Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

US publishers sue Audible for copyright infringement

In the US, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has filed a lawsuit against Audible in a bid to stop its Captions program, which transcribes audio to text alongside its audiobooks, reports Publishers Weekly.

When news of the program first broke in July, publishers, literary agents and authors expressed concern that the program infringes on rights holders. Now that publishers have seen demos of the program, they have decided to file the suit, seeking a preliminary injunction preventing Audible from going ahead with the program.

The lawsuit was filed by seven members of the AAP: Chronicle Books, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster.

AAP said in a press release: ‘That Audible plans to move forward unilaterally with infringing text, despite the objections of the AAP, its members, and the Authors Guild, is deeply concerning, leaving the plaintiffs no choice but to seek a preliminary injunction to avoid irreparable harm to their present and future copyright interests.’

The Author’s Guild has also released a statement expressing strong support for the AAP’s action. Executive director Mary Rasenberger said that Audible is proceeding with Captions ‘without authorisation and in violation of its contracts with publishers’. Rasenberger continued: ‘Text and audio are different book markets, and Audible is licensed only for audio. It has chosen to use its market power to force publishers’ hands by proceeding without permission in clear violation of copyright in the titles.’


Category: International news