Jim Milliot, who wrote the story July 2 explains that the Hachette Book Group
'issued a statement outlining its position on the text-to-speech question. Text-to-speech arose as an issue earlier this year when Amazon’s Kindle 2 added the capability; the Authors Guild challenged TTS, saying Amazon was taking an unauthorized audio right. Groups representing the visually impaired then charged that the Authors Guild was being insensitive to its needs. Amazon, after first saying it had no plans to kill the function, changed its position and said it would do whatever the rightsholders wanted.
Hachette pretty much follows the Amazon position, saying that unless its authors object, it has no issue with adding TTS for the vast majority of its books. The only exceptions, HBG said, would be for 'books that fall within our audio publishing program or specialized circumstances like memoirs, where the author or character’s voice is an artistic element of the work. Under such circumstances HBG reserves the right to request that the functionality be disabled.'
...Hachette further noted that TTS 'technology is likely to be a feature on an increasing number of devices in the coming months, and HBG recognizes the value of such functionality to individuals with impaired vision or similar disabilities.' "
Related blog articles
Here's a prior entry on 'Tom' the voice of Kindle 2, reading a personalized script.
Also, the first article here about the Authors Guild and the Kindle 2.
1. Copyright Advisory Network's web article on the Authors Guild Kindle 2 Proclamation...
2. A detailed summary by Bufo Calvin to the Amazon forums recently.
2. Small Kindle book ($1) The Disabled Deserve to Read: The Controversy Over the Amazon Kindle's Voice (revised), by Bufo Calvin. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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