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Kindle 2's Text-to-Speech, and Copyright  (View post)

noname [PersonRank 4]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
12 years ago5,385 views

they do not read it, it is a program that you run. It is like to forbit readers for blind people

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Does that make all text to speech programs illegal? As they at some point have probably been used to read copyrighted material.

Ampers [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I agree with noname!

If Amazon supply a file with the text of a book in it, and also sell a program that reads text files, then they are doing nothing illegal.

If Amazon supply a machine to read text files, and within that machine is a hard disk full of books which are supplied with the machine – then that is a completely different kettle of fish.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I'm pretty sure that Text-To-Speech is protected under fair use. No one is rebroadcasting the audio from the books. There is no additional profit from the use of the TTS program, because the generated audio content is not stored, sold or resold, and the program is a free, built-in feature.

There are no public performances*, only many private "performances" from an uninspiring synthesized voice.

Should traditional book printers pay additional royalties if I read a book aloud to a blind friend privately? Should I, if the blind friend chooses to compensate me for my time and I accepted it? Rubbish.

This link has additional commentary from a copyright attorney: ...

*Of course, under these rules, singing your favorite song out loud in a public place is a legally enforceable copyright violation. Unless your favorite song is in the public domain, of course.

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

The fact is that Amazon have the rights to sell the book, not the recording or Audiobook. Just because the device runs "a program that reads text files" doesn't mean it technically infringes. My casio synthesizes some songs that are built in to the "Songbank" like on many other Midi keyboards, and they had to pay for the rights to those song. It's a very grey area of the law, and it's things like this that make oppose certain Intellectual Property laws.

This is why I pirate

Alan [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

The text-to-speech in the Kindle seems like an accessibility feature.

How anyone could compare the Kindle's synthesized computer voice with a performance like Jim Dale's reading of the Harry Potter audio books is beyond me.

Why deny people with vision problems access to books?

Rich [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Aiken? Who? Can't say I've ever heard of him.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

It is convited that Mr Paul Aiken has shallow (below average) knowledge and understanding about copyright issue. Anyway, he's famous now.

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Presumably, that Aiken quote in the WSJ Online “[reading a book out loud... is] an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law” has to be read as a prëemptive shot-across-the-bow of Amazon, and other parties attempting to extend, embellish, and/or develop further the very concept of "the book" WITHOUT *first and foremost* thinking how it might profit copyright holders – be they original authors, or their formal representatives. All in deeply entrenched cultural belief, that Authorship deserves near-eternal copyright protection for commercial reasons, OR ELSE the offspring of the offspring of the offspring of one Walt Disney, long dead and buried once-owner of a movie animation studio in which a wacky 2-dim mouse character was born, would end up going hungry, and without a roof over their heads. Here's the Aiken-san in question; notice how he's only got half a brain:

counternotions.files.wordpress ... ...

That said, I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. For all the righteous grandstanding, chest-thumping by Bezos and others, and loads of grassroots'y wishful thinking, it looks like so much a storm in a watercup: the e-books business remains a corner of a market niche, and it doesn't look to be changing much in the near future. Recently John Siracusa of Ars Technica summed the "E-Book State of Things" very nicely, so read that first, all 8 long pages of it: ...

and then ponder the following thesis: to succeed in today's climat, the Kindle (or any like-device, or a functional front-end running on equivalent hardware) would have to include tools for turning books already in one's possession into digital personal copies of them AT NO OR HARDLY ANY COST — just as originally was the case with the iPod-companion iTunes allowing anyone to easily digitize already-owned music CDs. Only it isn't as easy to scan-and-OCR entire books, as it was to reëncode AAC to mp3.

Point taken?

tomlinton [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Think Article 502 compliance
with the Rehabilitation Act
The Feds can't buy without it
and libraries and schools
can't buy with federal money
without compliance

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

It seems that Authors Guild feels constantly threatened by the new technologies. They were also very loudly protesting Google Books, even though Google put so many restrictions on copyrighted books that it's impossible to download the whole text.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

The essential thing is to make the content creators the authors make more money. If the technology advantage like text2speech make more people read books/listen to books and if the authors can make more money by selling the text content which is read by computers, the authors are not going to complain. Please remember, copyright is not the goal of authors, but making money is the goal of author.

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Andy Wang "copyright is not the goal of authors, but making money is the goal of author."

Hardly. Most authors are there for the ego – I publish, here's the irrefutable proof thereof ;-)) And the copyright is the tool by which authors, or, more often, their collective associations, defend their ability to profit from their work.

In itself it is as it ought to be, authors should be reimbursed for their effort. Not 200 years ago, there was no enforceable copyright, and so any printer could (and did, and then some) put out any number of his competitors' books without so much as having to credit, or even stay true to the original author's text. So, while we've come a long way in legal terms since then, the mechanics of the book --and related --trade(s), the actual process by which a text gets selected for publication, then shaped into printed pages in bound volumes, deposited with distributors, bookshops and libraries, and finally in readers' hands is STILL among the more convoluted procedures known to modern man. It's big business feeding many more mouths and wallets than the authors' themselves – whose take, or percentage of all that turnover, is on the whole pretty miniscule: in tenths of a % of any single book's generated value; maybe a couple % when even the bestsellers' profit is accounted for.

By streamlining the entire process – cutting down the number of middle-hands which leads to vastly lowered cost of production and distribution, the digital publishing carries with it (so far unfulfilled, but still) a promise of HIGHER takes for the authors, not lower ones. Assuming e-books were as popular and plentful as dead-tree ones, of course. Which they are not.... so the authors (ie. Authors' Guild here) seem unmoved by, if not downright hostile to, the very idea... perhaps they know a thing or two about the pragmatic side of it; read: real earnings to number of sold book-units ratio, say, versus a projected sales volume of something as untangible as by definiton easily-and-endlessly copyable ebooks?

Peter Caligari [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

My daughter is learning to read and tends to read text aloud – does she have to pay royalties? My I continue to read books to my other children?

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