Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Wed 18th Feb 2009 00:00 UTC
Legal The Author's Guild has been having some trouble coping with the Kindle 2's Read to Me feature because it supposedly undermines author's rights. Their argument? "They don't have the right to read a book out loud." It sounds ridiculous; we've been reading out loud since we were wee little children, and text-to-speech has been in use since before the Google Empire (by hundreds of years technically, and by decades literally). However, after explanation by Engadget's very own pretentious ex-copyright attorney, the blurred lines of law and lawlessness gets even blurrier. Does the Author's Guild have a valid point, or are they splitting hairs?
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RE: Actually
by edwdig on Wed 18th Feb 2009 19:12 UTC in reply to "Actually"
edwdig
Member since:
2005-08-22

What's the difference between a sequence of (digital) words that get converted into speech and a sequence of (digital) numbers that get converted into a song?

In the case of the song, the digital data is a direct representation of the song being reproduced. Other than the artifacts introduced by the chosen data compression method, the data is an exact replication of the song that gets produced in the end.

In the case of the book, the digital data is just a representation of printed characters. There is no audio there, and it's not a very data source to use for creating audio. Any audio you derive from it is based on combining that data with other data (voice samples) and a bunch of custom algorithms. You're creating something new from the text data. That's where the difference comes in.

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