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Top U.S. publishers sue Amazon's Audible for copyright infringement to block new caption feature

Key Points
  • The lawsuit was filed by seven members of the Association of American Publishers.
  • The publishers are aiming to block a planned rollout of a feature called 'Audible Captions' that shows the text on screen as a book is narrated.
  • "Essentially Audible wants to provide the text as well as the sound of books without the authorization of copyright holders, despite only having the right to sell audiobooks," AAP said in a statement.
The front desk of the Amazon office is pictured in New York, May 1, 2019.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Amazon's Audible was sued by some of the top U.S. publishers for copyright infringement on Friday, aiming to block a planned rollout of a feature called 'Audible Captions' that shows the text on screen as a book is narrated.

The lawsuit was filed by seven members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), including HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan Publishers.

"Essentially Audible wants to provide the text as well as the sound of books without the authorization of copyright holders, despite only having the right to sell audiobooks," AAP said in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Audible did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Amazon hosts thousands of unsafe or banned products, new investigation finds

Key Points
  • A Wall Street Journal investigation found that Amazon continues to host thousands of unsafe or banned products on its site.
  • Among the findings were toys and medications that lacked the proper health risk disclosures.
  • The investigation underscores Amazon's difficulty overseeing the millions of third-party sellers on its platform.