Amazingly, Amazon has backed down on implementing the text-to-speech feature of the latest Kindle (the one that Roy Blount Jr. and the Authors Guild were so upset about). Since this feature acts on a copy of the book the customer has already purchased, I really fail to see why the authors (and publishers) had any kind of legitimate beef. Sure, it might cost them the sale of a spoken-word book–but again, the customer had already purchased the book! It really isn't any different than having it read a book read aloud, or sharing it with someone else.
The company seems to have realized this isn’t a fight it wants to have—at least, now. Amazon is still building its Kindle library; today’s 240,000-plus titles are a huge leap from the start but not nearly what the company needs to come close to the breadth it offers in print. The automated feature itself is as rudimentary as the experimental web browser, with off-key pronunciation and little discretion. It’s a fun gimmick but not worth a major row.