Random House Drops DRM on Audiobooks, Starts Trend

drm free audiobook Random House Drops DRM on Audiobooks, Starts Trend

Say goodbye to that annoying .AA extension for your audoibooks and get ready to take those files you legitimately paid for to your various digital devices. Random House publishing will be the first to distribute their content in DRM free MP3 with Penguin publishers thinking about following suit.

The really interesting part of this story is the experiment that Random House conducted on piracy. They sold DRM free books online and water marked them to track them on P2P networks, but what they discovered was the pirated copies on these networks were from ripped audiobook CDS and cracked from DRMed audiobooks. Legitimately, purchased DRM free audio books did not show up on P2P networks. Random House concluded, “Our feeling is that D.R.M. is not actually doing anything to prevent piracy.”

[NYT thanks Charles]

8 Comments

radomperson on March 11, 2008 6:46 PM

who cares about this little piece of crap? geez, if i wanted to read a book, i would go out and get the book. has anyone actually even heard of the brand random house? cmon, anythingbutipod- give us some more interesting stuff (like the sansa fuze)

dragnandy on March 11, 2008 8:16 PM

yea, i dont know anybody who uses audio books. but hey, news is news.

A.K. Bhuiyan on March 11, 2008 9:28 PM

actually random house is one of the biggest publishers in the world, so quite a number of people have…while I don’t listen to audiobooks very often, the little experiment that they ran was pretty interesting…or at least the results were…

Cleanroom on March 12, 2008 12:02 PM

Hey, I almost exclusively listen to audio books and this is excellent news. Random house is is the world’s largest English-language general trade book publisher. They also publish under the titles of, Bantam books, Broadway Books, Doubleday Books, Dell, Crown, Knopf, and Waterbrook. Pretty impressive in my opinion that a publisher this large is seeing the light and actually letting me BUY my books instead of buy them until I have a license problem.

Me on March 12, 2008 3:19 PM

The only thing I listen to is audiobooks. Is there a good non-ipod player for these?Ipods are fantastic for audio books because they automatically bookmark my poition and allow rapid scrolling to a particular location (very important for a large 6 hour file). I am very interested in a non-ipod player that can do this since many library e-audiobooks are in a format the ipod cannot play.Almost all the non-ipod players I have seen don’t have the easy bookmark and rapid scrolling feature needed for audiobooks.

Haplo on March 13, 2008 7:55 AM

That would be the Cowon D2.Plays just about any format.You have a bookmark list and a progressline that you just press directly to go to the desired place in the file.This is a very interesting article (thanks for posting it), and one would have to be a very narrowminded person to not have heard about Random House.

Catcutter on April 7, 2008 1:08 PM

Response to Me on March 12, 2008. I believe that most of the mp3 players made by Creative have a bookmarking feature. I am specifically using the new Creative Zen and Zen M. I couldn’t image a player that doesn’t have this feature.

Gwencallon on April 20, 2008 8:40 PM

I was thinking who HASN’T heard of Random House!I found this a very interesting piece of news since I listen to audiobooks on my MP3 player a lot. When I’m commuting to my mother’s to take care of her. Or when I’m in the garage working on a project. Anytime my hands are busy! I usually play music at the same time over speakers in the vicinity.I use my Creative Zen V-Plus. I haven’t found that it has a bookmark feature (But I bet I’m overlooking it, having not actually read my manual, hehe) But it does pick up where I left off. I have several books at a time on there and it remembers my “page” on each one. You can also jump from chapter to chapter.

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