Home > Official news > Dropbox is cancelling accounts of calibre2opds users

Dropbox is cancelling accounts of calibre2opds users

It came out of the blue, at least for me… Dropbox just cancelled my account, after sending me a DMCA takedown notice for books I had in my calibre2opds catalog.

The notice actually referenced HTML catalog links, so here is what calibre2opds users should do :

  • don’t pirate books; yeah, sure : this also mean, don’t have books that you are legally entitled to have, but are considered pirated copies for some reasons (DRM tempering, self-scan of a paper copy, temporary loan from a friend, etc.)
  • obfuscate your calibre2opds catalog filenames (use the ad hoc option in the program) and don’t share your index link.
  • stop using Dropbox. There are alternatives, although unfortunately less cool, around (Google Drive, a NAS, publishing to a free web host)

Please, send this warning to your friends: this could save their Dropbox account !


Categories: Official news Tags: , , ,
  1. eReader
    30/04/2012 at 11:58

    You should also mention TOR hidden services:

    It’s quite easy to setup a calibre2opds catalog available only with TOR obfuscated URLs.

  2. Jose
    30/04/2012 at 21:30

    actually IMHO Google Drive is as awesome as DropBox. It has many of the main features, and should work almost identically

    • 01/05/2012 at 11:33

      For the moment, it crashes a lot on my iMac… But if it has the same public sharing as Dropbox (which, AFAIK, it hasn’t yet), it will be as awesome, no doubt.

  3. Ed
    30/04/2012 at 22:57

    Scary. I’ve removed my catalog for now.

    Did they send the takedown notice first as a warning or did it all happen at once?

    • 01/05/2012 at 11:33

      I woke up yesterday morning and I found about 15 messages sent by Dropbox about DMCA takedown notices, and I realized that my account had been suspended (without any warning or even an explanation message)

  4. annie
    02/05/2012 at 17:01

    how do they know you didn’t buy the book

    • 02/05/2012 at 19:00

      They don’t. As always with American “justice”, you have to prove you’re innocent…

  5. 08/05/2012 at 11:36

    And I was about to pay up for a 50GB Dropbox account! You mention Google Drive as an alternative… but does it support folder structures and navigation from one linked file to another – the way Dropbox does? All the other options I looked at generate random filenames for each publicly shared file, and so linking up a bunch of html files and books is almost impossible. AFAIK, there is no other cloud storage that also doubles up as a “web host”.
    After reading your post, I will be emptying my Dropbox account of books and related html files. Would you know a good cheap hosting service that does not care what you put on their servers, as long as you pay their fees? I have an account with SiteGround. They claim “unlimited web space” but fail to mention it is only for html and other “web” files! For media, you can store only up to 10GB, that too with the caveat that they can knock you off their servers if your stuff impacts the performance of their shared servers!

    • 08/05/2012 at 13:24

      You’re right, only dropbox allows this.
      Fact is, they found me because of my html catalog that was referenced in public lists…
      IMHO, as long as your html files stay private (tip: use the encryption option) you’re safe!

  6. Serena
    16/05/2012 at 08:04

    Pardon my n00b question here, but I’m not sure I understand Krumbs statement about gDrive not allowing folder structures and navigation. For clarification’s sake, does this mean that if I were to set up gDrive instead of Dropbox, the html view of the books wouldn’t work?

  7. Bill Smith
    18/05/2012 at 04:39

    I know we all hate to pay for services, but buying cheap hosting/domain solution might be the way to go. On your own website, you can password protect your library folders and purchase as much or as little space as you need. The indexing bots can’t look inside the password protected areas, so your catalogue does not go public. FTP tools like WS_FTP can keep local folders on your computer synchronized with folders on your private website. Dropbox is more convenient but sometimes “old-school” is the best way.

  8. 18/05/2012 at 10:45

    Serena :
    Pardon my n00b question here, but I’m not sure I understand Krumbs statement about gDrive not allowing folder structures and navigation. For clarification’s sake, does this mean that if I were to set up gDrive instead of Dropbox, the html view of the books wouldn’t work?

