by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 14th 2009 4:28pm
We've been discussing the trouble that's been going on in the world of ebooks, as publishers are still coming to terms with the ebook era, and it seems that there are similar problems in the older world of audiobooks. TorrentFreak points us to an article by Cory Doctorow at Publisher's Weekly, where he discusses the difficulty he has had in publishing a DRM-free audiobook. Even once his publisher got on board, there were problems. First it was with Audible, the main audiobook seller -- who flat out refused. Yet on a more recent book, Audible was willing to go DRM-free, but Apple turned them down. Yes, Apple. The company that at one point claimed DRM was bad and should be ditched, and convinced the record labels to ditch DRM. Yet, as we've noted in the past, outside of music, Apple is still a huge DRM supporter. So it is with audiobooks apparently. When Doctorow, his publisher and Audible all told Apple they wanted to put a DRM-free copy of his audiobook in iTunes, he was told no. Other audiobook publishers are just as bad, if not worse, apparently requiring ridiculous license agreements, DRM and even software downloads. One of these days, the audiobook world is going to have to come to terms with what pretty much every other digital content provider has realized: making life more difficult for customers is not a way to succeed long term.
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