Authors Guild Silent Over iBooks Text-To-Speech
Last year we discussed news that the Authors Guild took issue with the Kindle’s text-to-speech function, claiming it was illegal for the device to read their books aloud. Amazon disagreed, but said they were willing to disable the feature upon request from rightsholders. Now, jamie notes a recent article by David Pogue at the NY Times in which he points out that Apple’s free iBooks app does the same thing, yet the Authors Guild has remained silent. Quoting: “… Now swipe down the page with two fingers to make the iPhone start reading the book to you, out loud, with a synthesized voice. It even turns the pages automatically and keeps going until you tap with two fingers to stop it. Yes, this is exactly the feature that debuted in the Amazon Kindle and was then removed when publishers screamed bloody murder. But somehow, so far, Apple has gotten away with it, maybe because nobody’s even realized this feature is in there.” That said, the feature was certainly noticed during the launch of the iPad, so perhaps the Authors Guild has other reasons for holding their peace.