Text-to-Speech: The Authors Guild

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Text-to-Speech: The Authors Guild

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Redigeret: apr 9, 2009, 12:12pm

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to bring your attention to the Authors Guild position on the text-to-speech function for the Kindle 2. Since I am a K1 owner, I didn't pay too much attention to this for a while, but now this seems to me like they are hampering new technology with copyright arguments that are unfair. There are a number of discussion about this on Amazon, but I have pasted just one link:

It would be interesting to know how authors on LibraryThing view this, but I am not sure where else to post.


apr 18, 2009, 12:47pm

I have to say that I think in the long run all these copyright issues are gonna hurt the Authors more than the consumer. If it causes us pain we will eventually look elsewhere. If you price your product reasonably then most people don't mind paying but if the price is outrageous then guess what piracy goes up! I do not use pirated stuff at all any more, I admit I used to but the truth is the hassle of it is not worth it. If something is priced too high then I simply look for lower priced alternatives, but when copyright issues start making it harder to use or even get the products we want...well that seems like the owners of the copyright sort of shooting themselves in the foot.

Do these authors think a lot of people will be buying a Kindle book so they can listen to a robotic voice that sounds crappy instead of buying the books on tape? I really doubt that. They are hurting themselves with this issue I think.

apr 18, 2009, 1:14pm

What's really outrageous is that Amazon went off on its own, without a so much as "if you please" to the Authors' Guild, and implemented the text-to-speech feature on K2. This isn't a case of a text-to-speech browser on a multi-purpose desktop or notebook. It's a text-to-speech feature on a device that is specifically designed for books. The Authors' Guild might be stretching a point on this issue, and it's true that the mechanical speech isn't (at the current time), any real competition with professionally read audiobooks, but the Guild is rightly looking down the road, trying to cover its future position, and working to avoid precedent-setting actions by Amazon or any other elephant in the living room.

The point is, most writers can't quit their day jobs and the J.K. Rowlings are few and far between. It's Amazon that's the corporate giant, not the members of the Authors' Guild, and it's the Guild members I have sympathy with. I consider Amazon's unilateral action, again without a so much as "if you please," a highly offensive action by a corporate giant against the interests of the "little guys" in the Guild.

apr 18, 2009, 5:23pm

I'm shocked, SHOCKED!, that Amazon gave readers the option of 6 DIFFERENT FONT SIZES without permission from someone. What were they thinking, making books more useful to their purchasers? Now when we are tired, or in poor light, we can just change fonts instead of having to buy en extra copy in large type.

apr 18, 2009, 5:25pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

Redigeret: apr 21, 2009, 8:22pm

Thanks, folks, for your opinions. I think I will post over in Book Talk also and see whether I can get some authors and others to respond.



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