Audio Rights

Last year the Authors’ Guild threw a fit when they realized that the Kindle could read books to you. These rights are different than print rights, and they demanded Kindle to turn off this ability. Today, the iPad does the same thing, but the Authors’ Guild remains silent. Do they just not realize this funcionality? Or do they not want to mess with the Holy Apple?

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/08/23/1715240/Authors-Guild-Silent-Over-iBooks-Text-To-Speech?from=rss

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2 Responses to Audio Rights

  1. chuckarama says:

    The authors guild are maybe being held in check by the pending Kindle ADA suit. Kindle is in trouble for not being fully useful to the blind, with an audio enable menu system. If you take text-to-speech (TTS) away from a digital book, are you also infringing government ADA law?

    If you’ve ever use a TTS engine, you know you’re not missing much. It’s a tool that has a narrowly defined purpose. I know what the writers guild has been getting at, the very nice high end mp3/cd type of produced recordings we see in the “audiobook” isle and on amazon.com or audible.com. Those are still going to be highly preferable, if you want a book read to you, in my opinion. The value add to the product in audiobook format far surpasses the utilitarian tool a TTS engine can provide. I listen to plenty of audiobooks myself and can’t stand TTS for more than about five minutes.

  2. Marion Jensen says:

    I think you’re right, Chuck. Even if there is a barely audible hiss in a regular audio book, after a few minutes it starts to drive you nuts. TTS has come a way, but it’s not anywhere near the level of where it needs to be. It can make do in a pinch, but I don’t think the author’s guild has to worry about competition coming from TTS engines anytime soon.

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