Audiobooks discussion

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message 1: by Scott (new)

Scott | 2 comments In my household we have this ongoing disagreement about the legality of keeping copies of audiobooks acquired from the library. Since I get the majority of my audiobooks in CD format, rip them to my laptop, then transfer them to my Sansa Clip device, I say it's ok to keep the copy on my laptop until I am finished listening to the book. I then delete it. Some people seem to think even keeping a copy on my laptop for that amount of time is illegal. Any thoughts?


message 2: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3668 comments I don't really want to start a lengthy discussion on this issue, but can't fault you for bringing it up either, Scott. As far as I can determine, making any "unauthorized" copy could be seen as illegal. Would the publisher care about a single copy for your own personal use beyond the library checkout date, and then permanently deleted? I highly doubt that. Would someone be prosecuted, without any intent to "distribute" a copy? Again, I doubt that, too.
There are folks who feel strongly that making copies of any kind is wrong. In a forum at another site, one such person responded to a request about ripping discs from a new member in a harsh, reprimanding tone, which annoyed me greatly. On the other hand, if you are someone who feels that way, I'm not saying you should "just shut up" either. Thanks!
On a related note, I have noticed that CD books increasing seem to have built-in "glitches" that jam up ripping. I refuse to believe it's just a poor quality copy, rather than an intentional design.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 30, 2012 09:53AM) (new)

Technically, yes, the copy you rip to your computer is an unauthorized and illegal copy; but no audiobook publisher is going to go after you. It has become a common practice, aided by programs' options to help you import CDs and, there being no distinction on an audiobook between one that you buy (which is legal to rip to your drive) versus an audiobook that you borrow from the library. The thing that audiobook publishers really don't like to see however is titles going up on torrent sites and such.


J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ | 719 comments I don't see an issue with it, though I do think a publisher would. I don't believe they would go after you, even if they had a way to know you were doing this, which they don't.


We had a similar debate at my house except our debate was the legality of downloading a torrent of a book I have already purchased from Audible. I don't mind buying and will buy my books, but to get Audible books into .mp3 format I have to burn the book to discs, wasting up to 14 discs and breaking the audiobook into arbitrary 8 min segments, then rip it back to my hard drive as an mp3. Whether I do that or download the torrent for a purchased book I still end up with the same end result, just less waste if I download the torrent. My wife thinks it's illegal to even think about torrents.

I don't approve of pirating books, but I plan to continue using this "shortcut" to my preferred format until Audible lets me use MY audiobook as I please.


message 5: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3668 comments Why do you break them into 8 min segments? I prefer my ripped books to be one entire CD as a single part.


message 6: by J. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (last edited Dec 31, 2012 05:46AM) (new)

J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ | 719 comments John wrote: "Why do you break them into 8 min segments? I prefer my ripped books to be one entire CD as a single part."

Apparently itunes does that automatically. Perhaps I should see how WMP handles it, I think those are the only two options with Audible.

I like having an occasional break, maybe at the end of a chapter, so that when I transition from work to the car ride home it isn't too difficult to find my place. The radio in my car accepts a thumb drive and clicking through 60-80 8 minute segments is just too much.

I've probably got a couple of programs I could use to mend the 8 min. segments, but I already feel that the whole process takes too much time.


message 7: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I figured that if I'm the only person listening to the book, then I'm good to go.

It's the same thing with downloaded audiobooks to the iPod. There's no way for the library to remove the books once they're on my iPod so I just delete them after I listen to them, which most of the time happens after the due date.


message 8: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3668 comments We're on the same page, D G.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, my CD ripping program has a small box one can tick for "rip CD as a single track" which I love; however, it rips to WMA format not mp3. The players I listen to those books on have good bookmarking functions.


message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 575 comments I listen to my audiobooks on my iphone, using the Audible App. A while back Apple changed their software so that I could no longer access the audiobooks in my itunes library from my phone. I was furious and went through all manner of contortions trying to figure out how to do it, and finally settled on the App which is really wonderful, and breaks the books into chapters and makes it all very convenient. I have found a few books not available at Audible that I rented and spent hours converting tapes and CD's to MP3 files. I bought a program that removes DRM from files, but it took forever. For a while I did that with audio books and then made them into playlists on itunes that my iphone would let me listen to.

