The New York Public Library is offering 700 fiction and non-fiction digital audiobooks up for download this week, but they won’t work on your iPod. Why? Because they’re based on Microsoft’s copyright protection software.
Meanwhile, Marymount Manhattan College students are busy making unofficial audio guides to the Museum of Modern Art available as podcasts.
Even Rush Limbaugh is caught up in the whole podcasting drama and the limits of current copyright law. He’s upset his podcasts can’t include his song parodies:
But I just want to tell you we’re continually working on it, which at this point simply means monitoring developments in this whole copyright and piracy law. I know the Millennium Copyright Act is what this is all about, and until that’s changed, none of this is going to change. In fact I just saw a story in my RSS reader today that Sony is coming out with a new system to copy-protect their CDs. There’s software on their CDs that will allow a maximum of three dubs, three copies, and then it shuts down. So if somebody goes and buy a CD, they can copy it three times, but that’s it and it’s not on all their CDs. It’s a new technology that they are embedding in the CDs, and of course the DVD industry has gotten even much tougher than the music industry has, but it’s a huge deal and we have looked at it in every which way and that’s what we have been told by the legal eagles. Whatever anybody else is doing out there is of no consequence to us. Based on what we have learned anybody else doing this is doing so at risk, and that’s as much as I will say about it.
How will it all end? We’re not sure, but the 92nd Street Y will soon enter the podcasting waters. You heard it here first.