How To Solve The Error Getting License Message In Adobe Digital Editions

This is one of the common error messages that you might get when using Adobe Digital Editions:

“Error getting license. License server communication problem: E_LIC_ALREADY_FULFILLED_BY_ANOTHER_USER”

This message is related to Adobe’s ebook DRM (digital rights management) system. Book publishers are concerned about software piracy, so most of them only sell their ebooks with DRM that places some restrictions on how and where you can use your ebooks. Adobe has set up their DRM to allow you to read your ebooks on multiple computers or devices, but only if you work within their DRM procedure.

The “error getting license” error message appears when you’re trying to open an ebook without the correct authorization. This will happen if you’ve downloaded the ebook illegally or if a friend emailed the ebook to you. It can also happen even if you purchased the ebook, for a few different reasons:

— you’ve purchased the ebook sometime in the past and you’re trying to download it again, or

— you’re trying to use the ebook on a new computer/device or a computer that has had its operating system upgraded/reinstalled, or

— you’re trying to re-download an ebook that you’d previously lost or deleted.

Adobe does allow users to re-download previous purchases and to use their ebooks on multiple computers and devices, but their DRM system must be worked with properly if you want this to work.

Before you download an Adobe ebook for the first time, you must “authorize” Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID. If you do that, then you can authorize Adobe Digital Editions on other computers with the same Adobe ID, and Adobe will allow you to use your ebooks on those computers as well.

Some people try to skip all of that and just email the ebook to their other computer, transfer it via a thumb drive, or something similar. That is exactly what the software is set up to prevent you from doing. The whole purpose of the DRM is to prevent people from sharing the file with others. Whether or not you agree with this is pretty much irrelevant. It is what you have to deal with right now if you want to use Adobe ebooks.

To solve this error message, you will basically have to go back to the beginning of the download process and start over.

1. Install Adobe Digital Editions on the computer where you want to read the ebook. (

2. Authorize Adobe Digital Editions with the same Adobe ID that you used when you downloaded the ebook for the first time.

Open Adobe Digital Editions, and click the downward arrow next to the word LIBRARY. Then click -Authorize computer-. From there, follow the prompts to sign in with your Adobe ID.

Note: If you did not authorize Adobe Digital Editions with an Adobe ID before you downloaded the ebook for the first time, then you have effectively forfeited your right to use the ebook on multiple computers.

Another Note: If you’re not sure which Adobe ID you used, check for an existing Adobe ID on Adobe’s website: (

Yet Another Note: If you already authorized Adobe Digital Editions with the wrong Adobe ID, you can de-authorize it and then re-authorize with the correct Adobe ID. Follow these instructions to de-authorize Adobe Digital Editions.

3. Return to the ebook store where you purchased the ebook, and download it to the computer where you want to use the ebook.

Following these steps should solve most instances of this error message. If it does not, you can contact Adobe on their website, use their support forums, or contact the website where you purchased the ebook.

About the Author: Jared Scott has been working in the ebook industry for over ten years. He does not work for Adobe, but he oversees tech support for Adobe ebook downloads for a major ebook retailer. Any gripes/complaints about Adobe DRM should be directed at Adobe, not those who are tasked with supporting their software! Find more articles about using ebooks on Jared’s blog, eBook Reader Software.