Was your mother a lawbreaker when she read you The Little Prince or Green Eggs and Ham?
That’s the question raised Tuesday by the Authors Guild, an advocacy group for writers. Paul Aitken, the group’s executive director objects to the text-to-speech feature on Amazon’s Kindle 2 digital-book reader. Aitken told The Wall Street Journal: “They don’t have the right to read a book out loud. That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”
Wow. If a computer can’t lawfully read a book out loud, do human beings have the right? Amazon and Aitken could not be reached for comment.
Well, mothers of America, never fear. You most certainly do have the right to privately perform copyright work, says Ben Sheffner, a copyright attorney. Sheffner, a well-known copyright advocate, says the issue of whether Amazon’s Kindle infringes on intellectual property is not as cut and dry.
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