April 9, 2009

Federation for the Blind Criticizes Decision to End "Text-to-Speech" Feature of Kindle 2

When Amazon released its Kindle 2 ebook reader earlier this year, it was immediately criticized by the Authors’ Guild and publishers who claimed that they reader's "text-to-speech" function violated their “performance” rights under copyright law. The authors and publishers claimed the Kindle cut into their markets for professional read audiobooks.

Amazon quickly buckled in the face of pressure and withdrew the feature, allowing publishers to decide on which books the feature in enabled.

Now, according to boingboing.net, the Reading Rights Coalition and the National Federation for the Blind are protesting at the offices of the Authors Guild, to let the Guild know that its successful campaign to remove the text-to-speech feature from the Kindle has hurt blind people and undermined their ability to access a wide variety of works in a more-accessible form.

1 comment:

John Robertson said...

Good for them! I believe that the "text-to-speech" feature hurting audiobooks is the Authors' Guild grasping at straws. An excellent commentary about this was posted on npr.org.