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Old 03-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
pippin65
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Good Article on Amazon's Text to speech Removal

can't say that I'll miss it terribly...but it's nice to have features. maybe they'll give us folders! Folders over text to speech any day!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13512_3-10184974-23.html
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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Interesting article with some good points. The author commented that it is illegal to purchase a copy of a book and read it to an audience of people who do not also all own copies of the book. What about classrooms where teachers regularly read books to children only owning the single copy of the book? Can a teacher bring in their Kindle and read an electronic book to their class?

Here's an interesting question. Suppose I have purchased a digital book for my Kindle-2, and at the time of purchase the text-to-speech feature worked fine and dandy. Later on the publisher does in fact disable TTS for that same book. I go to read the book after that - say archiving the book and then retreiving it again - and now I can no longer use text-to-speech. Is that legal?

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Old 03-02-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Well, it's not a crime, and nobody's going to get arrested So yes, it's "legal."

Do you mean "is it a breach of contract?" Because the TTS is listed as an experimental feature, I would guess probably not. You'd need to dissect the ToS.

In practical terms, there may be some changes in the immediate future, as current titles are updated, and I'd say that Amazon would be smart to honor a refund request from any user that bought a book that disabled its TTS status. But 6 months from now, I doubt this will be an issue -- I doubt publishers will be changing back and forth willy-nilly. Hopefully, Amazon will say on the book's page if TTS is disabled before you buy.

And there's always MobiDeDrm as a last resort.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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Interesting point. I think the losers here are the disabled and/or the severely visually impaired. Too bad for them.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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Love the smiley face at the end of your reply.

I guess a lot of people who really have need of the TTS feature will be downloading free eBooks and utilizing software such as you indicated.

It will be interesting to see how many books end up having TTS removed. Not really a feature I ever intend to use personally.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:04 PM   #6
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Given that the Kindle is not really a device designed to be used by the visually impaired, it just strikes me as unlikely that there are thousands of users out there who bought the Kindle relying on the availability of TTS.

I tried out TTS, just to hear how it sounded -- it was okay, but not something I can ever see myself using on a regular basis. I'd still rather listen to a real audiobook on those occasions when I'm so inclined.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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According to the article, TTS isn't being removed. It's just no longer enabled by default. Publishers can opt in and allow it. I would hope that many do. After all, it's likely the impetus behind this suit wasn't so much that TTS as it stands today is any real competition for a professional audio book read by a live person but the idea that it's a foot in the door. If the technology gets better, it could be competition so they moved to protect their rights now.

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Old 03-02-2009, 10:28 PM   #8
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MS LIT format also has a built-in text to speech facility, and it's been around for years. I wonder why it hasn't met with similar legal problems.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:31 PM   #9
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MS LIT format also has a built-in text to speech facility, and it's been around for years. I wonder why it hasn't met with similar legal problems.
I guess publishers now think that the ebook market is big enough to care. Before Kindle, they might have just ignored the whole ebook market.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:57 AM   #10
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MS LIT format also has a built-in text to speech facility, and it's been around for years. I wonder why it hasn't met with similar legal problems.
MS Reader TTS is disabled for all DRM-enhanced books.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:39 AM   #11
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MS Reader TTS is disabled for all DRM-enhanced books.
Ah. I hadn't realised that, Harry. Thanks for explaining.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #12
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MS LIT format also has a built-in text to speech facility, and it's been around for years. I wonder why it hasn't met with similar legal problems.
Because Amazon is the 362.87 kg gorilla.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:54 AM   #13
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I rather suspect there are a substantial number of Kindle's out there in the hands of the visually impaired. The ability to increase the size of the font to such a huge size would have to be a real draw to anyone who needs large print books to read. I showed my Kindle to a neighbor who is visually impaired and uses a massive magnifying glass to read and she was wow'ed. I think I will download a couple of freebie short stories so she could try using my Kindle to see if it really works for her.
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