European LibriVox branch?

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » May 23rd, 2011, 1:44 am

Split from this topic by Hokuspokus http://forum.librivox.org/viewtopic.php?p=608632#p608632

I've been thinking about this lately, and wonder if it would be possible to make a workaround for this. LV and archive.org are bound to the US rules. But a server in the EU would not be. Over there, any book published after 1922 and written by someone who died >70 years ago could be published - either in text or audio. Very many extremely interesting works would be available for recording and publishing the audio in the (European) PD! Also we have plenty of EU-members who can record in several different languages. Any ideas to be able to manage this while still maintaining a link to Librivox?

By the way, I'm happy that 'Mein Kampf' by Adolf Hitler will remain outside the PD in the US for a véry long time to come ... In 1946 it will certainly pop up on many European sites, but fortunately LV can be kept clean of this garbage (I notice I'm extremely allergic to it, although WWII was long before my birth; I guess that quite some European generations still have to come before this work will be appreciated purely for its historical significance).
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

Availle
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Post by Availle » May 23rd, 2011, 1:54 am

Been there, thought about that...

The problem is that we haven't found a European organization nice enough to host all our files - and pay for the traffic...
Until then (or until we get serious sponsoring by some random millionaire who'll pay for all our expenses) we're "stuck" in the US and with their laws.
Cheers,
Ava.

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kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » May 23rd, 2011, 1:56 am

Availle wrote:Been there, thought about that...

The problem is that we haven't found a European organization nice enough to host all our files - and pay for the traffic...
Until then (or until we get serious sponsoring by some random millionaire who'll pay for all our expenses) we're "stuck" in the US and with their laws.
Which organisation have you tried? Or is there any older topic that I could use to get up to date on this?
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

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Post by Availle » May 23rd, 2011, 2:02 am

I don't know anything about developments in that direction to be honest, whether recent or ancient. The question is just popping up with some regularity, and I gave the standard answer to it :wink:

Maybe if you try search the forum for "European librivox" or "librivox chapter" or something along those lines, you may get some older topics like this?
Cheers,
Ava.

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kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » May 23rd, 2011, 2:14 am

This was the status 5 years ago - but perhaps not so much has changed? There was not any mentioning of the difficulty to find European hosting for our files - the main reason was to keep things as simple as possible. And to be honestly speaking: I would not know of a simple way to make this work, while keeping the link to librivox.org. Registering librivox.eu as a sister site (having its own forum, upload server etc.) would be the least thing that is necessary for it to work and despite the same name this would easily lead to growing away from each other.
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

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Post by Starlite » May 23rd, 2011, 3:22 am

It's been talked about with Australia and Canada where PD starts 50 years after death. There is so much more available on Gutenberg's Australian and Canadian sites. It would be so nice to have a librivox.ca and librivox.au (Or one that combined both since they both have similar PD status.)

Esther :)
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

Hokuspokus
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Post by Hokuspokus » May 23rd, 2011, 3:35 am

In the past year or so we have contacted Europeana http://www.europeana.eu/portal/
and European Archive http://www.europarchive.org/
Both with negative result.

The critical point is file hosting, like Availle said. Another critical point is that we need to keep US law and EU law apart. So we would need to have a completely separate infrastructure, uploader, forum, machinery behind the scene. Else we would risk serious legal problems. Even the name LibriVox might be tricky.

Still it is possible to do audio books on EU law. Two German volunteers Claudia and Wolfgang did two projects on their own. See http://librivox.li/ and http://iloapp.librivox.li/blog/blog?Home
If someone really wants to do a book, one could use a file hoster or some other free or cheap webspace. This is of course insecure and inconvenient, but doable.
There are podcast lists and catalogs that list LV recordings and probably would list LV splitt-off recordings as well. For German recordings for example http://legamus.eu/ (had been Vorleser Amateure)

I would certainly love to work for/help with some sort of EU based Librivox.

