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Old 05-15-2009, 10:36 AM   #31
kamm
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Yes, or just delete the TTS flag which is not encrypted and can be removed without decrypting the ebook.

I suppose that deleting the TTS flag might still be “circumvention” as far as the DMCA is concerned, but Amazon really has not tried very hard to enforce TTS disabling. There is also currently an explicit anti-circumvention exemption for TTS in ebooks, but it is so poorly written that it is difficult to tell if it applies to Kindle ebooks.
Actually I think it's rather a clear-cut legal case for exemption:

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Literary works distributed in e-book format when all existing e-book 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. (Revised from a similar exemption approved in 2003.)


In other words the LAW SAYS if all existing ebook editions/releases of a book/work have TTS disabled then you can LEGALLY CIRCUMVENT/HACK the DRM to enable it.

Audiobook, by definition, is not an ebook so it does not count ergo this is pure and simple: greed, once again, shot itself in the foot and just gave us a legal reason to hack the DRM of these ebooks.

If they indeed turning off TTS then it's the usual stupidity a' la Hollywood-mob at its best - reminds me to the retarded and failed policies of the RIAA/MPAA...

Audiobooks are the past - never even understood just who the hell buys them anyway -, they have to let them stand up on their own.
If they want to be so anal about TTS then they should just release TTS-enabled editions of ebooks otherwise they are handing over their DRM to the masses for legal hacking.

Well, not that they lose too much DRM does not work anyway.

Last edited by kamm; 05-15-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:36 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Jon believes the exemption intended for blind automatically extends to everyone in the USA. I doubt his opinion would stand up in court but he expresses it often enough to make it seem true. I am sure I have read it at least 100 times now.
I agree this has gone around many, many times... but the law does not say you have to be blind in order for the exemptions to apply. It only says that you are "adversely affected". It doesn't even say you have to have a disability, etc. We'll probably never really know what "adversely affected" means until it's tested in courts.

You could easily present the argument that DRM is preventing me from doing what would otherwise be fair use. Does that mean I'm adversely affected? It sure sounds like it, but what would a judge say?
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:41 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
Who's "right" is it?

Author/Publisher: Their position seems to be that a book being read by anyone other than the purchaser is a performance. Therefore they retain the "right" to this form of their intelectual property. More to the point, they believe a machine produced by a 3rd party that is sold to the public and that reads their book is conducting a public performance.

Consumer: Their position is that they have the right to read their book outloud, they can also have someone else of their choosing read the book to them, and that this "someone else" can include a machine. The consumer believes this is their right as long as it is for private use.

Amazon: Their position is that copyright laws may favor the the Author/Publisher or it may favor the Consumer, but DMCA laws make both of these positions mute. They believe they are within their right under DMCA to side with the Author/Publisher and disable TTS and there is nothing the consumer can do about it.
It's not a question of copyright. The Authors/Publishers and Amazon are arguing over the licensing rights to sell the book. Distributors (Amazon, etc) negotiate licenses to sell printed books and audio books separately. This is a contract dispute between the Authors/Publishers and Distributors over whether TTS counts as a sale of a printed book or as a sale of an audio book (which typically has higher licensing costs). It has nothing to do with copyrights or the consumer.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:51 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by kamm View Post
Audiobooks are the past - never even understood just who the hell buys them anyway
Me for one. Great for listening to in the car on the way to and from work. Definitely not a "thing of the past" - the fact that iPods, etc, are now "mass market" devices has seen an explosion in the audiobook market in recent years.

There's a massive difference between a good audiobook and TTS. A good audiobook is a "performance" in every sense of the word.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:14 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daithi View Post

Amazon: Their position is that copyright laws may favor the the Author/Publisher or it may favor the Consumer, but DMCA laws make both of these positions mute. They believe they are within their right under DMCA to side with the Author/Publisher and disable TTS and there is nothing the consumer can do about it.
I don't agree with this here, I believe Amazon did not fight this simply because it has nothing to gain.

