Blind Bargains

New Copyright Exemption May Help Screen Reader Users Read more Books


As part of an ongoing process, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has issued a ruling which puts into play new exceptions for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, clarifying many gray areas of the law and making certain practices legal. While the mainstream media will be talking mostly about the legal ability to jailbreak the iPhone, Blind Bargains readers may also be interested in the very last rule which allows for circumventing of restrictions on eBooks. Essentially, screen readers can enable the reading aloud of electronic books without facing copyright restrictions, at least in cases where the publisher does not offer an accessible alternative. Here's the exact wording: Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of
the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities)
contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud
function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format. This is certainly a big step forward for book readers, though it does not require or compel companies like Amazon to enable this feature for all titles. Via Kotaku

Source: Go to source
Category: Books/Movies/Music
Displaying 3 comments.
DPinWI Monday, 26-Jul-2010 2:44 PM ET:

When the Kindle came out, many were happy that it gave mainstream access to books through TTS. Some authors and publishers were not amongst the happy. Has Apple faced similar issues with the iBooks service? If I get an i-device with access to iBooks, can i use Voice OVer to read any and all books I purchase?


Jeff.young Monday, 26-Jul-2010 4:11 PM ET:

Any of the books from the ibooks store are accessible and readable with voiceover.


darknexus Tuesday, 27-Jul-2010 3:55 PM ET:

Apple was able to get around the publishers' complaints essentially by promising that only Voiceover would be able to read aloud the purchased books, which took care of the "text scooping" concerns most publishers had. They couldn't very well demand Apple remove Voiceover, now could they? :) My issue with iBooks is more mundane: for what I like to read, their selection is practically nonexistent.


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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.


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