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Audiobook

  • The good folks at Random House Audio produced a  _fantastic_  audio edition of
  • this book. You can buy it on CD, or you can buy the MP3 version from a variety
  • of online booksellers. [I also sell it myself on my
  • site](http://craphound.com/?cat=10)
  • Unfortunately, you can't buy this book from the world's most popular audiobook
  • vendors: Apple's iTunes and Amazon's Audible. That's because neither store
  • would allow me to sell the audiobook on terms that I believe are fair and
  • just.
  • Specifically, Apple refused to carry the book unless it had "digital rights
  • management" on it. This is the technology that locks music to Apple's devices.
  • It's illegal to move DRM-crippled files to devices that Apple hasn't blessed,
  • which means that if I encourage you to buy my works through Apple, I lose the
  • ability to choose to continue to sell to you from Apple's competition at some
  • later date in the future. That seems like a bad deal for both of us.
  • To its credit, Audible (which supplies all of the audiobooks on iTunes)  _was_
  • willing to sell this book without DRM, but they insisted on including their
  • extremely onerous "end user license agreement," which  _also_  prohibits
  • moving my book to a device that Audible hasn't approved. To make it easy for
  • them, I offered to simply record a little intro that said, "Cory Doctorow and
  • Random House Audio grant you permission to use this book in any way that does
  • not violate copyright law." That way, they wouldn't have to make  _any_
  • changes to their site or the agreements you have to click through to use it.
  • But Audible refused.
  • I wouldn't sell this book through Wal-Mart if they insisted that you could
  • only shelve it on a Wal-Mart bookcase and I won't sell it through any online
  • retailer that imposes the same requirement on your virtual bookshelves. That's
  • also why you won't find my books for sale for the Kindle or iPad stores — both
  • stores insist on the right to lock you into terms that I believe are unfair
  • and bad for both of us.
  • I'm pretty bummed about this. For the record, I would gladly sell through both
  • Apple and Audible if they'd let me sell it without DRM, and under the world's
  • shortest EULA ("Don't violate copyright law.") In the meantime, I thank you in
  • advance for patronizing online audiobook sellers who respect the rights of
  • both authors and audiences. And I am especially grateful to Random House Audio
  • for backing me in this fight to get a fair deal for all of us.