Seven major book publishers have recently filed a lawsuit against Audible – Amazon’s audiobook company due to their new ‘Captions’ feature. Among the publishers are HarperCollins and Penguin Random House.
The publishers have filed such a lawsuit since Audible has added an artificial intelligence powered tool that transcribes words spoken out loud into written text, allowing users to read along to the audiobook, known as the Captions feature.
What’s problematic about this is that it’s exactly what the Copyright Act forbids. Or at least, that’s what the suit has claimed.
According to the suit, Amazon’s Audible did not have the rights to create a new version of the books through artificial intelligence, despite owning the copyrights to the original texts.
Audible has commented that the new feature is not a book, and was not intended to be a book at any point.
The United States Authors Guild has also been fighting a similar battle, on the basis that agreements with Audible still do not allow them to create new versions of the texts in any way, shape, or form.