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...
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.