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Post by RuthieG » May 23rd, 2011, 3:36 am

kattekliek wrote:This was the status 5 years ago - but perhaps not so much has changed? There was not any mentioning of the difficulty to find European hosting for our files - the main reason was to keep things as simple as possible. And to be honestly speaking: I would not know of a simple way to make this work, while keeping the link to librivox.org. Registering librivox.eu as a sister site (having its own forum, upload server etc.) would be the least thing that is necessary for it to work and despite the same name this would easily lead to growing away from each other.
Five years ago was pretty different. No-one would even have considered the sheer volume of LibriVox recordings that would be available by now. There was a mere handful then. The problem (or one of them, the big one) is not the domain name, or the upload server, but the hosting of the completed files. We have never come close to finding any organization which would be willing to host them free outside the USA, and the hosting costs are pretty mind-bending.

We contacted The European Archive, but they were not interested in us.

Ruth
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Post by Nullifidian » May 23rd, 2011, 3:40 am

kattekliek wrote:By the way, I'm happy that 'Mein Kampf' by Adolf Hitler will remain outside the PD in the US for a véry long time to come ... In 1946 it will certainly pop up on many European sites, but fortunately LV can be kept clean of this garbage (I notice I'm extremely allergic to it, although WWII was long before my birth; I guess that quite some European generations still have to come before this work will be appreciated purely for its historical significance).
There are some out-and-out polemical denunciations of Jews and non-whites (which I will not name) that are PD in America, and the possibility of someone wanting to record one of them has occurred to me before, but fortunately the issue hasn't arisen yet. It would trouble me to have it in the catalogue, but I think my principles would overpower my distaste. I wouldn't waste my time helping it along though.

I even felt a little squicked out when I did a Google search and saw a neo-Nazi favorably reviewing a novel that I am considering for LV, The Death of the Gods by Dmitri Merezhkovsky. Apparently Julian the Apostate was just like another Hitler, leading the sheep-like people back to their pagan roots—even though Julian's Hellenism, which included universal toleration for Christian schismatics and Jews (he even planned to rebuild the Temple!), had absolutely nothing to do with Hitler's mystical baloney. :roll:

kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » May 23rd, 2011, 4:21 am

Hokuspokus wrote:...and European Archive http://www.europarchive.org/
Both with negative result.
When was this asked and to whom etc. (PM can be sent if you would not wish to discuss names in detail over here)? I noticed that the European Archive is in Amsterdam and Paris. I know someone from the Netherlands who is very well known in the media and perhaps could be able to convince them. Looking at their focus: "working towards universal access to all knowledge [and] to make it as publicly accessible as possible, via the Internet and other means" it's such a pitty that they would not wish to have something like a EU-based Librivox! :(
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

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Post by annise » May 23rd, 2011, 4:44 am

It never hurts to try again - it might hit a different desk this time - . As to the books - well there are books on Librivox that I don't approve of - but I would defend their right to be there. I just would not be involved in recording them.

Anne

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Post by Viktor » May 25th, 2011, 5:03 pm

Hokuspokus wrote: The critical point is file hosting, like Availle said. Another critical point is that we need to keep US law and EU law apart. So we would need to have a completely separate infrastructure, uploader, forum, machinery behind the scene. Else we would risk serious legal problems. Even the name LibriVox might be tricky.

Still it is possible to do audio books on EU law. Two German volunteers Claudia and Wolfgang did two projects on their own. See http://librivox.li/ and http://iloapp.librivox.li/blog/blog?Home
If someone really wants to do a book, one could use a file hoster or some other free or cheap webspace. This is of course insecure and inconvenient, but doable.
There are podcast lists and catalogs that list LV recordings and probably would list LV splitt-off recordings as well. For German recordings for example http://legamus.eu/ (had been Vorleser Amateure)
I completely agree ; the need for a European sister of LibriVox will grow more and more while works get into European (or any life+70) PD but stay outside American PD.

Me and my http://legamus.eu (which already has a phpBB forum) are based in France and Germany; I'd love to help with technical details! Maybe we can start small and grow the necessary infrastructure as we need.

For download space, I'm very surprised by what is possible these days with filehosters and cloud storage. Wouldn't have thought that five years ago! Among loads of crappy advertisement deserts, there are some good providers giving you direct HTTP links and reasonable expiry times (French provider free.fr gives generous access to non-customers). Also, in France virtual servers with "unlimited bandwidth" are getting cheaper and cheaper. Sure, they are not that unlimited, but when we put the resources of several small (existing) servers together and use BitTorrent with webseeds for the technical savvy (using the same link for both direct downloads and a permanent BitTorrent seed), that might be enough for a start!

