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Old 07-23-2019, 03:05 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Dazrin View Post
There might be an argument for ADA access for some books. I know I have 2 books which are not available in any text form. If this technology is available that will allow people with hearing difficulty (my aunt and uncle come to mind) to enjoy some books they wouldn't have otherwise been able to read.

Podcasts and other audio only formats could also really see a boost from this. I listen to several podcasts where having a caption would be very nice. Either due to the presenter's accent or just not hearing something clearly.
Oooh...I hadn’t even thought of podcasts. If their tech is good, hopefully they will release a podcast transcription service.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:23 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
I think the publishers are going to win this one. Audio and text are licensed separately. Too bad, I think it would be a nice featre
Not necessarily.
It turns out Audible contracts have the same (court-approved) forward compatibility that HarperCollins put into the deal for JULIE OF THE WOLVES.

A lot of added stuff on the subject has been coming out in the last few days.

See this:

https://www.acx.com/help/audiobook-l...ment/201481900

Notably exclusive deals:

Quote:

Section 2.1.:

You grant Audible the exclusive license to use, reproduce, display, market, sell and distribute the Audiobook throughout the Territory in all formats now known or hereafter invented from the date you accept this Agreement until the date that is 7 years from such date (such 7 year period, the “Initial Distribution Period”).
And. On non exclusive deals:

Quote:

You grant Audible the non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, display, market, sell and distribute the Audiobook throughout the Territory in all formats now known or hereafter invented from the date you accept this Agreement until the date that is 7 years from such date (such 7 year period, the “Initial Distribution Period”).
The contract also covers editing, compression, and other changes to the licensed file:

Quote:

Right to Edit. Audible may modify, reformat, encode, adapt and edit the Audiobook to make the Audiobook compatible with the Audible service, including but not limited to by (a) adding Audible’s standard intro and outro, and (b) removing flaws or audio elements that are, in Audible’s judgment, incompatible or inconsistent with the Audible service (e.g., playback instructions, microphone bumps, distortion, ambient sound, etc.).
The bone of contention comes down to whether transcription is a modification/reformating of a sound file. (Note that the captions are produced from the licensed audio file--not an ebook or scanned pbook--and only distributed with the licensed audio file, not as a separate product. That would definitely be a no-no.)

And then there is the legal definition of a "caption" as a part of an audio file:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...ing-television

And captioning is *required* by various laws. Such as this one:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...ility-act-cvaa

Until now, audiobooks were apparently covered by the "feasibility" clause but Audible just blew that to heck.

This is a marketing pitch but it is right that captioning is becoming ubiquitous:

https://cielo24.com/2019/07/video-ca...iption-trends/

So Audible may be heavy handedly taking a page out of BPH practices but they seem to be on defensible legal ground.

It's not a given they'll be blocked.

(The things you find by internet search. )

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-23-2019 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:42 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Not necessarily.
It turns out Audible contracts have the same (court-approved) forward compatibility that HarperCollins put into the deal for JULIE OF THE WOLVES.

A lot of added stuff on the subject has been coming out in the last few days.

See this:

https://www.acx.com/help/audiobook-l...ment/201481900

Notably exclusive deals:



And. On non exclusive deals:



The contract also covers editing, compression, and other changes to the licensed file:



The bone of contention comes down to whether transcription is a modification/reformating of a sound file. (Note that the captions are produced from the licensed audio file--not an ebook or scanned pbook--and only distributed with the licensed audio file, not as a separate product. That would definitely be a no-no.)

And then there is the legal definition of a "caption" as a part of an audio file:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...ing-television

And captioning is *required* by various laws. Such as this one:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...ility-act-cvaa

Until now, audiobooks were apparently covered by the "feasibility" clause but Audible just blew that to heck.

This is a marketing pitch but it is right that captioning is becoming ubiquitous:

https://cielo24.com/2019/07/video-ca...iption-trends/

So Audible may be heavy handedly taking a page out of BPH practices but they seem to be on defensible legal ground.

It's not a given they'll be blocked.

(The things you find by internet search. )
Not to nitpick, but looking over your links I have not been able to associate captions and audio files. I only seen it in connection to video or television. Can you please quote the significant portion linking audio recordings to feasible caption option? I only seen this:

Quote:
Expands the requirement for video programming equipment (equipment that shows TV programs) to be capable of displaying closed captions, to devices with screens smaller than 13 inches (e.g., portable TVs, laptops, smart phones), and requires these devices to be able to pass through video descriptions and emergency information that is accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired, if technically feasible and achievable.
But that assumes that CC is already part of the original broadcast.

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Old 07-23-2019, 09:48 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieTigger View Post
But that assumes that CC is already part of the original broadcast.

Yes, because it *has* to be there.

It's in the other link.
Broadcasts must be captioned but for a few exceptions.
Right at the top:

Quote:

Closed captioning displays the audio portion of a television program as text on the TV screen, providing a critical link to news, entertainment and information for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Congress requires video programming distributors (VPDs) - cable operators, broadcasters, satellite distributors and other multi-channel video programming distributors - to close caption their TV programs.

