Kindles and “creative machines” blur boundaries of copyright

26 02 2009

The Authors Guild has come in for a fair amount of ridicule since their executive director, Paul Aiken, claimed that the text-to-speech feature of Amazon’s new Kindle 2 violated copyright law, telling the Wall Street Journal: “They don’t have the right to read a book out loud.” On Wednesday, Guild president Roy Blount Jr. took to the pages of The New York Times to defend his group’s much-mocked position, arguing that the device would “swindle” penurious writers out of precious audiobook revenue. Whether or not you think that’s likely, however, probing the Guild’s objections reveals one more way that advancing technology may blur traditional categories in copyright law.

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