The Amazon-owned producer of spoken audio entertainment ‘Audible’ is facing a lawsuit from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on the grounds that its new “Audible Captions” speech-to-text subtitles feature may violate copyright law.
Audible Captions, which was announced by the largest producer of audiobooks via a YouTube video back in July, is a feature that allows text captions to appear on-screen and progressively highlights the words as a novel is narrated. The feature also highlights and gives definitions for certain words in the captions and allows the user to translate text into other languages.
Objections – Lawsuit
Audible’s plans to roll-out the Captions feature attracted almost immediate complaints and concerns by authors, publishers and literary agents on social media over possible copyright law violations, along with accusations that Captions appears to make quite a few mistakes per book. Eventually, a lawsuit was filed at the District Court for the Southern District of New York by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) which includes seven of the top US publishing companies, such as Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins Publishers.