Ebooks: Compatible file formats

I’m looking at ebooks with interest, as my main source of material for LingQing. I understand how to copy and paste from a website or a text-only document into LingQ. The former is presumably in HTML and the latter in RTF and LingQ handles these with ease, converting them into some sort of plain text.

It also seems to work from PDF files…well some PDF files…if they aren’t copy protected or anything. It doesn’t, presumably, work with JPGs because the image is treated is one big picture and you can’t copy and past from pictures.

My question is, which file formats are compatible with LingQ uploading? In other words, which e-book formats can I copy and paste into lingQ? All of them? Or are the proprietary ones copy-protected so you can only read them like a book, with your eyeballs?

I have found a forum for ebook users but it’s really, really geeky and I fear I won’t understand the answer even if I can explain LingQ to them!

I can’t really help you Helen. You will just have to try and copy paste and see what happens. My experience with a lot of e-books is that you can’t copy them since the text seems to be copy proofed. In which case, you won’t be able to import them.

I have experienced protected PDFs, PDFs where the text could be copied but the Chinese characters showed up as boxes/question marks/what not, and finally “normal” PDFs working just like any text document. There are other e-book formats than PDF, e.g. ebrary (a service used by my library) where content (to my knowledge) can’t be copied or even printed.

If the content itself is free but the e-book is protected, maybe a PDF crack could used to make the text copyable. I mean, why protect “free” content…

Gaah! International copyright law is really getting on my giblets.

Take Dracula for instance, a fine piece of British-Irish literature, and long out of copyright. The audiobook is in copyright, but you can get a public domain version through librivox. But in other languages? It all depends on the age of the translation as to whether it is copyright protected or not, and it is in the publishers’ interests to sell modern (copyright protected) translations rather than old, copyright-free ones. But where on earth would I find a pre-war Russian translation of Dracula? Probably nowhere; between the World Wars the Russian people had other things to do than translate old English-language horror stories.

It really isn’t at all obvious to me which of the many versions of the book I own can be used in LingQ and which can’t. Or, if I buy a new version, whether it is either physically or legally possible to lingQ with it.

If only there were more authors and publishers prepared to make available copyright-free literature, preferably the same stories in several different languages. Verne seems to be a better bet, at least there are some copyright-free translations in English and German. I don’t know about Russian though…

Re. protected PDFs :-

I use a tool called “PDF Password Cracker”, downloadable free from the Internet - I think you get 50 free goes before you have to register. Very useful for unlocking PDFs to allow you to copy/paste text into LingQ.

Having said that, I’ve just found this site: Jules Verne | ManyBooks

which has a lot of what I’m looking for.

So as long as i choose PDF for my format I should be OK.

Thanks Jamie!

Jamie, a while ago I found an online version version a PDF cracker - I just uploaded the file and it was cracked immediately.
5 MB limit, though: David R. Heffelfinger's Ensode.net - Free PDF Unlock Online Utility

Also, Helen, copyright restrictions don’t apply if you are just importing for your own use. It’s only when you share it on the site that you need to worry about copyright.

Well, Mr Teapot and I have been arguing this point for some time. I say that, if I buy a book, in print or e-form, then I have the right to use it for my own personal studies in any way I see fit. If I want to write in the margins, draw moustaches on all the pictures, or scan it and upload it to LingQ, then I can.

He on the other side thinks that eBooks are evil and sound the death knell of the publishing industry, and that there is a special section of Hell reserved for all those who use books in electronic form rather than use proper, decent hardbacks kept in pristine condition (first editions preferred).

If I’m right then I don’t understand why eBooks should be copy-protected, if he’s right…then I’m a bit scared.

I do not understand your point.

If you acquire an ebook, paid for or free, you may use it for your own purposes as you see fit, but may not distribute it in any way that violates the conditions of the publisher of the ebook. If in doubt, you ask the publisher.

Why a book, all warm and fuzzy and written on paper should be copy-protected and not an ebook is beyond me? It is the creative work and not the paper that is copy-protected. All of this has nothing to do with whether one likes ebooks, in my view.

No, his argument makes no sense to me either. I think he’s just being a Luddite.