Book Publishers Stripping Copy Protection: Report

Good news for audio book fans: The New York Times is reporting that some of the largest book publishers in the world are stripping away the copy protection software on digital downloads of audio books:

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“The trend will allow consumers who download audio books to freely transfer these digital files between devices like their computers, iPods and cell phones—and conceivably share them with others. Dropping copying restrictions could also allow a variety of online retailers to start to sell audio book downloads.”

Last month, Random House, the world’s largest publisher, first said that it would begin to offer all of its audio books as unprotected MP3 downloads unless any specific authors told them otherwise. Now, Penguin Books, the second largest publisher in the U.S. after Random House, just announced the same thing, saying that its unprotected MP3 files will be offered via eMusic.