At the moment I think of a tiny "tracker" web application that associates a download with one or several freehoster links and keeps track of the last time the links got accessed. That way, one can have a permanent link of http://librivox-eu-tracker/Roth-Radetzkymarsch. When links expire, one gets notified and may re-upload at the same or a different freehoster. And one can trivially implement round-robin schemes or limits: After N redirections to download server X, the tracker will redirect to a different one...

Obviously, cloud storage only works when there are reliable backups, but these days local storage gets so cheap... 2 Terabytes for less than 100 euros...

These are just some ideas. If there is interest, I'll happily try to take the role of the "poor European's storage admin" and see how far we can go :-)

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Post by Hokuspokus » May 25th, 2011, 10:50 pm

Thank you Viktor! Your experience will be very needed, useful and appreciated!

If we really want to do this, we need to have:
1. a name
2. a forum
3. a catalog

1. the name
Eurovox came up in one of the earlier discussions. It sounds good, but has some disadvantages. A place for audio books under EU law would be interesting not only for Europeans but for everyone in life+70 and +50 countries, that is almost all the world, except the US, Mexico (life+100) and a few others. And of course they all are welcome!
The name shouldn't be too much Europe.
LibriVox-EU is only a little bit better in respect of welcoming non-Europe people, but it would benefit from the popularity of LibriVox.org. We need to ask Hugh if we may use the name.
Or someone comes up with a better idea?

2. a forum
Viktor, could we use your forum for the first steps?

3. a catalog
LibriVox' catalog is a blog with a database behind it. For the first 10-20 recordings the new baby could do without a database, but it's something we need to think about very early.

For the moment I see (whatever we call it) as place for recordings, that can't be done here. I wouldn't want to quite LV because of the great people here, the atmosphere and all.

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Post by RuthieG » May 26th, 2011, 12:10 am

Viktor, thank you!

It would need much technical expertise, which I can't offer, and it won't start as small as LibriVox did at the beginning because there are so many established readers now. In other words, it would need a dedicated team right from the start and it would be hard work.

But just think of all that G.K. Chesterton, Lovecraft, E. F. Benson, Conan Doyle, Arnold Bennett, Galsworthy, Sapper, Edgar Wallace, D.H. Lawrence (I could record Lady Chatterley's Lover :shock:) and soon Virginia Woolf. From a British point of view, the text sources may be a problem, as there is no UK equivalent of Gutenberg. We may find many people reading from original books, and copyright status may be harder to check.

Eurovox sounds good to me - they will be PD in Europe, after all, and in European languages. I do not think using the name LibriVox will work - I foresee legal difficulties for LibriVox.

Ruth
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kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » May 26th, 2011, 12:56 am

Nice to see this split topic, and great that there seem to be real possibilities to do without a ‘classic’ archiving site analogous to archive.org :) I paste some of my comments from a PM-conversation, that might add to the discussion:

if the server(s) of this new organisation would be in a +50 country (Canada, Australia), we would have the widest possibilities. Canadians and Aussies can safely record +50 books, while a.o. EU-citizens should stick to reading +70 books only (analogous to how we deal with different copyright regulations at LV nowadays).

And:
a file share and bittorenting might be a good idea. For archive.org it is convenient to make 128 kbps MP3's, because they are converted automatically to some other formats. However, I think this is mainly geared toward music; for mono-speech this bitrate is not necessary to have a sufficiently high sound quality. If we use a file share, I think we could do with e.g. 48 kpbs and this would save tremendously on storage space and bandwidth.

And a remark on cloud based hosting: how can we make sure that all of the servers for the books are outside the US? Otherwise we might be in trouble; I think that the closer to the present the publishing dates of the books come, and the more popular the books, the bigger the problems for commercial parties will be (like e.g. the Agatha Christie issue on Librivox; I don’t think they could have ever won in court, but we simply do not have the resources to try that out).
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

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