Category: Technology Author : Steven Hodson Posted: December 26, 2009
Tags : amazon, audiobooks, Authors Guild, kindle
The worst case of short-sightedness by anyone in 2009
There have been a number of reactions by media and entertainment industries right across the board that showed how short-sighted they can be when it comes to the changes that new technology brings to the table. In my opinion though we can go right back to February of 2009 for what has to be the worst case.
Back then I wrote here about how the Authors Guild was getting all up in arms about how Amazon’s Kindle was going to have text-to-speech enabled by default. As I wrote then
What it boils down to is that this Guild; which is suppose to be acting on behalf of it’s member authors, says that by creating an audio version of a book you are in fact creating a whole new product that is totally based on a copyrighted book. In other reports on this the Guild has even gone to the point of suggesting that any verbal or audio reproduction of a book is and infringement on a copyright and there for illegal.
In the end Amazon capitulated and shipped the Kindle with text-to-speech disabled as well as providing publishers with the option to totally disable the feature. Of course this was a great feature that would have been a boon to visually impaired people and maybe even have encouraged more sales of the e-reader.
However the Guild had its way and Amazon scampered back to its corner licking its balls wounds. Instead of seeing this as a way to encourage additional sales, and not just to the visually impaired the Guild decided that being able to double dip on sales was more preferable to providing added value that would benefit everyone.
Short-sighted and dumb.
Amazon and the Authors Guild did a major disservice to the visually impaired community, many of who would have bought the Kindle and he books that fwent on it. Shame on Amazon and the Guild for denying those who can’t read normal books the ability to enjoy and learn from Authors Guild members.