A few weeks ago, we had the Authors Guild challenge Amazon to remove the text-to-speech feature that a lot of us have come to love. Amazon finally buckled and made Text-to-Speech an optional feature, controlled mainly by the publishers. A lot of Kindle fans argued at the time that Read-to-Me in no way replaces an audio-book and should be allowed. The Authors Guild may have won the first round but Reading Rights Coalition is starting a campaign to challenge it. The Read-to-Me feature was extremely useful to folk with disabilities, but now they won’t have access to that feature on many books, and that is not exactly what you can call fair.
Reading Rights Coalition has over 15 million members, which means the Authors Guild faces a credible challenge. There is also a petition available online (named “Allow Everyone Access to Ebooks”) to help the campaign gain momentum. I am still not sure Amazon will be removing that limit anytime soon. It’s not just the Authors Guild. I am sure Amazon lawyers know the risks and rewards very well here, which is why Amazon made the decision it did. It’s too bad that a whole lot of folks with disabilities won’t be able to listen to their e-books on Kindle anymore. It’s nice to stand up for your right, but that will most probably change nothing in this case.
Your take: should the Authors Guild back off of its Read-to-Me stance?