In what amounts to a shocking display of callous disregard for handicapped readers, The Authors Guild threatened to sue Amazon.com over its text-to-audio feature built into the Kindle 2.0 ebook reader. It then negotiated with Amazon to allow authors to disable the feature for their books.
Apparently, the Guild and its member authors (who really need to have their names listed in public) have decided that the Kindle feature violates some mysterious copyright related to audio book rights. So the logic they use seems to suggest that if I worked in my garage to invent an optical reader that would read my own books aloud to me as I passed it over the pages, I would be somehow violating an author’s copyright. This is absurd.
The Reading Rights Coalition organized a protest in New York City a couple days ago to urge authors to allow everyone access to ebooks.
Read this amazing double-talk response to the protests from the Guild in which it pretends to have concern for handicapped readers. They keep insisting that a device that reads a book out loud is an audio book. No, dear Authors Guild, it is not. It is a device that reads books out loud. Like I do when I read to my wife. What if a very life-like robot walked around reading a book to itself out loud. Would that be an ‘audio book?’ Publishing companies are free to produce their own audio books and sell them and make contracts for them. But they cannot tell people not to build machines that read. Forget it.
The Authors Guild is mounting an attack on handicapped readers all over the world and should be made to look like the dinosaur it really is. Which authors are a part of this assault on the blind? Candlelight Stories wants the list. We’ll happily publish it. We’ll call the list, ‘Authors Who Don’t Want Blind People to Read.’