Unfortunately, no. Not yet, by any means. But the audiobook is certainly headed that way, I’m happy to report. In this article from the New York Times, audiobook publishers are ditching piracy protection measures, known to you and me as one of the most notorious and feared 3-letter acronyms in the whole of cyberspace: DRM. Which stands for Digital Rights Management, of course.
Apparently they found that DRM doesn’t really work in curbing piracy. I could have told them that.
As I’ve mentioned before, DRM does not solve the problem it has set out to achieve, which is to control rampant piracy. Instead of creating a better, more-foolproof DRM, maybe it needs to be solved in a different manner – with a different mindset. Einstein said (I believe) that problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them. It has been proven many times over that DRM free works distributed on the internet actually helps sales, rather than hinder them, and it’s especially true for new emerging talents or works.
There still needs to be a way for artists and authors to make a living in the Internet age, and have their works protected. It is becoming increasing clear is isn’t going to be DRM.