or equivalent installed"

EPUB format is recommended for mobile devices.

The downloaded file ending in “*acsm” will prompt you to open it within a reader app. Choose Bluefire Reader as recommended.

Note: *ACSM stands for Adobe Content Server Manager. A file ending with this extension, is not an actual ebook file, but helps manage the download of the ebook and works with Bluefire Reader and equivalent DRM reading software (eg. Adobe Digital Editions)

Since ebook files can vary in size, some download times may take longer to complete.

When the download is complete, the ebook will appear in the main Bluefire Reader Library screen.

The book cover provides information on the remaining loan period status of the borrowed item. Once the borrowing period is over, the title will no longer be available for reading on your device. More details can be found under the Info tab. You also have the option to return the title before the loan period has ended.

You can scroll along the bottom to quickly access certain chapters, or follow the arrows to turn the pages.

Details on printing and copying permissions of ebooks

Each ebook will provide details, including permissions related to printing and copying allowances. These allowances have been predetermined by the publisher.

To find this information, select the ebook cover, then select Info at the top of the screen. You will find the total amount of pages allowed for printing and copying within a 24 hr period from when the ebook was first accessed.

Please note: If the printing and copying amount exceeds the daily allowance, or if the entire ebook is copied over several days, this is considered to be a copyright violation.

Return an ebook before the expiry date

You may want to return an ebook early, before the borrowing period ends. To do so, select Info at the top of the screen, and choose the option to Return Item. Doing so, releases the ebook loan from your account, so that it can be borrowed by other patrons.

Removing expired ebook loans

To delete expired ebook covers within the Library screen, choose "Select" on top , then choose the cover of ebook, and click the Recycle bin icon. The .acsm file associated with the expired ebook, is now inactive, but remains on your device until you manually delete it. (It is not necessary to delete it)

For more detailed information on using other features within the app, read the Bluefire Reader User Guide (included with the app download)


Why do i have to authorize my device?

This is to ensure that you are the individual borrowing the ebooks and the user of the device(s) with Bluefire Reader installed. The Adobe ID is used to verify this information. Any ebooks that you borrow will be associated with that single Adobe ID account whether you use it on one device or six.

How long is my borrowing time?

Usually the publisher determines borrowing times. When you download the ebook, you will be provided with the return date. Within Bluefire Reader, click Info tab to see details such as the due back date, file type etc. You also have the option to return the ebook before the loan period expires. On the Info screen select “Return Item”.

Do I have to be connected to the Internet to read e-books?

Not necessarily. If you have completed a full download of the ebook to Bluefire Reader, you can access the ebook without an internet connection.

I already have an Adobe ID and password set up. What if i have forgotten my password?

You can easily reset your password by clicking on the following link. It is highly recommended to make note of all logins and passwords for future use.

Can I use a Library device to download Bluefire reader app?

Unfortunately, no. Although there is a new version of the software for PC windows, BlueFire Reader can only be downloaded onto your own personal computer or mobile devices.

See for general information and updates. Their support webpage offers more details and help.

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