I have had no luck with getting the software for rented MP3 files to work with my phone.


message 10: by Casseroll (last edited Dec 30, 2012 01:04PM) (new)

Casseroll | 45 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I listen to my audiobooks on my iphone, using the Audible App. A while back Apple changed their software so that I could no longer access the audiobooks in my itunes library from my phone. I was ..."

You can rip CDs as 1 track BEFORE ripping under 'Options' in top right hand corner of new iTunes and select 'join cd tracks'.

I have an ipod touch and iPad 2 that when you're in the Music app, you click on "More" then there's an audiobook section. In iTunes, you'd have to go to "get more info" (before AND after CD downloads) for each disk then make genre 'audiobook' and then under 'Options' change equalizer preset to 'spoken word' and 'media kind' to 'audiobook'. Check mark 'remember playback position' and 'skip when shuffling' so you can bookmark and not have books playing when listening to music.


message 11: by Alana (last edited Dec 30, 2012 05:42PM) (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 392 comments I don't rip the CDs and then put them on my Sansa, I just listen to books that are only available from the library on CD while I'm in the car. That's purely personal preference though.

My thoughts on it are if I can check out a book for three weeks at the library, then renew it (if it's not on hold) and I can essentially do the same thing with OverDrive (except I have to "return" the book and then download it again) it's just a technical glitch that makes it more difficult to keep track of where I am in the book. (Side note, with OneClick you can "renew" a digital copy, but if you have already transferred it to your device BEFORE renewing, you will have to transfer it again, because it will block your license to play it). I will keep it until I've finished listening to it, but delete as I go. It's not preventing the next person from "checking out" the book, since it digitally "returns" to the library, but I still get to finish the book, which is actually more efficient than the paper version. I also keep the digital copy on my PC until I'm done listening (unless of course it automatically returns itself).

I like to have a paper copy alongside the audio so I can check a name or a section I had trouble with, but often the audio and the paper book don't become available at the library at the same time, so I download the book to my Sansa until the paper book becomes available. I return both when I am finished. Since, again, I am deleting the copy when I am done and it's not preventing anyone else from accessing the same material, I don't see a problem with this.

Honestly, though, it may be up to personal opinion of what is acceptable or not.


message 12: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie | 1951 comments That is one thing I have never understood when you download an audiobook from Overdrive and some of the publishers allow it to be ripped to a cd to me that has way more chance of being pirated than someone ripping a cd onto their computer to transfer to their ipod if I do that I also remove it from my computer ipod and itunes when I am done with it.


message 13: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3668 comments All of this is to make the publishers feel better, and to preserve their right to prosecute (if there's evidence of distribution), rather than to realistically assume folks aren't making single personal copies.


message 14: by comfort (new)

comfort | 26 comments I keep some of my library audiobooks, as sometimes I am reading a series and can't get the books out of the library in order so keep them until I have the set, then delete. I figure as long as I am not sharing these books with anybody, it is up to me to delete at my convenience.


message 15: by Stephanie (last edited Dec 27, 2013 01:31PM) (new)

Stephanie (quiltsrme) | 143 comments Technically, copying the disk in order to place on your Mp3 player would be illegal. Nobody cares provided you aren't selling or sharing the copies. If you choose to keep a copy of a whole series on a flashdrive or burn it to disk to archive it for yourself, again, nobody cares.

