The Authors' Guild claims that the text-to-speech feature on Amazon's new Kindle infringes authors' copyright.
"They don't have the right to read a book out loud," claims Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild.
"That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and author Stephen King were on hand to launch the Kindle 2 eBook at a New York event earlier this week.
Platform exclusive books!
"Our vision is every book ever printed in any language all available in 60 seconds," said Bezos at that press conference, announcing that King's latest novella Ur, would be exclusively available on Kindle, which we suppose is the horror novel reader's equivalent of the gamer's "platform exclusive".
The Authors' Guild is specifically concerned over a new feature that reads eBooks' text aloud with a computer-generated voice. Which, going from Amazon's own demos online, seems to sound a little bit like a Speak&Spell
In response, an Amazon rep claims that listeners will not confuse Kindle 2's text-to-speech tech with an the audiobook experience.
TechRadar has contacted the Authors' Guild for further comment on this story.