Kindle 2 lets users “hear” a computerized voice read the content of the book, magazine or newspaper article. Authors Guild denounces said feature, arguing that the text-to-speech read back is a derivative work. The obvious point was made in the CNET story: text-to-speech is not a replacement for an audiobook (and an audiobook is a straight-up derivative work, separate from the copyright for the printed version).
And by the way, I think more than a few copyright lawyers might disagree with the Authors Guild’s position that a machine “reading and speaking” the text of a document that the user has acquired is not the same as a recording of an individual reading the book (aka an audio book or book-on-disc).
Maybe the Authors Guild should be darned happy that people are a) buying Kindles and b) buying titles that can be consumed on a Kindle c) they might also look at all the other issues that face the publishing industry and save the angst (and lawyers fees) for something serious. (And, hey, Authors Guild, did you ever think that maybe folks who have some vision-impaired but can use the Kindle might occasionally find the Kindle 2’s text-to-speech feature to be valuable?)
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