There’s been a lot of furore recently about the new app that is about – Clean Reader. It gives the reader of an electronic book the ability to change words they don’t like, into less “offensive” words. There are three levels to Clean Reader. Clean, Really clean and Squeaky clean. Clean basically blocks out the F word and you move on up from there depending on your level of word offence or who you are giving the book to read – children is the example.
The furore has mostly been about the fact that this app has changed the words written by the author. That the author intended that specific word to be in the text and meaning could be changed. The makers of Clean Reader have this to say on the matter of copyright.
Is Clean Reader legal or does it break copyright law?
We’ve discussed this with several lawyers and they have all agreed that Clean Reader does not violate copyright law because it doesn’t make changes to the file containing the book. All Clean Reader does is change the way the content is displayed on the screen. The user has the option of turning off the profanity filtering tool if desired. No changes are made to the original book the user downloads when they buy a book.
So there’s no issue for them there. Though obviously a lot of authors are still upset. Their books are being changed in the reading.
The reason for this post is something came into my head today and it’s something I haven’t heard mentioned about the app or the reasons for its making. The app owners created it because one of their children came home from school upset because they were enjoying a book but it had had a swear word in it, so they created Clean Reader.
the funny thing is, on the Clean Reader site is a screenshot for users and potential users to see how it works and this is the shot.
See anything funny about it?
That nasty awful word has disappeared and the readers sensibilities are all nicely intact.
Sensibilities intact? But they’re blood thirsty, murder loving, crime genre reading fans. “The man carried about him an air of violence like a volcano about to erupt” “I’ll gut you like a fish-” It sounds like it could be a violently graphic book.
Shallow Waters only has the F word in it a handful of times. But it’s not always easy reading and there’s nothing Clean Reader is going to help you out with. I lay the ground work and the reader gets to picture the rest.
It was just a thought I had this morning….
What do you think of the new app?