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Old 07-24-2019, 11:13 AM   #35
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Lots of things are that way. I remember paying $800 for a 17" computer monitor about 25 years ago. You can now buy that size for about $65. So if they jacked up the current price to $150, would you buy one and say, "Gee, that's so much cheaper than they used to be 25 years ago!"
Are you saying that publishers have jacked up audiobook prices recently, or is this some odd hypothetical straw man?
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Comparing the cost of a box of CD's from years ago to the flash memory storage of today makes about as much sense as comparing an old CRT computer monitor's cost to a new LCD panel.
Exactly - it makes perfect sense. Computer prices and monitor prices have come down drastically in past years. And if someone told you that manufacturers are jacking up monitor prices when they are decreasing steadily, you'd look at them funny.

The fact is, audiobooks are available at lower prices now than practically ever. I'm not sure what there is to argue about there.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:19 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
And then there is the legal definition of a "caption" as a part of an audio file:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...ing-television

And captioning is *required* by various laws. Such as this one:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...ility-act-cvaa

Until now, audiobooks were apparently covered by the "feasibility" clause but Audible just blew that to heck.
I had the same question as DuckieTigger. Where in that does it say that AUDIO broadcasting has to be captioned? It says that the audio portion of VIDEO broadcasting must be captioned but nothing about audio only broadcasting.

Where is the "feasibility" clause that you say was blown to "heck"? The only mention of "feasible" in the link was specifically in regards to "Title II - Video Programming".

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Yes, because it *has* to be there.

It's in the other link.
Broadcasts must be captioned but for a few exceptions.
Right at the top:
Quote:
Closed captioning displays the audio portion of a television program as text on the TV screen, providing a critical link to news, entertainment and information for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Congress requires video programming distributors (VPDs) - cable operators, broadcasters, satellite distributors and other multi-channel video programming distributors - to close caption their TV programs.
Even the bolded portion of your quote says "Congress requires video programming distributors... to close caption their TV programs." There is nothing in that link for audio programs.

I agree that "It's not a given they'll be blocked." but I don't see how these FCC rules apply
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:30 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazrin View Post

I agree that "It's not a given they'll be blocked." but I don't see how these FCC rules apply
There are two FCC posts.

The first enumerates the exceptions and qualifies the mandatories with "as practical" which is how audiobooks have escaped regulation.

("Currently there are two categories of exemptions from the closed captioning rules, self-implementing and economically burdensome")

With Audible proving it can be done the burdensome exemption goes away.

Which is my point.

The FCC pages list the *current* regulations implementing (and moderating) the requirements of the existing laws. Not the actual laws which are very/over(?) broad. There's the Americans With Disabilities Act as well as the newer 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).

Regulations are applications of the law; the listed terms are guidelines, not borders.

As for audiobooks being explicitly listed, ebook readers weren't explicitly listed either. That didn't protect Kindle DX. Audiobooks not being targeted *yet* is no guarantee they won't be targeted both now that captions are doable.

Neither side winning is a given but the coming lawsuits are.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:11 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
There are two FCC posts.

The first enumerates the exceptions and qualifies the mandatories with "as practical" which is how audiobooks have escaped regulation.

("Currently there are two categories of exemptions from the closed captioning rules, self-implementing and economically burdensome")

With Audible proving it can be done the burdensome exemption goes away.

Which is my point.

The FCC pages list the *current* regulations implementing (and moderating) the requirements of the existing laws. Not the actual laws which are very/over(?) broad. There's the Americans With Disabilities Act as well as the newer 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).

Regulations are applications of the law; the listed terms are guidelines, not borders.

As for audiobooks being explicitly listed, ebook readers weren't explicitly listed either. That didn't protect Kindle DX. Audiobooks not being targeted *yet* is no guarantee they won't be targeted both now that captions are doable.

Neither side winning is a given but the coming lawsuits are.
I understand, and agree, that with this technology captions could certainly be applied to audiobooks, etc. and not be burdensome but I still don't see how anything in the linked FCC posts (either one) can be construed as applying to audiobooks or podcasts right now. Both links are specifically for video broadcasts and television.

Even the "economically burdensome" part is still specifically applicable to "Closed Captioning for Television".
Link
Quote:
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) rules provide procedures for petitioning the FCC for an exemption from the closed captioning rules when compliance with the rules would be economically burdensome. Exemptions may be granted, in whole or in part, for a channel of video programming, a category or type of video programming, an individual video service, a specific video program, or a video programming provider.
Nothing about audio only anywhere in the links you provided or the link I provided.

I'm going back to the original assertion that
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Until now, audiobooks were apparently covered by the "feasibility" clause but Audible just blew that to heck.
and saying, no, audiobooks are not covered by this at all. They didn't need to be covered by the "feasibility" clause (or undue burden clause) because they aren't video and therefore don't need to comply with any of it.

