Is Text-to-Speech a Copyright Violation ?

Written by Amit Agarwal on Feb 11, 2009

The text-to-speech feature, introduced in the new version of the Amazon Kindle, to allow readers to listen to their favorite books, is now in trouble, with publishers claiming that the Kindle does not have rights to read books aloud.

The Authors Guild has expressed concern over the feature that reads aloud a book using an artificially generated voice, claiming that the reading aloud a book is a audio right, a derivative under copyright law.

However, text-to-speech is hardly a new innovation, with most Operating Systems supporting it. If one uses the Authors Guild argument, no one can listen to their favorite websites since they don’t have the audio rights.

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