Amazon, while not conceding the underlying legalities, says they’ll let rights-holders decide whether or not to enable Text-To-Speech. Cue the DRM cacophony on how no publisher should ever, ever, ever deny the right to hear a voice aloud. And, seriously, think of the children. A brilliant move on Amazon’s part, when you consider that only the audiobooks FUD about kindle is mentioned; no names beyond Lew Rockwell even talked about the Epub FUD.
Speaking of legalities, the amended booklocker complaint against Amazon was just posted. Using the bold type method of legal analysis, in the wake of the judge’s comments, seems like Booklocker/Hoy has decided Amazon is not a Retailer but in fact a Direct Sales Agent* of POD books, i.e. one that holds no inventory, and lets Lightning ship all. This is an interesting assertion; I’m sure there’s a lot of legal wrangling behind that definition.
It’s also, like booklocker’s POD pricing “analysis,” a patently and self-servingly false claim. Amazon sometimes has LSI process orders, shipping books directly. Amazon will also, at times, buy LSI books in quantities of 10, 20, 300, and then ship them out in a week after an email blitz or over a couple months. Occasionally, rather than eat the cost of a return, should an order be canceled, amazon will then stock and list the 1 copy of the book so printed/canceled as “Only one left in stock, order soon, more on the way.” They certainly do for me. And, given that I’ve received LSI titles in the same package as other books, I’m sure Amazon has in the past stocked POD titles for thousands of others.
They may not, however, be as enthusiastic about stocking hundreds of copies of short-discounted, non-returnable titles.
No word yet on whether Booklocker will be able to play the “Open-ness” card for their weak-ass business model, as Adobe and now Sony have for their under-performing ebook strategies.
/*Note bold type.
//There is additional info about Ingram’s decision to list LSI titles as “available 24 hours” a few years ago, prior to which Amazon “stocked” many more books, but this is a long enough post.