    Calibre2opds generates a bunch of html files that link to other html files using relative paths. Take, for example, the index.html file inside the _catalog folder, It displays a set of links such as Authors, Tags… and when you click on any of these links, it looks for the related html file within the same main folder or a subfolder inside.
    The beauty of this system is that you can upload the entire folder to any server, and the links will simply work.
    However, most cloud services mess up with the filenames when you “share” them, and end up breaking those relative links. Dropbox and MobileMe are the only two services I know that let you share entire folders ‘as they are’, totally untouched. Unfortunately, Dropbox is monitoring what you share, while MobileMe is going away next month.

    I finally opted for a “free” solution – my home router! I have a Asus N56U running a custom firmware that enables optware packages. Installed a web server (thttpd) on it, plugged in a HDD containing the Calibre2opds files and books, and did port forwarding. Since my ISP assigns dynamic IPs, I used DynDNS.
    So now, I can access all my books from wherever I am. I have also added the xml paths generated by Calibre2opds to various readers on my Android devices.
    Best part is, nobody will be sending me takedown notices! The books are right there in my home, instead of some cloud service. The downside, however, is that the system won’t handle lot of traffic (not a issue since only I access these books). Also, the link might go down, the router might blow up, home might catch fire… and poof, the books will be gone!
    Anyway, my suggestion – if you have a computer that is always on, you could use it as a server and access it from outside. Don’t bother with cloud services, expect for backup purposes.

    • Serena
      29/05/2012 at 00:12

      Thanks for the reply Krumbs! I have a router that I know can be configured to use DD-WRT but I haven’t done so yet. I actually just bought it with the intent of installing DD-WRT on it.

      I’d love to try the setup you described, I just haven’t a clue where to start! ^^;

  9. 28/05/2012 at 00:18

    After similar trouble with Dropbox myself I’ve switched over to SugarSync — I’m using it currently and I have no trouble with Calibre2OPDS and using it. It’s very similar to dropbox in that you get a ‘Magic Briefcase’ which is synced to all systems. Better, though, in that you can also ‘Sync to the Web’ other folders and they won’t automatically be downloaded to each system but reside in the web and on the parent computer. You can then choose to sync it to another computer or piecemeal download or link from the web, which is what I’m doing.

    The same instructions you gave previously would apply, with the exception that you can just share out your Calibre library location normally. (or put it in the Magic Briefcase folder)


    I shamelessly added my referral into the link too, hopefully I’ll get a few extra megs for that. If not just go to http://www.sugarsync.com


    • Javier
      01/06/2012 at 22:24

      I’m trying to use sugarsync, but i cannot link to del opds index in order to open it with my Aldiko. The public link that you get from sugarsync is only to download the file.

  10. 02/06/2012 at 05:57

    I like sugarsync too, you get 5G to start, and then more when others sign up using your link. I think they still have a limit on how much you can have altogether, but I’m not sure. I am storing my books on dropbox but not as links, I simply access dropbox and the book I want and then “open in”. I only use calibre now to make sure all the metadata is intact.

  11. justine
    06/06/2012 at 22:49

    Hi, I want to know how I can obfuscate my calibre2opds catalog filenames . It says to use the ad hoc option in the program but I’m not sure what that means… sorry!
    Can someone help me with that? Dropbox already took down my account (even if I never shared my folders, it was for personnal use!) and I want to create a new one.

  12. Christo (@CTD)
    12/06/2012 at 05:35

    I have moved my Calibre library out of Dropbox for the moment, until this behaviour is understood. I wonder if I could host the OPDS library on my iPad, which has plenty of space. Is there a web server or OPDS app i wonder?

    • Marcos
      01/07/2012 at 07:27

      The cloud computing, now is a fashion, and it will finish as Megaupload. A lot of people which lost their information legal or not.
      One day, you will try to see your photos and… all your files missing.
      I prefer to use the “private cloud”, as the personal NAS storages.

  13. Cyana
    13/12/2012 at 02:26

    You might want to try Dump Truck at http://www.goldenfrog.com/dumptruck
    I’m using it since a year and it works great. It now offers a free 5GB account. Mine is a free 30 GB account that I got from GigaNews

  14. Robotech_Master
    30/03/2014 at 22:43

    I’ve used calibre2opds without any special effort for years now, without trying to obfuscate anything, and I haven’t had a problem. But then, I don’t ever put the URL to my catalogs anywhere public where it can be spidered. If I’m gonna share ’em with anyone, I share ’em privately and make sure the person I’m giving access knows the importance of not spreading it around.

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