To Kindle-2 or Not: Discriminating Against People that Cannot Read

Kindle: Mutes Text to Speech OptionThere is currently a lot of buzz about good / green business, specifically in Social Media circles.  This is especially true in terms of companies and organizations managing their brand perception.  A few of the evolving social media "tenants" are that companies should strive to do business that creates goodwill, become part of the community,  and create amazing customer experiences.  The social capital, or wuffie that these actions create has a very real, tangible value for everyone involved.  This sounds like common sense, right?  Well, apparently not to some.

A few days ago, I was invited by a friend to attend a protest in New York City supporting the Reading Rights Coalition.  The Reading Rights Coalition, "which represents people who cannot read print, will protest the threatened removal of the text-to-speech function from e-books for the Amazon Kindle 2 outside the Authors Guild headquarters in New York City at 31 East 32nd Street on April 7, 2009, from noon to 2:00 p.m."  I'm always up for a protest, and the Author's Guild stance, while legal, didn't seem all together reasonable.  The Author's Guild claims that the Kindle 2's text-to-speech feature somehow violates copyright.  According to Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, "They don't have the right to read a book out loud.  That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."  


Posted at at 11:38 AM on Friday, April 3, 2009 by Abraham | 9 Comments |   Filed Under: , , ,