I just signed the petition started by the Reading Rights Coalition.
This organization began after Amazon released their latest version of their E-Book reader, the Kindle 2.0. The product which has built in Text to Speech has been attacked by the Author’s Guild. The Guild argues that this feature which uses synthetic speech to read the contents of a book,violates copyright laws. The Author’s Guild contends that the use of speech makes this an audio book which would require additional licensing fees.
A coalition of organizations including both Blind Consumer groups has been established to reverse the decision made by Amazon, after pressure from the Author’s Guild, making the TTS feature an option controlled by the book Publisher. The Kindle 2.0, with additional accessibility features, would enable people who are blind as well as others with various print disabilities, to have immediate access to print materials. Amazon recently reported that they are working to make the Kindle accessible. It’s wrong that the Author’s Guild and what seems to be their desire for more money, would restrict those of us who want access to printed materials.
A mainstream product with built in accessibility features would be a major step that other consumer electronic companies can emulate. Universal design, access for all – that’s a beautiful concept!
Consider signing the petition to show your support. The Reading Rights Coalition is looking for 10,000 signatures.