Put your self in Amazon's shoe. Here is a feature that most consumers don't know exist. And at the moment a good amount don't really care for it. Even if amazon was 100% sure it would win why would it enter a legal battle and pay thousands/millions when there is no consumer demand for it?

Now fast forward time and say Bean creates it's own reader that has built in TTS. And the average consumer starts to buy their books over Amazon because they can not only read their books but also listen to them. Then Amazon might revisit it's policy.

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Last edited by =X=; 05-15-2009 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Cleared up some grammer
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:25 AM   #36
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Audiobooks are the past - never even understood just who the hell buys them anyway -, they have to let them stand up on their own.
I listen to audiobooks all the time, and have done so for years. The fact that I frequently have to wait for copies to become available through my library indicates they're quite popular, and not just with folks with disabilities.

TTS is no substitute for an audiobook.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:27 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
My understanding is when you purchase an electronic book you have purchased the rights for the hardware/software to render the text into a presentation layer that light waves can bounce off of and be captured by your eyes. You didn't purchase the rights for the hardware/software to render the text into a presentation layer where audio waves bounce into your ears. This must be in the fine print of the contract when you click on the "Buy" button because I don't remember reading it.
You have the right to personal use of your ebook, in about any way you can think of to use it, as long as you're not making money off it. (Not entirely, but close.) You have the right to listen to your book, either by having a person read it aloud to you, or by having a device do the reading.

Amazon doesn't have the right to sell audio versions of their ebooks, so they removed that feature.

I'm in agreement with the interpretation that says this gives end-users the right to circumvent the DRM, if they are "adversely affected" by the lack of TTS.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:31 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamm View Post
Audiobooks are the past - never even understood just who the hell buys them anyway -, they have to let them stand up on their own.
People who work in low-noise, single-task jobs often like audiobooks instead of music. People with long commutes, either on public transit, or relatively quiet drives, ditto.

I've got a friend who's got a new job weaving for 8 hrs/day; he's asked some of us to find him good audiobooks.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:07 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by kamm View Post
Actually I think it's rather a clear-cut legal case for exemption:

Literary works distributed in e-book format when all existing e-book 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.

In other words the LAW SAYS if all existing ebook editions/releases of a book/work have TTS disabled then you can LEGALLY CIRCUMVENT/HACK the DRM to enable it.
After thinking about it some more, I now agree with you.

The poorly written parts are "all existing" and "authorized entities". How much of a search do I have to make for all existing ebook formats, and why does it matter (there is only one format for the Kindle)? The authorized entities are organizations that make ebooks available to the visually impaired, but it isn't clear if this still applies if I am not eligible for those ebooks (and how I find out if such an ebook exists).

Even so, as I said in another thread:

If the Kindle TTS is disabled the copyright holder has explicitly chosen to do so and it is reasonable to assume that all other ebook versions also have TTS disabled. So, absent information about "authorized entities" (who make ebooks available to the visually impaired), this exception does apply at a minimum to removing the DRM for TTS on the Kindle. To me, if you want to use the Kindle'sTTS and are prevented from doing so you are adversely affected. Re-enabling the Kindle's TTS involves leaving the encryption in place and deleting one entry in the metadata. This is minimal intrusion on the DRM, and so far as I can tell entirely legal for personal use in the US. Actually, there is no possibility of non-personal use since the ebook is still tied to a single Kindle by the DRM.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:15 PM   #40
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Me for one. Great for listening to in the car on the way to and from work. Definitely not a "thing of the past" - the fact that iPods, etc, are now "mass market" devices has seen an explosion in the audiobook market in recent years.
Interesting. I'd never trade my reading experience for an audiobook.

Quote:
There's a massive difference between a good audiobook and TTS. A good audiobook is a "performance" in every sense of the word.
You mean like a radio play? Then I can certainly see that - I guess I never traveled alone in a car long enough (don't even have a car.)
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:17 PM   #41
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People who work in low-noise, single-task jobs often like audiobooks instead of music. People with long commutes, either on public transit, or relatively quiet drives, ditto.

