Originally Posted by starrigger
It's listed as having Read-Aloud disabled for all formats except .LIT. But suppose I chose another format like Mobipocket or eReader and I wanted to enable those to be read aloud. How would I do that?
Note that this title is a FictionWise Multi-Format ebook, so it does not have DRM.
So far as I can tell, the only "major" Reader with a built-in read aloud option is MS Reader. There are also accessibility tools that can read off the screen, but the problem for DRMed reader software is that 3rd party text to speech starts with text and if the speech app can get the text so can a DRM cracking program. So none of the reader apps "cooperate" with text to speech programs.
I have never seen text to speech enabled on a DRM ebook (it would only be effective for LIT anyway, since the others don't have text to speech). This means that the following current, November 2006, exception from the prohibition against circumvention of access-control technology in the DMCA (see Wikipedia
) probably applies to all ebooks, and they can all be format shifted for personal use by anyone in the US:
Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.
The only certain exception to the exception would be when the publisher makes a version available via an 'authorized entity' (a nonprofit organization or a governmental agency that has a primary mission to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities). Perhaps all publishers are routinely doing this, but I have not seen any "outreach" e.g. when I buy an ebook there isn't a FAQ saying read aloud disabled but go to this web site to get a free version if you need this capability.
Note that writing DRM cracking programs and helping others get them working is still illegal, even when using such programs is legal.