Include a reference in your ebook to a .js file living on your web server; the js. file contains a variable like "AreWeOnline = 1;".
Your book starts out with the same variable set to '0'. It checks the .js file online. If you are not online, it will not throw an error or 404 page. If you are online, the 'AreWeOnline' value is 1.
Base all your decisions thereafter on the '0' or '1'. Your images, for instance, can be named 'WebLinkGlobe0.jpg' (a disabled gray web link image) and 'WebLinkGlobe1.jpg' ( a normal image ), and you can swap between images based on that value.
The author is not involved here. The bit o'script is in the finished ebook, and, upon opening, checks if the user (reader) has internet access.
In order for the book to check if you have 'an active internet connection', it goes online. It seeks some kind of web connection. Just like you would with your browser.
If you want the information to persist, as in, 'Yes, the user had access when he opened the book the first time', you still need to test for the connection, and then save that value in, say, an .ini file.
You still need some way to retrieve a value, indicating yea or nay.
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