Some of the biggest names in publishing are suing Amazon-owned Audible — claiming the audiobook company’s new speech-to-text feature violates copyright laws.
Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic and others are asking a judge to block the company from continuing to offer the captions function for its recorded works, which is set to launch September 10.
“Audible Captions takes Publishers’ proprietary audio books, converts the narration into unauthorized text, and distributes the entire text of these ‘new’ digital books to Audible’s customers,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed Friday in Manhattan federal court. “Audible’s actions—taking copyrighted works and repurposing them for its own benefit without permission are the kind of quintessential infringement that the Copyright Act directly forbids.”
Audible released a statement saying they were “surprised and disappointed” by the lawsuit.
“It is not and was never intended to be a book,” the company said of the Captions feature.
“We disagree with the claims that this violates any rights and look forward to working with publishers and members of the professional creative community to help them better understand the educational and accessibility benefits of this innovation.”