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Will Amazon “AutoRip” Print Books Too?

January 10th, 2013 by · 13 Comments · opinion

I know the meme is to answer every headline that ends in a question mark with the word, No. So shut up.

Amazon’s “AutoRip” Service Goes Live, Giving Customers Free MP3s For CDs Purchased On Amazon As Far Back As 1998 (Hands On)

Amazon is today introducing a new service called Amazon AutoRip, which automatically gives customers free MP3 versions of any CDs they’ve purchased from Amazon since the launch of its Music Store back in 1998.

If Amazon was able to get the music industry to agree to that — and they are no pushovers — how soon will it happen with DVDs/Blu-Ray Discs? (Hello, Ultraviolet!)

And then printed books?

For all of you print fetishists who have long brayed about bundling an eBook with a printed book, here’s a solution that finally makes some damn sense.  And if that happened, my prior post would seem more plausible as the next step too: How Amazon Could Switch Over ePub Book Buyers

Nate’s rebuttal:

Nah. Amazon talked record labels into this because customers were already ripping CDs; there was little to lose. Book publishers don’t have to face that issue so I don’t think they have the same pressure.

BTW, I’m betting the real reason Amazon talked the labels into this is that Amazon adds DRM to the mp3 files. They sell mp3 with watermarks so it would make sense to add those watermarks to all the “ripped” mp3s.

The record labels would be interested in this as an anti-piracy measure. The watermarks can be traced back to specific Amazon accounts. A ripped CD OTOH cannot be traced back to the person who riped it.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Mike Cane

    Hasn’t Angry Robot Books been experimenting with bundling p and e book? I don’t know how that’s done — is a download code in the book? It makes more sense to have a retailer do that, since that’s the point of sale and confirmation of a sale. If a code is in a book, how do we know there wouldn’t be some way to claim it over and over? (Yes, there could be on-time use, but on the other hand, the coding scheme might be hackable by algorithm.) P and e bundling is something only two retailers could do: Amazon and B&N. Sony, Google, and Kobo don’t sell p. And while indie p bookstores do, how many actually have invested in online stores?

    • Mike Cane

      *ONE-time use. Damn typo.

    • Frank Skornia

      O’Reilly also does something a little similar by offering an ebook at a discounted price when you buy the print copy. I feel that bundling is something that retailers should start taking seriously. I recently purchased the final Wheel of Time novel and would have paid an extra $6-7 to get an ebook download at the same time. The print copy would go on my shelf to complete the set, and then read the ebook on the comfort of my Kindle.

      • Mike Cane

        >>.would have paid an extra $6-7 to get an ebook download at the same time

        Then you are missing the point. The AutoRip MP3s are FREE, included in the purchase. WTF is this “pay extra” crap?

  • Thomas

    Ripping CDs is so trivial now that some DVD players can do it automatically. Even Sony has pretty much given up on trying to prevent it.

  • Vonda Z

    This seems like an odd policy since CDs (and print books) are often purchased as gifts. Will my Cloud suddenly be overrun with music that’s not really mine because I often buy CDs for Christmas gifts? If so, am I under any legal obligation to have to sort through it all to figure out what is really mine?

    • fjtorres

      You bought it, you got it.
      Amazon is simply paying the music studio for a (probably reduced-cost) *second* license to the same material so nobody is getting ripped-off. It is probably cheaper than running prime time TV ads and buys a lot of goodwill.

    • Mike Cane

      Yep. I’ve already read an account where a guy got MP3s from CDs he bought as gifts.

      • fjtorres

        I got 63 CDs worth of MP3s.
        Not all that I bought and not all of them I bought for myself.
        I didn’t get dupes for the ones I bought for myself *and* as gifts, though.

        The why is pretty clear; they want people to start buying CDs again, not just digital singles.
        CD sales *have* been decling as only those of us who like to do lossless/high-bitrate rips seem to be buying CDs.

        We might actually see something like this once the last BPH standing sees its print sales dip closer to unsustainability. But that is probably decades of consolidation off.

        • kurt

          hmmm
          100+ CDs purchased but nothing on the cloud player for me

          • fjtorres

            When the news broke, I checked the cloud player and found nothing new.
            A few hours later, I received an email and when I checked they were there.
            They may be phasing people in…

            But not all studios and all content are in the program so dependent on taste…
            Hopefully something will pop-in soon.

  • MikeB

    I think the announcement said the auto-rip feature was not applicable to CDs purchased as gifts. AFIK, the only way Amazon knows if it was a gift is if you check the appropriate box on the order screen or on the product review screen. I got about 10 CDs made available through auto-rip.

  • Daniel

    Hey our startup http://lightlibrary.net/is launching a service to provide discounted e-versions of your hard copy books. Come sign up to be one of our beta testers

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