Monday, March 02, 2009

Copyrights and the Kindle

So, Amazon introduced their new and improved Kindle Book-thingie, which can hold the entire library of Alexandria, connect to anyone in the world with sound and picture, like a Star Trek communicator, translate Sanskrit, compute pi, and enable you to fly. This thing is COOL! It can also read the text of your books and magazines and newspapers and everything else to you...

Or not.

Now, I am a fierce protector of my copyrights. I've pissed people off by tell them that no, you may not print that entire class or speech on your web page, you may not e-mail it to your 5000 BFFs.

But for crying out loud. This is text-to-speech technology here. Little or no inflection, mispronunciation of slang and non English words or non-standard names...no one uses text-to-speech software because it adds to or even exposes the nature of the original work.

The bland, atonal computer "voices" of any device will not make the sale of the audio versions shrink by any measurable amount. But it might make works not available in an audio format accessible to those who would have had no other option to enjoy them.

I disagree with the complaint by the Author's Guild, although I recognize that Amazon probably took the path of least tsuris by allowing publishers to disable their works from being read out loud by the Kindle.

Fortunately, the guild cannot stop you from reading an actual book to someone else.

By the way - does anyone think it would be a good idea to make my books available on some mechanical book thingie? We're mulling it over.

3 comments:

Mad said...

Honestly, I have a feeling that it would be met with much enthusiasm, but don't know how much that might translate into actual sales. What would the overhead of something like that be?

Milady said...

I've always loved it when I could hear the voices of the characters in my favorite stories. The inflections, the humour, drama, accents, *sigh* the accents, it draws something powerful.

Along similar lines, I think you could successfully put up exerpts from your books, past or future, in your own voice though. I think is a pervy idea your readers might squee over. Certainly from then on they won't read your work again without hearing your voiceover. As it should be, really.

chef2b said...

I saw the thing and was every so briefly tempted. The cost is way above my budget AND I like paper. I can spill something on a book and salvage it.

That being said, I hate the computer voice, now if it sounded like Majel Barrett . . . um . . . well . . .