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Amazon Kindle publisher’s copy limit

One of my favorite ways to read technical and leadership books is on my laptop, where I copy, paste, and summarize (I do this so much, I described a bit more in summaries).

One problem is that I often do this reading in the Kindle app and after a certain number of copy & pastes, I get this:

“You have reached the publisher’s copy limit set for this title.”


And it drives me crazy.

Here are a few workarounds…

  1. The quick & dirty: Right Click -> Search the Web
    • When using the Kindle app, instead of Right Click -> Copy, you can Right Click -> Search the Web…
    • Then copy the text from the resultant Google Search screen.
    • So, this approach requires an extra step each time, but it works (credit: this youtube video from Robert Ho)
  2. The more difficult but comprehensive: Calibre
    • This approach uses Calibre (open-source software for managing e-books) to remove the DRM completely. This is a definitely a more involved process, but my preferred solution.
    • I am not a lawyer, but several articles, including this one from gizmodo, state that this is perfectly legal.
    • I personally followed this article (from a blogger called Aure on after having what seemed like some version-specific issues, and it worked well.
    • This article from techradar also explains it
    • I love this approach because it allows me to buy any book and convert it to PDF for unlimited copy & pasting. You can also convert back to Kindle format (sans DRM), MS Word, .txt etc.
  3. The undocumented: Use an older version of Kindle
    • I think it is also possible to install an older version of the Kindle app that doesn’t give you the “publisher’s copy limit” problem, but although I have used this approach in the past, I didn’t record the version details, so can’t provide guidance here. It may not be possible on newer versions of MacOS?



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