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LibriVox Admin Team
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Post by hugh » February 2nd, 2008, 2:59 pm

One other point of import: LibriVox is not really "owned" by anyone. owns the domain name (they also host all our audio files). A volunteer provides server space for our front end. And the rest is the community that participates, based on the following principles:
LibriVox Objective
To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Our Fundamental Principles
* Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project
* Librivox donates its recordings to the public domain
* Librivox is powered by volunteers
* Librivox maintains a loose and open structure
* Librivox welcomes all volunteers from across the globe, in all languages

As to who "owns" the recordings, the answer is: everybody. That's what public domain means.

Neither the objective or principles (including the license) will change, while the mechanisms around the project might. If that causes concern, then there are other projects on the web, and indeed it's easy to start up another project dedicated to CC-NonCommercial audiobooks, if that's what you'd like to do.

And if you really think that some small cabal of LibriVox admins lead by a crafty and dishonest leader is planning to "sell" LibriVox to the highest bidder, then I don't know what to say.

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Post by musicmaiden » February 2nd, 2008, 3:49 pm

Personally, I think one of the best thing on the web is public domain. You should have seen me when I discovered Project Gutenberg and LibriVox! :D

I think it is clear on the LibriVox website and in the Wiki exactly what public domain means, and every volunteer chooses to donate their recordings to the public domain, if they don't feel comfortable doing that, then they can choose not to record. It seems logical that if we are recording books in the public domain, then the recordings of the books should be in the public domain.

The reason I joined LibriVox is because I love books, I love to read, and I love listening to everyone else here read the books I love. If I ever find someone likes a recording of mine well enough to sell it, I'm going to be really flattered. And if someone enjoys any recording of mine in some way, then that's good enough for me.


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Post by Jc » February 2nd, 2008, 4:57 pm

Been trying to restrain myself from replying to all this, but now, I just can't resist anymore.

Robert, I don't quite get what you're trying to say.

1. Your thing about Facebook and LV:
You're trying to say that "Facebook owns the data and can do as it pleases with it" and "Everyone owns the data and can do as it pleases with it" is fundamentally identical. I just can't see how it would be. Of course, the wording is similar, but the consequences are worlds apart!

2. About selling the audio.
Anyone can sell the LV recordings. Whether it is LV (depending on its legal status) or any other individual. But in doing so, they are only selling a service: packaging the recording. They do not own the audio. If someone did destroy all existing data in order to sell our recordings, it doesn't mean that they are the sole owners of the audio. It would only mean that they would be the only owners of existing copies of it. Being PD, anyone with a copy of the recordings can then re-upload the files, and make it available for free on the web.

Let's get off the internet for a second. Suppose something happens and the web doesn't work anymore (which would amount to your hypothetical situation where recordings wouldn't be accessible for free). Suppose LV still continues to offer its recordings for "free", and that there's still demand for it. How would we go about doing it?

To keep our non-commercial status, we might be asking listeners to, say, send us blank CDs with pre-stamped return envelopes, burn the CDs, mail them back. We would still be offering the recordings for free, but the listener will have to PAY for the CDs and shipping. That doesn't make our recordings any less "free".

AND, being PD, anyone who has a copy of a recording can in turn distribute it for free (or not) to anyone.

Come to think of it, if one is not allowed to "SELL" CC-non-commercial, they could still say "give me a CD, I'll make you a copy", which is basically the same thing as the people selling the LV CDs are doing, they're charging for their CDs, shipping, and labour (burning the CDs). (you wouldn't expect them to get the CDs for free, would you?)

And thinking about it again, if nobody could "sell" anything CC-non-commercial, how are the authors planning to get their work out? They're not expecting a philanthropic millionaire to print and donate their books, are they?

And even downloading the recordings isn't free: you pay for your internet service. If you're lucky enough to have unlimited access, then you can have the recordings for *almost* free. But if, like me, you have limited internet, say 20 GB/month for 20$, it would mean that I would've paid 1$ per GB of LV. ANd now that I've set the ball rolling, why not factor in the computer, the electricity, the mp3 player...

3. About the commercial entity:
just because people make money off us, it would be unfair to call US a commercial entity. If you take a picture of a tree, say, and sell your picture, it doesn't make the tree any commercial.

BTW, I have been wondering, LV doesn't have any legal status, does it?
(I wouldn't think so but I might be wrong). and if it has no legal status, it means it can't really have any rights, so LV wouldn't be able to sell anything, or even own anything, and anyone doing so "on behalf" of LV would actually be selling it in their own name.
As to who owns LV ... that would be ( ? ) Hugh the one who was $ valuing LV at the beginning of this thread the same one who objects to the Facebook TOS but has the same waiver in place at LV ....
Poor Hugh... I feel for ya! *hugs*
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Post by earthcalling » February 2nd, 2008, 5:13 pm

Oh, for goodness' sake.....

