In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway takes a look at what the Audible Captions settlement means for you.
I have spent most of the last few days with the wind and rain battering my surroundings from every side. As the news showed videos of sofas flying down the street, my immediate thoughts turned to Wuthering Heights. Which goes to show what a truly life-changing medium we work in. How fitting for a week when the Guardian urges us that if we want to change the world we need to learn to tell stories. Some of us had got that already!
Audible Captions: What the Settlement Means for You
Two weeks ago might have been the last time I reported on the Audible Captions story. A settlement had been reached, the lawsuits were done, the story was over. Only it wasn’t. Because this week the terms of the settlement reached were published in full. You can read the full statement here.
I would recommend everyone read it in full. But I will summarise here, and pick out the details that matter to us, as indies.
The Audible Captions feature is not being pulled. But no book will be enrolled into it without the explicit consent of the publisher. Neither will amazon enable anyone else (other than Audible) to do this. The “publishers” referred to in the agreement are the Big Five who brought the case. But Nate at The Digital Reader has had confirmation from Audible that this extends to all publishers. And that includes us as indies.
What that means is that if you upload an audiobook (before you do so, you might want to listen to our exhaustive podcast on audiobook platforms) through Audible, you will have the option of whether or not to activate Audible Captions. Much as you do for DRM on KDP.
AI and intellectual property
Why does artificial intelligence matter in the storytelling world? Aside from its use by companies for related purposes, this interesting piece reminds us that at some point an AI will write a book that is, well, readable. And then AI will be part of all our lives. And one area that we will really need to think about is copyright. Specifically, who owns the copyright of a piece “written” by AI? This week saw two really interesting rulings on the subject. The European Patent Office has refused two applications for patents on the grounds that an AI had been behind key parts of the intellectual property. This may seem like a very esoteric part of a very esoteric field right now. But in a few years it most definitely won't.
London Book Fair
It is extraordinary to think that London Book Fair is almost upon us again. Of course, for those of us based in the UK (and some who are not), this is a fabulous chance to meet other ALLi members. And enjoy the ALLi after party! But there are lots of other reasons to attend. There will, of course, be lots of fabulous talks at Author HQ. Many of those will feature ALLi authors.
What is particularly interesting this year is the step up in the acknowledgement of the growing importance of audio. The Fair will open with Audio HQ, a half day conference devoted to the growth of audio.
What Other Creative Industries Mean for us
As indie creators, we often find ourselves – and others – drawing parallels to our indie kin in other media. This week has seen some interesting developments in the music industry that have some important areas of overlap with us.
We’ve already taken a look at artificial intelligence, and the complicated area of AI and copyright. The music industry now has its first start up dedicated to using AI to discover the next hit. Snafu records will run new songs through its machine learning algorithm to try to identify those with the right stuff. That's very similar to Wattpad in many ways. What's interesting is the way they are selling this – as the next generation of democratisation. They won't promote records based on who you are but on what the AI says.
Meanwhile, if you doubted that subscription is the future, consider Spotify's latest quarterly figures. 271 million registered users, and $2bn quarterly revenue. And this growth is continuing in publishing as well, as the Wall Street Journal just passed 2 million subscribers.
And as a reminder of just how interlinked the creative industries are, Wattpad has just announced two more TV productions with Sony.What the Audible Captions settlement means for you and top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet
Over to You
Would you activate Audible Captions on your audiobooks? Let us know in the comments below.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Poets for the planet, 8 Feb[London] San Francisco Writers' Conference, 13-16 Feb [San Francisco]
London Book Fair, 10-12 Mar [London]
Self-publishing Conference, 25 Apr [University of Leicester] Short story course, 2 Apr – Sep (6 workshops) [London]
Self-publishing Live, 14-16 Aug [Chicago]
DigitalBookWorld, 14-16 Sep [Nashville]