, responding to criticism that a text-to-speech feature on its new Kindle book reader helps it sidestep royalty payments, plans to allow the audio function to be disabled, Reuters reports. The online retail giant pledged to modify the Kindle 2 so that authors, publishers, or any holders to a novel's rights can choose whether to turn on the feature, which takes written text and converts it to human speech. "Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given," the firm said in a statement on Feb. 27....

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