[Greater-baltimore] Informational Picketing Against Authors Guild in New York City

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Fri Mar 27 20:40:37 UTC 2009

 >From Chris Danielson:

Dear Fellow Federationists:

As you may already know, Amazon, Inc. released the newest version of its

e-book reader, the Kindle, on February 9 of this year.  The Kindle 2

includes a feature that allows e-books downloaded to it to be read aloud.

The Authors Guild has objected to this feature because it believes these

e-books are licensed only for visual display, and under pressure from the

Guild, Amazon has decided to allow authors and publishers to decide which

books can be read aloud by this device.  Naturally, this is a blow to blind

people and others with print disabilities who can benefit from the

text-to-speech feature and who would love to be able to purchase books and

start reading them immediately for the first time in history.  For this

reason the National Federation of the Blind has joined with other

organizations representing people who cannot use print effectively to fight

the Authors Guild.

We plan to kick off our public education campaign to increase public

pressure on the Authors Guild to reverse its stance with an informational

protest in front of the Guild’s headquarters in New York City.  This picket

will take place on Tuesday, April 7, from noon until 2:00 p.m.  I am writing

to you in hopes that you can organize members to come to this protest.  A

number of Federationists from Maryland are coming and we expect

participation from other organizations in the coalition, but it would be

very helpful if those of you with easy access to New York City would help us

by providing more picketers.  It is extremely important that we make a

strong impression on the Authors Guild and the media so that our message

will be heard.

In the next few days you will receive more communications with additional

logistical details, as well as more information about our position and

suggestions on how to respond to questions from the media.  In the meantime,

if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As

soon as you have an idea of how many people may be able to come to this

event, please provide that information to John Paré by calling 410-659-9314,

ext. 2227, or by e-mailing jpare at nfb.org.  Thank you for your assistance in

this important matter.


Chris Danielsen

Christopher S. Danielsen

Director of Public Relations


David Andrews and white cane Harry.

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