More audiobook publishers drop DRM: will Audible follow suit?

Following on the news that Random House Audio is dropping DRM on its audiobooks, both Penguin and Simon & Schuster Audio have announced DRM-free trials for their products. I really hope this means that Audible/Amazon will drop the DRM on its audiobooks now. I used to spend a fortune on Audible books until I realized that the DRM had locked me into iTunes (and had to spend a solid month unlocking my giant, paid-for audio collection when I switched to Linux).

As I've mentioned here, Audible's policy is that they'll only sell DRMed audiobooks, even if the publisher and author want to go DRM-free. That's not because Audible can't handle DRM-free files (they do some free/promotional stuff without DRM), but rather out of some ideological commitment to DRM. And since they're the exclusive supplier of audiobooks to iTunes, that means that you can only buy DRMed audiobooks through the iTunes store, despite Steve Jobs' claim that he wants to make the store DRM-free (he renewed Audible's exclusivity deal after making that announcement, though).

When Amazon bought Audible, they said they'd kill the DRM if they got enough public outcry against it.

Well, here's my promise: if Amazon drops Audible DRM and institutes sensible terms of service (something along the lines of "Don't break copyright law"), I will buy and blog an Audible audiobook here on Boing Boing once a week for six months.


See also:
Random House Audio abandons audiobook DRM
Amazon buys Audible, promises to kill DRM if we complain