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Will the Government Finally Do Something About DRM?

While music went DRM free yesterday, audiobooks did not.  Audible audiobooks are likely to be the one thing in the audio downloads at iTunes and elsewhere that will still have DRM.  What does that mean? You can't listen to audiobooks bought from audible on your Sony Reader or Kindle even though both devices have audio capabilities. Does that suck? Of course it does.

And what about the DRM'ed books you bought that you can no longer access because your one computer crashed or the authentication server is down and so on and so forth?
DRM is not only crippling in the music and book industry, but it is also a big issue in the gaming industry and based upon a huge brouhaha involving the release of an iPhone app, Spore, and Sony rootkit issues, and oh, many other examples, the FTC is holding a townhall meeting on the issue of DRM .  Given the DMCA, I don't believe the FTC would have the right to eliminate DRM but maybe they could make it so onerous for content providers that DRM becomes too costly to use?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

2 Comments

  1. DS
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 18:56:00

    Actually, you can listen to audible books on Kindle– in fact Audible has a patch specifically for the Kindle. It eats the battery so I don’t recommend it, but it can be done.

    ETA: I also meant to say this looks interesting and I will be following it and maybe submitting a comment or two.

  2. Estara
    Jan 09, 2009 @ 13:26:06

    Oh it’s getting better yet: did you see the info linked from BoingBoing.net that Fictionwise can no longer guarantee your third-party format ebooks since one of their third party server providers will be shutting down at the end of January?
    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/08/ebook-drm-provider-g.html
    Ebook readers might want to back up locally as soon as possible.

    Hudson sez, “Fictionwise used Overdrive to provide DRM encrypted ebooks to their customers and Overdrive has informed them that they will be shutdown on 30 January with no reason given. Since Fictionwise doesn’t have the decryption keys, they are not able to provide new versions of the books to all customers.”

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