February 11, 2009

What about Story Time? - UPDATED 12FEB09

So the Author's Guild is worried that Amazon's newest Kindle eBook reader is going to cut into their profits by virtue of its "text-to-speach" function, which reads eBooks to you in a computerized voice. Um, or something like that. So here's the deal...

The Author's Guild asserts that reading a published material out loud is tantamount to illegal reproduction of said material with intent to distribute. So by that logic, if you have children who want you to read them a bedtime story you might risk going to jail or being fined for it. Have fun with that!


So the froods at Engadget talked to their lawyer person about this very issue. It seems that although the representative of the Author's Guild is vocally inept, he has a point. What they're trying to do is garner royalties on audiobook sales from the future, if I read the legaleez right. It seems that although the Kindle2's computerized voice is not being compared to an actual playback of the audiobook version of a particular book, if the Kindle10 were to have multiple voice streams and dialog recognition algorythms then Amazon might be in trouble. Of course, as noted in the blog post, Amazon could just write a big check and make this go away.

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