Feeds

Authors Guild to Amazon Kindle: Shut up

Robotic reader riles writer

Application security programs and practises

Amazon's new eBook reader, the Kindle 2, was just announced on Monday, but it's already drawing complaints from the publishing industry.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Kindle 2's Text-to-Speech capability is being called a copyright violation.

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

Amazon has said that Kindle 2's Text-to-Speech feature makes it possible for the device to "read any book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you."

However, Amazon also notes that the feature uses text-to-speech technology, which no one would ever confuse with the dulcet tones of an author or actor's recitation in a recorded audiobook.

In addition, text-reading capability is already built into modern computer operating systems, such as the Text-to-Speech capability in Windows XP and Vista, and Apple's VoiceOver, which was greatly improved in the current version of Mac OS X, aka Leopard. If you want a computer to read to you, you've been able to do so for years.

Text-to-speech is an assistive-technology boon to the visually impaired, but we defy anyone to endure Moby Dick being read by a computerized voice if there were any other way for them to discover Ahab's fate.

In our opinion, Mr. Aiken should get a grip. Anything that increases the awareness of reading material should be welcomed by the Authors Guild, not attacked by it. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.