Access and Inclusion through Technology

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Right to Read - The Amazon Kindle case

April 3rd, 2009
Sometimes even I am stunned by the actions of some parts of society. In this case, I’m still seething about the publishing industry and the Kindle case. If you don’t know the story Amazon intended to release its next version ebook reader the Kindle onto the market with built in text to speech. A great step forward do I hear you shout, a chance for ebooks to reach new markets ? Access to reading for people with sensory or physical needs, support for people with Dyslexia. All true ….. But….
The publishing industry didn’t see it this way - they claimed that having the story read out was an infringement of copyright, and would have a detrimental effect on audio-book sales (always at a premium price of course) and hence Amazon backed down and removed the text to speech from the planned product.
Its appalling that such vested interests or greed as we like to call it can act as a denial of human rights and access to information, culture and the arts.
A campaign has been launched in the states the Reading Rights Coalition and you can find details at but in fact we can do more
If you want access to books, and would like to thumb your nose at the industry that cares so little about you, why not try fiction published under creative commons license - you can find many books at which are free and freely distributable - you can have them read out, made into large print, braille whatever and many are by published authors offering ebook versions for free
Enjoy reading - and feel free to let publishers know what you think

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