New Kindle's 'Read to Me' Spurs Copyright Review

Amazon’s new Kindle2 'read-to-me' feature that turns text to voice is under review by an author’s advocacy group in relation to potential copyright issues.

The Kindle audio feature lets users switch from reading to listening without losing their place in the book. Users can choose a male or female voice and adjust the audio speed. It can be used on anything that can be read on a Kindle, including books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and personal documents.

The Authors Guild told InternetNews.com this week that the technology could constitute creation of a new literature format that may or may not fall under copyright rules now protecting e-book and audio book formats.

"This is new so we are reviewing it and discussing the potential implications," said Authors Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken. Currently an author's book copyright extends to e-book and audio formats and each are licensed for compensation purposes. An audio book typically involves a polished professional voice.

The question is whether text-to-voice technologies create a new content version requiring a copyright license or if the content created would fall under the audio book format license.

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