I always rip a copy of a library edition until I have finished the book. Most of what I get, I have to order. It can come at any time, whether convenient for you or not. Whether you are even able to start it or not. So, I now pick up the disks, rip them, and then set them aside and return before the due date. Overdrive has been less of a problem for me, partly because I have been focusing on older books, not those published in the last 2 years. Rarely a wait. I think it helps that they restrict the number of requests you can have pending at any time for Overdrive (ebooks and audiobooks) helps.


message 16: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 392 comments If there's a limit to how many you can have requested, I haven't bumped into it yet, but when I lived in GA I could only check out five at once. In Colo Springs I can have 20 checked out at a time.


message 17: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Brumback | 16 comments My library used to indicate what copying was legal and what not so. I agree with those who are saying that if for your own use it's probably ok. That was the copyright law re xerox when I was teaching up until 10 years ago; you could legally xerox what copies you needed for your own classes. But the laws should be on the internet. Just search on "copyright laws."


message 18: by HJ (new)

HJ J. wrote: "We had a similar debate at my house except our debate was the legality of downloading a torrent of a book I have already purchased from Audible. ...My wife thinks it's illegal to even think about torrents. ..."

I agree with your wife on this. And quite apart from the legalities, using a torrent site encourages and validates such sites.


message 19: by Laura (new)

Laura (luluwrites) | 11 comments All of these comments just reminded me why I stopped copying books from CD or cassette and ripping them into MP3s so I could listen to them and just committed to Audible. Even though I realize there are audiobooks I can't access on Audible and that I am likely paying a premium for some books just for convenience, everything else just becomes too much trouble.

I have a vested interest in the subject because I underwrite and insure intellectual property and electronic content and have talked to lots of IP lawyers through the years. The problem is we are applying outdated laws to a format and technology that did not exist or were not fully realized when the laws were created.

Trying to apply the logic process you apply to the ownership of a physical book or a CD just doesn't work. If it did, I should be able to occassionaly loan an Audible book to a friend. Most of the physical books I own have been loaned to family or friends once or twice. But I can't do that with my Audible books. And while I would never get a library book and photocopy it so I could reduce the size of the pages and get rid of the heavy cover so it is easier for me to read, people have no choice but to change the format of an audiobook they get at the library if they want to listen to it on their iPhone.

What I do know is this, aside from laws that are difficult to apply, here is the practical response - authors, composers and publishers want to be paid for their work and they don't want someone else to benefit financially from their own intellectual property. So if you are doing something that denies them their rightful payment - say ripping an audio book and sharing it with 25 of your closest friends so they don't have to buy it - or something that allows you to financially gain off of someone else's intellectual property - reselling ripped copies of an audiobook for 50% of the retail price, you will have problems if found out. But if you save library CDs on your computer, don't share them excessively or resell them for profit, you are probably OK.

As for torrents, while part of me applauds peer 2 peer or torrent sharing if only because it illustrates how ineffective outdated intellectual property laws are, morally, they make me squeegy. Frequent or excessive use certainly makes you a regulator target. And they are just about the easiest way to download a virus or malware on your computer that exists.


message 20: by CatBookMom (new)

CatBookMom | 995 comments Lulu wrote: "All of these comments just reminded me why I stopped copying books from CD or cassette and ripping them into MP3s so I could listen to them and just committed to Audible. Even though I realize ther..."

Thank you for your interesting post and practical summation. I came across torrents a couple of years ago when I was looking for an audio version of an older book; the concept struck me as embodying the old buyer-beware phrase "if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't."


message 21: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (quiltsrme) | 143 comments Some people seem to think even keeping a copy on my laptop for that amount of time is illegal.

I think it is fair use by your description. You are holding it until you have finished listening to it and then are deleting it. I guarantee you, that most people checking out Atlas Shrugged or 1Q84 in audiobook have been listening to it long after it was 'returned.'

I'd discuss more about torrents, but I don't want this group getting slapped by Goodreads upper management.


message 22: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3668 comments Personally, this subject is one I dislike seeing discussed as it brings back memories of a thread elsewhere where the discussion took a rather nasty turn. So, I'm going to lock it for now, and probably delete it. I don't want Scott to think I censor stuff as it's his thread - please feel free to talk about almost anything else.


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