Amazon backs down on Kindle speech

<p>Amazon.com is to allow publishers the option of turning off its controversial text-to-speech feature available on Kindle 2. The experimental feature had led to audio book publishers complaining that it infringed their audio rights.<br /><br />In a statement issued Friday, Amazon.com said: &quot;We strongly believe many rightsholders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver&#39;s seat. Therefore, we are modifying our systems so that rightsholders can decide on a title by title basis whether they want text-to-speech enabled or disabled for any particular title.&quot; <br /><br />Nevertheless Amazon.com maintained that the feature was &quot;legal&quot;: &quot;no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given.&quot;<br /><br /><br />It added: &quot;With this new level of control, publishers and authors will be able to decide for themselves whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled. We believe many will decide that it is.&quot; </p>