[FoRK] kindle?

damien morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Thu Feb 12 09:08:55 PST 2009


Yeah - a real audio book, read by a real human, is just so many infinities
better than any voice synthesis software can achieve that it such a lawsuit
really its petty beyond belief.
Even if these guys win their case - the buyers of books arent going to buy
audio books as well as text books. They are going to buy one or the other.

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 3:57 AM, Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM, Lawnun <lawnun at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Lest we get too comfortable merely arguing over whether or not bit
> ownership
> > is enough to keep us from purchasing a Kindle.
> >
> >
> >
> http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/11/know-your-rights-does-the-kindle-2s-text-to-speech-infringe-au/
>
> I think Gaiman's response to this was best:
> "any authors' societies or publishers who are thinking of spending
> money on fighting a fundamentally pointless legal case would be much
> better off taking that money and advertising and promoting what audio
> books are and what's good about them with it."
>
> > *Hey, so does the Kindle 2's Read to Me text-to-speech feature really
> > infringe on authors' copyrights?
> >
> > *....
> > Okay, so the issue is that the Kindle 2's Read to Me feature obviously
> > threatens the audiobook market, and while at first blush it seems like
> the
> > Authors Guild has a pretty weak case when executive director Paul Aiken
> says
> > things like <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123419309890963869.html>
> "They
> > don't have the right to read a book out loud," it's not necessarily as
> > ridiculous as it seems.
> > Yeah, that's totally ridiculous! Wait, what?
> >
> > Well, think about it this way -- once you get it on the Kindle 2, an
> ebook
> > can serve as both a regular book (that you read) and a recording (that
> you
> > listen to). What the Authors Guild seems to be saying -- in a totally
> > backwards and potentially inaccurate way -- is that while Amazon has the
> > rights to sell you the book, it doesn't have the rights to sell you the
> > recording.
> >
> > *...*
> > **
> >
> > But the Kindle isn't playing back recordings -- it's synthesizing sounds
> > based on the words in the book! Isn't that just a private reading?
> >
> > Sure, and a MIDI piano isn't playing back song recordings, it's just
> playing
> > notes from a file that sound exactly like the sound recording, right?
> >
> > This is actually pretty tough stuff -- as far as edge cases go, this one
> > pushes right up against the boundaries of the current law. On one hand,
> you
> > definitely have the right to read books that you own out loud using
> whatever
> > tools you want, and on the other, authors definitely have the right to
> > prevent others from selling audio versions of their works. The Kindle's
> > text-to-speech feature blurs the lines between books and recordings, and
> > that means those two rights are in conflict with each other.
> >
> > Come on, text-to-speech has been around forever! What's next, suing Apple
> > for MacInTalk?
> >
> > ...
> >
> > Well, sure, you can buy ebooks and play them back using OS X's
> > text-to-speech voices. But here's the thing -- no one really does that,
> so
> > no one cares. The Kindle is the first major text-to-speech device that
> could
> > impact audiobook sales, so it's not surprising it's the first to garner
> this
> > kind of scrutiny. Remember: just because someone can file a lawsuit
> doesn't
> > mean they have to.
> >
> > Okay, but who's honestly going to choose the Kindle's computer voice over
> a
> > real person reading an audiobook?
> >
> > You're right, nothing's ever going to compare to a real live person
> reading
> > to you, but it's not like technology ever stops progressing -- while the
> > Kindle 2's voice isn't the best, we'd bet almost anything that the Kindle
> 5
> > or the Kindle 10 will be more than adequate for a lot of people.
> Remember,
> > people happily listen to 128kbps MP3s through crappy iPod headphones all
> day
> > long -- eventually the quality tipping point will come, and the Authors
> > Guild is just trying to protect its own before they get totally bowled
> over.
> >
> > *...*
> > **
> >  When I first read this, I was thinking that Amazon might have an out
> > through the obscure Section 121 of the Copyright Act (
> > http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#121), but it appears that
> > Congress crafted that sucker a bit more precisely than I originally gave
> it
> > credit for.
> >
> > I always find copyright law most interesting when one considers that a
> > demand to exert copyright protection only really manifests once a new
> > technology becomes sufficiently viable/sexy enough to cause a threat.  It
> > also makes me wonder if we should have a higher standard for authors that
> > actually require them to say, police their rights early on (say, against
> the
> > initial Speech-to-text creators), rather than waiting until everyone sees
> > dollar signs a decade or so down the line.
> >
> > C
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