Author's Guild Claims Kindle 2 Copyright Infringement

The Kindle 2 has a feature which allows the book to be read out loud. And wow, does this have the Author's Guild up in a tizzy.

"They don't have the right to read a book out loud," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. "That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."

Amazon is moving forward with the rather logical opinion that there's no way a person would confuse the computerized text to speech voice with an audiobook.

So all of you youth librarian types doing story time? STOP IT. You're violating copyright and you're probably doing it more ways than one since you're not only reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom out loud, but you're putting on a public performance.

Boing Boing Gadgets has the run down. More on this story from the Wall Street Journal.


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say it's an ADA feature

and maybe Amazon can get some federal aid for adding it.

Copyright attorney commentary

Here is some commentary on this issue by a copyright attorney.

The extent of the absurdity

Let's see. That would make Vista's built-in text-to-speech mechanism violations of copyright if you use them on any copyright text (which is pretty much any text since 1923). Ditto Acrobat Reader's text-to-speech mechanism... So why didn't AG sue Microsoft and Adobe (and everybody else offering text-to-speech)?

This will not be the last thing heard in this

Economic complications in a post-Tasini world mean that this is only going to increase. Authors are going to start looking at their contracts to see what they haven't already signed away while trying to figure out how to cash in. While the suit may seem odd, it has deeper roots than it seems.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

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