The Authors Guild is alarmed by Audible’s recent announcement that it intends to display text synced with audiobook narration.

While Audible states that its new “Audible Captions” feature will only display “small amounts of machine-generated text,” existing ACX and Audible agreements do not grant Audible the right to create text versions of audio books, whether delivered as a full book or in segments. Nor is there an exception to the copyright law that would permit Audible to do this.

We will continue to investigate this, but based on what we have learned to date, the Captions program appears to be outright, willful copyright infringement, and it will inevitably lead to fewer ebook sales and lower royalties for authors for both their traditionally published and self-published books.