It is a community with a purpose.

It is open in the sense that anyone can take part in helping to achieve that purpose.

Anyone can also leave at any point, for whatever reason.

Such as, for example, deciding they're no longer interested in the purpose of the community.

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Post by puffin1 » February 2nd, 2008, 6:11 pm

This is sounding more and more like a commercial campaign to build mojomove up, and tear LV down. It isn't working on me. The "arguments" don't add up. I'm sticking with LV.

You should put this energy into getting the word out on your own MM411 domain, and touting it in a positive way out in the world of media.
[size=84][color=#483d8b][b]Is it weird in here, or is it just me? [/b][/color][/size]- [size=75][i]Steven Wright[/size][/i]

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Post by Jc » February 2nd, 2008, 6:14 pm

Hmmm... ... ...
Last edited by Jc on February 2nd, 2008, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by CarlManchester » February 2nd, 2008, 6:27 pm

Hi Robert,

Not a lawyer, but think a major problem with any sort of CC licence for LV would be that, contrary to what you say above, Robert, CC licences are revokable. ie you never actually give away your copyright ownership, and so you can always change your mind, revoke the licence, and decide you want to go back to being a regular copyright holder. Excuse me if I'm wrong about that.

On that basis, PD is the only way of making our recordings available to everyone for nothing forever. Without that, the temptation to go commerical might one day arise. Plus we'd be vulnerable. If we used CC licences, then our recordings could be bought. If someone (say a commerical audiobook producer) were short-sighted enough to want to shut us down, they could do it with euros, by simply offering to buy recordings.

In other words, I think, what PD achieves that CC doesn't is the message and the ethos of "we cannot be bought".

If there's a worry that Hugh, the admin team, and ibiblio (in answer to your question, they also hold all the data, and Gutenberg and its many mirrors also hold some) may one day get into a conspiracy to take the LV catalogue off the web (do you not realise how crazy it sounds?), then a simple thing to do would be start keeping a library of CDs with the mp3s on them. Because, when the day comes, you'll have as much right as anyone else to make sure that the files are freely available.

Basically, though, our files are on too many sites and too many hard drives and ipods for there to be any hope of restricting access. In fact, anyone willing to pay can just order pretty much the whole catalogue off ebay.

Lastly, the idea that anyone would conclude that Hugh musing about the "sweat value" of LibriVox represents anything other than an interesting talking point is baffling. Whatever LibriVox may be "worth" in an abstract, theoretical sense, it is not possible to sell it, which to me is beyond clear.


EDIT: Lastly (I mean it this time), I feel daft even saying it, but obviously LV being PD is not totalitarian or oppressive. It's liberating. It's letting go and knowing you've given something away forever. If you feel oppressed, though, you can always stop doing it.
American Psychology 1922-1947. It's the nearest thing to American Psycho that we are allowed to record.

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Post by Cloud Mountain » February 2nd, 2008, 8:00 pm

Robert Scott wrote:"Not FREE FOR ALL"

CM ...

Simple stuff here nothing to read into

If someone pays for an LV generated recording then they did NOT recieve the recording for free ... it was purchased ... and a purchase makes LV directly or indirectly a commercial entity .... LV on principle is to be Non Commercial

A CC Non - Commercial designation ensures that all LV generated works remain Free of Commercial profiteering ....

PD does NOT ensure this ( as it is a waiver of all rights of the original recorder including the right to object to the sale of its OWN recordings .... ) PD is a sneakey way to hide the fact that LV has the right to sell the recordings in the future if it desires

CC Non - Commercial fits the stated principles of LV better than does PD as PD allows for the Commercial sale of LV generated works ... also for the sale of LV itself and the buyer would be able to do with any and all LV recordings as it wished ... selling them if it desired .... CC - non Commercial would guarantee that even a future buyer could not sell the recorded Audio .... GUARANTEEING THAT THE RECORDINGS REMAIN FREE TO THE PUBLIC FOREVER :thumbs: ....which PD does NOT do !
Now I understand. Restricting the freedom of using it frees it. I wonder why no one thought of that before. Yes, it actually frees it —because it excludes the freedom to use of it to make money. It's now always free because that's the only way you can get it, freely. I wonder how Abbie Hoffman would have felt about this? This might have changed the 60's altogether.
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