There might be other rules that would apply but these rules don't appear to (and I couldn't find any others that would apply.)

I want this technology to expand and be widely adopted but I don't see how the FCC rules we've both now quoted can be used to say Audible "seem[s] to be on defensible legal ground" for this technology.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:41 PM   #39
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I see this as analogous to the ‘controversy’ over text-to-speech when Kindle first offered this feature. Eventually, some publishers blocked it (and still block it) on the theory that it hurt audiobook sales (despite any evidence — anecdotal or otherwise — for this then, or since), and even when there were no audiobooks to sell! DRM more generally (Adobe’s for example) also enforces this restriction. But very few people are prepared to read entire books with TTS engaged, unless they are vision impaired. And even if TTS is recorded to audio file, nobody would claim it is superior to professionally produced audiobook, at least not yet.

Indeed, screen readers (Amazon’s Voice View, Apple’s VoiceOver/SpeakScreen, Google’s TalkBack) are considered allowable exceptions and (at least for Amazon’s Kindle platform) do read out text without regard to publisher restrictions on TTS.

Here we’re being asked to believe that more than a very few people are going to consider this a substitute for actually having the full text available to page through, when they would otherwise purchase the ebook AND audiobook. Which is ludicrous.

Amazon could have promoted this as an ‘accessibility’ feature for people with hearing issues. And of course they could actually promote purchase of the ebook (‘did you know there’s this thing called Immersion Reading’?). And arguably, more people will be purchasing audiobooks if they know they can occasionally peek at text and use it to annotate and share, thereby promoting the book.

We don’t know how many publishers will dig in their heels over this, but it would be nice if enough of them didn’t so we can see for ourselves if the feature has value.

At the least we’ll see this for public domain books and KDP titles that already have audiobook companions.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:16 PM   #40
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I really don't see the point of providing captioning for audiobooks. Audiobooks are for the most part, people reading books aloud. Captioning is normally used for people who can't hear, though it's also used in situations where people want to turn the volume down. Neither really apply to audiobooks. Of course, with audiobooks, you don't have to worry about the captioning being wrong since you already have the text. So all in all this strikes me as a tempest in a teapot and more of a "any stick to beat the publishers with" than anything else.
I met a Sudanese man once who was looking for exactly this kind of thing, it was because his English wasnt very good, and he loved to read, so he thought, quite sensibly, that if he were to hear the books, and be able to read along with them, that his comprehension and use of English would improve.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:12 PM   #41
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I met a Sudanese man once who was looking for exactly this kind of thing, it was because his English wasnt very good, and he loved to read, so he thought, quite sensibly, that if he were to hear the books, and be able to read along with them, that his comprehension and use of English would improve.
I'm sure there are a number of one off sort of situations, thought it seems to me that whispersync, an existing solution, would meet this particular use case just as well.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:14 PM   #42
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Ok, I’m all for accessibility....but a book or ebook is ALREADY the accessible solution for those with hearing disabilities.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:16 PM   #43
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I'm sure there are a number of one off sort of situations, thought it seems to me that whispersync, an existing solution, would meet this particular use case just as well.
Hmmm... while Amazon suggests using your device in your car to continue with a book, that might cause some issues with the distracted driving enforcers. Not to mention that 60,000 books is close to a rounding error in the current number of books sold by Amazon.

Of course, to make it easy for Canadians, using Amazon.ca's Audible Matchmaker page came up with a "Sorry, we didn't find any audio matches for your Kindle books". Running it from Amazon.com, it came up with 13 ebooks from my Amazon.ca account. The total cost for those 13 ebooks was $27 Cdn while it would cost me 97.37 US for the audio given that the Canadian site did not show any matches.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:08 AM   #44
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Hmmm... while Amazon suggests using your device in your car to continue with a book, that might cause some issues with the distracted driving enforcers. Not to mention that 60,000 books is close to a rounding error in the current number of books sold by Amazon.

Of course, to make it easy for Canadians, using Amazon.ca's Audible Matchmaker page came up with a "Sorry, we didn't find any audio matches for your Kindle books". Running it from Amazon.com, it came up with 13 ebooks from my Amazon.ca account. The total cost for those 13 ebooks was $27 Cdn while it would cost me 97.37 US for the audio given that the Canadian site did not show any matches.
I'm really not following your point. You probably don't want to read captioning in the car while driving either.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:30 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
I'm really not following your point. You probably don't want to read captioning in the car while driving either.
I was commenting on using Whispersync to continue listening to an audio version in your car as suggested by Amazon. Under current laws in this area, you might get away with this as long as you did not touch the device playing the audio during your trip in the car so no playing back a passage that was missed or any other interaction with the device while your vehicle is not parked.

The remainder of the message was discussing that Amazon.ca does not show any matches using Audible Matchmaker while Amazon.com shows matches for my books purchased through Amazon.ca but even with the discounted price, on the expensive side by my standards.
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