Kindle Speech: Must Users be Disabled in order to legally use it? Quick Interview with Fred Von Lohmann

16 04 2009

Minow: Disability rights groups are protesting the Amazon decision to allow publishers to opt-out of the text-to-speech function for their copyrighted books.  Yet the feature remains for works that haven’t been opted out.  Must users be disabled in order to legally use the feature?

Von Lohmann: No, copyright leaves us all free to use our digital devices to “read aloud” to us. Despite the misleading statements of the Author’s Guild, you don’t violate copyright law when you have your Kindle “read aloud”  to you.  Copyright law gives copyright owners certain limited rights, including the right to make copies, perform a work publicly (like showing a movie in a theater), or make a derivative work (like writing a screenplay from a novel).


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