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Ship's Licence: What it is and how it works


The Ship’s Licence is a new way to read eBooks on your Witherby eBook Reader. It allows eBooks to be used by any computer connected to the ship’s network, without the need to install any software on your PC.

For more information about the Ship’s Licence, please send us an email at:

Phrases used in this guide:

Ship’s Licence: Purchasing an eBook under the terms of this licence allows eBooks to be read by any PC opening the Ship’s Licence eBook Reader.

Ship’s Licence eBook Reader: This is the Network Version of the Witherby eBook Reader which is used to display eBooks that have been purchased under the terms of the Ship’s Licence.

Local eBooks: These are eBooks that have been purchased for use in the locally installed Standalone eBook Reader.

Ship’s Network: This is a reference to all the PCs, laptops and servers on the ship that are connected to the ship’s internal computer network.

Standalone Licence: This is the licence that allows an eBook to be used only on a single PC, in the Standalone Version of the Witherby eBook Reader.

Network Licence: This is similar to the Ship’s Licence, in that it uses the same networked eBook reader, but limits the number of consecutive users (usually 5 users).

How does it work?

All the files required to run the Ship’s Licence eBook Reader are installed on the ship’s server or on a shared folder somewhere on the ship’s network (please see the additional document: Installing the eBook Reader for use with the Ship’s Licence (This document will open in a new window.)).

Once it is installed, how do I open the Ship’s Licence eBook Reader?

As part of the installation process, you should get a shortcut installed on your desktop which will look like this:

Double click on the shortcut and the eBook reader will open on your PC. All books that have been licensed will be shown as unlocked; any books in the eBook Reader for which licences have not been purchased will be shown with a padlock on the front cover.

An unlocked book:

A locked book:

I already have the eBook reader installed, what do I need to do?

You no longer need to run your locally installed eBook Reader to see your local eBooks. When you open the Ship’s Licence eBook Reader, you will also be able to use your locally installed eBooks.

In the image below, the eBooks purchased under the terms of the Ship’s Licences (and installed on the network/shared location) are shown in the red box.

Why can I see some eBooks on one computer but not on another?

All eBooks purchased with a Ship’s Licence will be available to all PCs and laptops connected to the ship’s network and running the Ship’s Licence eBook Reader. Locally installed (Standalone Licence) eBooks are only available to use on the PC or laptop on which they are installed.

How many PCs and laptops can use a Ship’s Licence to see eBooks?

There is no upper limit to the number of separate computers that can use the system to read eBooks. However, a sensible number of concurrent connections should be observed as each computer will be interacting with the server or shared location where the eBook Reader files are stored.

Swapping licences

After your ship has had the Ship’s Licence eBook Reader running for some time, you may be asked to take a licence from another PC (possibly from a member of the previous crew or from an old replaced PC); this prevents the eBook reader building up old and unused data.

If this happens, you will be presented with the following screen:

Click on the computer that has the oldest date in the ‘Licence Used From’ column and then click the TRANSFER button.

After a short process runs, you will be able to open the eBook on your PC.