During the past few weeks Amazon has come under fire from publishers and writers for allowing their new Kindle to read text aloud. It seems that some writers fear that the device would circumvent their revenue sources from audio book sales. Authors at first were successful in having Amazon remove the feature. But after some public outcry, Amazon will enable the feature, but allow authors to decide whether or not their works could be read aloud.
In a recent article it also states that:
Amazon said in a statement that it, too, has a stake in the success of the audiobook market, and pointed to its Brilliance Audio and Audible subsidiaries, which publish and sell professionally recorded readings.
“Nevertheless, we strongly believe many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver’s seat,” the company said.
Amazon is working on the technical changes needed for authors and publishers to turn text-to-speech off for individual titles.
The Web retailer also said the text-to-speech feature is legal — and wouldn’t require Amazon to pay out additional royalties — because a book read aloud doesn’t constitute a copy, a derivative work or a performance.
Though I understand the concerns of publishers and authors, but why should those with sight impairment be punished? What about the people with disabilities and their rights? Should greed have a higher value than the handicapped?
What do you think?