I've got a friend who's got a new job weaving for 8 hrs/day; he's asked some of us to find him good audiobooks.
Ahh, very interesting - makes sense, thanks.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:34 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
It's not a question of copyright. The Authors/Publishers and Amazon are arguing over the licensing rights to sell the book. Distributors (Amazon, etc) negotiate licenses to sell printed books and audio books separately. This is a contract dispute between the Authors/Publishers and Distributors over whether TTS counts as a sale of a printed book or as a sale of an audio book (which typically has higher licensing costs). It has nothing to do with copyrights or the consumer.
That's an excellent point Shaggy. Yet I don't know if I would be willing to concede the point that it doesn't have anything to do with copyrights or the consumer. I would still think that when Amazon first provided the TTS feature that their position was that it was NOT an audio book and that the TTS feature didn't transform it into an audio book. However, I still think your point is excellent and that my initial argument was a bit simplistic.

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I don't agree with this here, I believe Amazon did not fight this simply because it has nothing to gain.

Put your self in Amazon's shoe. Here is a feature that most consumers don't know exist. And at the moment a good amount don't really care for it. Even if amazon was 100% sure it would win why would it enter a legal battle and pay thousands/millions when there is no consumer demand for it?

Now fast forward time and say Bean creates it's own reader that has built in TTS. And the average consumer starts to buy their books over Amazon because they can not only read their books but also listen to them. Then Amazon might revisit it's policy.

=X=
I actually agree with you (I think). I believe Amazon included the TTS feature because they believed consumers would find it useful and the feature would thus help them sell more Kindles and eBooks. I believe Amazon also felt that at the time they released the Kindle 2 they were not violating any copyright (or other contract) laws/obligations. However, when the Authors/Publishers started to complain, Amazon had to make a choice between the consumer's desire and the Authors/Publishers. They decided to support the Authors/Publishers for the reasons you provided (thus I agree with you). I was just trying to point out that it doesn't really matter if the consumers or Authors/Publishers are right in terms of copyright because Amazon has the right to decide to back their suppliers and to disable TTS.

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We could do without the personal attacks ....
I truly didn't intend to personally attack anyone. I was attempting to provide a little light-hearted ribbing and with absolutely no malice intended. If I offended anyone, especially Jon, I sincerely appologize.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:37 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by snape View Post
I listen to audiobooks all the time, and have done so for years. The fact that I frequently have to wait for copies to become available through my library indicates they're quite popular, and not just with folks with disabilities.

TTS is no substitute for an audiobook.
Agreed they are not the same. What TTS provides and what audiobooks provied are different entirley.

With an eBook the user can alternate between reading a book or listing to the text via TTS. This is useful when a reader cannot sit and read a book for numerous reasons, (motion sickness, working out, commuting to work, etc...). you can read a book then continue reading it by turning on the TTS synthesizer. It is also possible to stop and annotate any text while listening to the book via TTS, then re-read that section at a later date.

On an entertainment/enjoyment level TTS does not compare to an audiobook. Audio books are just much much better.

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Old 05-15-2009, 12:40 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Me for one. Great for listening to in the car on the way to and from work. Definitely not a "thing of the past" - the fact that iPods, etc, are now "mass market" devices has seen an explosion in the audiobook market in recent years.

There's a massive difference between a good audiobook and TTS. A good audiobook is a "performance" in every sense of the word.
I would not listen to an audiobook while driving.. it requires too much concentration on the book to drive. Now safe enough. It's like holding a cell phone while driving. I won't do that either. But I will se the speakerphone part of my cell easily.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:18 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
That's an excellent point Shaggy. Yet I don't know if I would be willing to concede the point that it doesn't have anything to do with copyrights or the consumer.
I don't see how copyrights even apply. IMO, it's a completely separate issue.
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