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Audible forced to defend the legal difference between audiobook transcripts and "books"



. Photo: Bryan Bedder (Getty Images)

: Audible, the property of Amazon, is being sued by a number of major publishers for deciding to include auto-captioning services in some parts of its audiobook library. And frankly, we love that kind of shit, because this seems like a great idea at first – the transcriptions are designed to be difficult to help readers follow, a few words after the other, and the possibility to pause and get a definition for every word they are having problems with – but then somebody goes ahead and points out that we already have transcriptions of audiobooks and that these are called "books".

Per THR filed a lawsuit by virtually every major publisher in the industry – Chronicle Books, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster – Those who are angry, I have not even consulted on the decision and claim that Audible not only spreads the text of their copyrighted materials without the right to, but also shitty versions of it to boot. (The transcriptions are made using machine-based speech-to-text techniques. Audible has reportedly admitted that their technology processes as much as 6 percent of the words.)

Audible claims that all this is disproportionate and that Audible Captions are read-only, so they only display a handful of words at a time. (So, yes, you could copy down the text of Moby Dick if you really wanted to steal a very boring public domain text, but it would cost you a not inconsiderable piece of this The publishers did not stop saying, "Well, you still have words that we own, but not in the format that you are allowed to distribute them, so: Lawsuit The publisher's point of view seems to be that, if If you'd like to read it with an audiobook, damn well buy that text (and then sync it over Audible's Immersion Reading feature, if you wish) 19659004] God, we love that nerdy shit.


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