Amazon Revises Kindle 2 Text-To- Speech Policy

Lets right holders decide

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Amazon.com has changed its position on its Kindle 2 book reader and says it will allow copyright holders to decide if they want to enable a text- to- speech feature on a title-by-title basis.

"Kindle 2’s experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given," Amazon said in a statement.

Amazon's Kindle 2

"Nevertheless, we strongly believe many rightsholders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver’s seat. Therefore, we are modifying our systems so that rightsholders can decide on a title by title basis whether they want text-to-speech enabled or disabled for any particular title."

The move by Amazon comes after the Authors Guild raised objections about the text-to-speech feature saying it violated audiobook rights. The Authors Guild says it supports the text-to-speech feature but wants it to be used with the permission of the rights holder.

The National Federation of the Blind said the Authors Guild’s position was "harmful to blind people."

"The blind and other readers have the right for books to be presented to us in the format that is most useful to us, and we are not violating copyright law as long as we use readers, either human or machine, for private rather than public listening," said Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind.

Amazon Revises Kindle 2 Text-To- Speech Policy
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