recognizing Arthur C. Clarke’s third law

If you really like it you can have the rights

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kindleThe Kindle controversy (Kontroversy?) seems to have caught most people by surprise. To those of us who love technology, it was an obvious step to have the gizmo read out loud. It’s the sort of feature I might never actually use but would still intellectually appreciate that it exists. Or I might have the NY Times read to me next time I’m stuck in Westside traffic.

The Authors Guild said copyrights were being violated, explaining that reading out loud by people was okay but reading out loud “by a machine” [sic] was not okay (unless an audiobook license was in place)

Amazon obviously disagreed. It even overtly stated that the feature was legal, since no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given. Even so, the company said it will enable publishers and authors to decide on a case-by-case basis “whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled.”

As someone who has written billions of words for magazines, newspapers and elsewhere, it never even occurred to me that I should be outraged by speech-to-text. But then, I rarely get to keep any rights to my writing anyway. (Title lyric by Lennon/McCartney.)


Written by chris

February 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Posted in copyright, Hardware

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