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Re: Wait, Wait... The Kindle Swindle?
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 12:54:51 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: Tony Lauck <tlauck () madriver com>
Date: March 1, 2009 10:58:12 AM EST
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] Re:    Wait, Wait... The Kindle Swindle?

So far as I know, there is only one solution to all of this nonsense and that is to ditch the Intellectual Property laws. The case is well made in the book "Against Intellectual Monopoly" by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine:


The authors practice what they preach and the book can be freely downloaded:


Tony Lauck

P.S. You won't see me buying a Kindle or any other device whose sole reason for existence is to enforce DRM.

David Farber wrote:
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Glenn S. Tenney" <tenney () think org>
Date: February 28, 2009 2:40:37 PM EST
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Re: Wait, Wait... The Kindle Swindle?
An update for the IP if you wish...
This doesn't bode well for anyone who has vision problems but is otherwise able to use a Kindle.
Glenn Tenney CISSP CISM
Amazon retreats on Kindle's text-to-speech issue
Apparently, Amazon won't fight the publishing industry on the issue of whether the Kindle 2's text-to-speech function violates copyright. The retailer, which makes the popular Kindle electronic-book reader, announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to- speech function on a per-title basis. Amazon starts its press release with tough talk. "Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal," Amazon wrote. "No copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given." But then the company says: "We strongly believe many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat," Amazon said. There is no mistaking what happened here: Amazon caved. For Kindle owners interested in the text-to-speech feature, the reader just lost value. The Authors Guild, a trade group representing 9,000 book authors had criticized Amazon since the Kindle 2 debuted earlier this month. The guild's president told CNET this week that Amazon was taking a hard- line position in discussions between the guild and the company. He also said there was a possibility that the guild could sue over the issue. "Anytime you have a new means of accessing content," said Paul Aiken, "there's always some sort of aggregator that wants to control it and keep the value for themselves." Fred von Lohmann, senior attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocate group for the rights of Web users and technology companies, said he was grateful that Amazon went out of its way to make the point that the company didn't believe text-to- speech technology violated copyright. "Nevertheless, Amazon decided to allow copyright owners to make the decisions themselves whether to use the feature," von Lohmann said. "They are entitled to do that. The issue of text-to-speech will have to wait for another innovator." One point that von Lohmann noted was that there are plenty of PCs that offer text-to-speech and the Authors Guild hasn't made any objections to those. "Maybe Apple should be looking over their shoulder," he said. It's easy to understand why Amazon may have back-pedaled. Even the staunchest supporters of text-to-speech say that it won't replace audio books any time soon. Computers can sound like humans but they can't insert emphasis or offer much of a dramatic rendering because they don't yet understand what they're reading--and likely won't for a very long time, say the experts.

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