As expected, Amazon has responded strongly to suggestions that the text-to-speech function in the new Kindle 2 e-book may be illegal.
By enabling the device to read out entire texts, many feel Amazon has created a derivative work and should, therefore, be paying royalties to authors similar to those due on audio books.
No flies on us
In a statement issued on Friday, Amazon made clear: "Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given."
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Even so, however, the book giant conceded that some copyright owners might not agree and decided to allow then to disable the audio feature on a per-case basis.
Passion for books
"We are modifying our systems so that rightsholders can decide on a title-by-title basis whether they want text-to-speech enabled or disabled for any particular title," it said.
The release concluded: "Customers tell us that with Kindle, they read more, and buy more books. We are passionate about bringing the benefits of modern technology to long-form reading."