Audio Books Lose Copy Protection

Major publishers' downloads can be played on all devices
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Mar 3, 2008 12:02 PM CST
Jim Dale rehearses at a recording studio in New York, on June 18, 2003, as he prepared to record one of the Harry Potter audiobooks. (AP Photo/Akira Ono)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Some major book publishers are planning to remove anticopying protections from digital audio books, allowing customers who download them to transfer the files between their computers and portable players. The world’s biggest publisher, Random House, will offer all its audio books as unrestricted MP3s this month, reports the New York Times, and Penguin Group seems ready to do the same.

Simon & Schuster will also make some titles available as unprotected files in the next few months. The publishers hope the move will boost sales. Removing the restrictions from audio books means various online retailers will be able to sell files that can play on any device, in particular iPods, which only play unrestricted files or files downloaded from one supplier.