The Association of American Publishers filed suit on August 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a bid to stop Audible from moving ahead with its plans to implement its Audible Captions program. Under Captions, Audible will transcribe a book’s audio in order to create text that will run along with the audio.
When news of the program first leaked in mid-July, publishers and agents expressed strong concerns that Captions engaged in copyright infringement. Part of Audible’s response to publishers last month was that they had not yet seen how Captions works and denied that the program involved any infringement. But publishers have seen now seen demos of the program, and what they saw was enough to prompt the filing of the lawsuit. “That Audible plans to move forward unilaterally with infringing text, despite the objections of the AAP, its members, and the Authors Guild, is deeply concerning, leaving the plaintiffs no choice but to seek a preliminary injunction to avoid irreparable harm to their present and future copyright interests,” the AAP said in its press release.