Finally, people are getting it: DRM doesn’t work. The title of this post is a direct quote from Madeline McIntosh, a senior vice president at the Random House Audio Group, who was quoted in “Publishers Phase Out Piracy Protection on Audio Books” (New York Times, 03 Mar 2008):
In a letter sent to its industry partners last month, Random House, the world’s largest publisher, announced it would offer all of its audio books as unprotected MP3 files beginning this month, unless retail partners or authors specified otherwise.
Penguin Group, the second-largest publisher in the United States behind Random House, now appears set to follow suit…
Mr. Heffernan said the company changed its mind partly after watching the major music labels, like Warner Brothers and Sony BMG, abandon D.R.M. on the digital music they sell on Amazon.com. “I’m looking at this as a test,” he said. “But I do believe the audio book market without D.R.M. is going to be the future.”
Other major book publishers seem to agree. Chris Lynch, executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio, said the company would make 150 titles available for download in an unprotected digital format in “the next couple of months.”