Libraries to Download to iPods

The hot news of the day is Overdrive’s press release, “OverDrive to Distribute MP3 Audiobooks to Booksellers and Libraries.

So, finally, libraries will be able to offer audio titles for download to iPods. But, booksellers (Borders stores, through the Digital Centers in the new concept stores and Borders Digital Audiobooks site) will be able to offer more titles to their customers than libraries will. Random House, for instance, is not part of the library program. This was made clear in the February 21st letter to agents about RH going DRM free:

We are not making any changes at all to our library digital download program. That marketplace operates under very different conditions than retail. In the library environment, DRM is used not just to prevent copying, but also to control the limited borrowing privileges attached to the digital library edition. To be clear: all titles distributed in download form from our Books on Tape and Listening Library lists through our two existing library distribution partners, OverDrive and NetLibrary, will continue to have DRM.

Overdrive names “Blackstone Audio, Books In Motion, CSA Word, and Audio Evolution, among others” as the publishers whose titles will be available for library lending. The Borders program begins in May and the library program sometime after that.

Library Journal covered the story earlier today.


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