Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Roy Blount on The Kindle

In today's New York Times there is an op-ed piece by author Roy Blount, Jr. on the e-book reader, The Kindle 2. In its latest incarnation the device has a feature that reads the text aloud. The problem, in his estimation, no one has paid for the audio rights of the books available on The Kindle. That may not seem like a big deal, but the market for audio books is huge compared to that for e-books. As you might imagine, the fees associated with audio rights are much greater than those with electronic rights.

Mr. Blount goes on to make a very important point:
"...people who want to keep on doing creative things for a living must be duly vigilant about any new means of transmitting their work."

You can read the piece in its entirety here.

Speaking of e-books. About two-and-a-half years ago I created the image below for The (Bergen) Record. Apparently, e-readers were supposed to be the next big thing. In 2009 they seem to be about as common as the Segway. Maybe the $300+ price tag is a bit much for what seems to be a glorified pdf reader.

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