Audioliterature and Audible

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
TheBuriedBook
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Post by TheBuriedBook » January 14th, 2018, 8:28 pm

This is disheartening:

https://www.audible.com/search?searchProvider=Audioliterature

Example (same):

https://www.audible.com/pd/History/The-Communist-Manifesto-Audiobook/B077PCZQHG
https://librivox.org/the-communist-manifesto-version-2-by-karl-marx-and-friedrich-engels/

Compare the voice, the Audible has been slightly changed. Voice changing software is becoming increasingly sophisticated allowing a publisher to produce many versions from the same source material. It's easy for foresee a day when you pick from a menu of narrators depending on your preference.

Of course nothing to be done. PD is PD the whole idea is to encourage derivative works. Some people may even be willing to pay $7 (or $10 at the cheapest for 1 credit) for the convenience of Audible even if they could get it free. But.. there is something dishonest. The fake narrator name, the lack of credit to LibriVox. That is something Audible should be able to intercede. And it should be possible for LibriVox to use a copyright that requires attribution such as Creative Commons. This is only common sense so that narrators don't become disheartened as their hard work is monetized by third parties particularly as software makes it easy to modify voices.

annise
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Post by annise » January 14th, 2018, 9:07 pm

It's always happened . Many on sellers do add something - like disks or an app- which we don't provide. We all know, some people will take them down if you report it, you could add your voice to Audible , review things you find by pointing out that they are available for free online, protest in any way you like , we are too busy producing books to worry about them or to give them any free publicity by increasing their google counts ( a google search will find and display the links you have provided above)

Anne

VfkaBT
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Post by VfkaBT » January 15th, 2018, 9:48 am

Someone could always alert NPR or Gizmodo to do a story on this; they are bastions of tech minutiae and social justice warrior-ing after all. 8-)
My previous LV work: Bellona Times

MaryAnnSpiegel
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Post by MaryAnnSpiegel » January 15th, 2018, 11:27 am

Ella Porter. Wow, what a great fake name!

I wonder if I could start holding myself out as "the voice behind the smash Audioliterature narrator, 'Ella Porter'"? My voice is low enough that I could be Greta Garbo . . . except, I don't look anything like Greta Garbo . . . but hey, this is audiobooks!

Apparently, some of my cover art was not up to snuff, as only a few of those have survived the transition to Ella. I'll do a bit more sniffing around. Maybe they changed the covers were I actually put my name on the front, and kept the others in tact . . . .

MaryAnn

TheBuriedBook
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Post by TheBuriedBook » January 15th, 2018, 10:53 pm

Must be a strange experience discovering your name and altered voice. We live in interesting times.

a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » January 27th, 2018, 4:30 pm

Wow. Your post amazed me -- I'm so naive.

As it happens, I was composing an email to audible customer service today (pasted below) and thought -- hey, I should check the LibriVox forum for any examples of this problem I'm reporting -- and so I folded your instance into my email:
Hello, Audible Team,

Thank you for your email and for the chance to respond.
. . . I want to repeat what I mentioned in the audible customer service chat that brought this to your attention:
apparently some LibriVox titles are listed on audible.com as available for purchase -- that should be considered an error since they're available free on librivox.org, where they're read into the public domain.

Within that error, there's a further error, attributing Kara Schallenberg's reading of A Little Princess to Karen Savage (both narrators have created solo versions for LibriVox).
So the larger question is: how is it that LibriVox (free, public domain) audiobooks are being sold on audible? Does audible have a policy in place to prevent this?
Certainly, the fact that an audiobook is in the public domain means that someone can try to sell it -- that's not illegal at all. But I just think it makes a bad statement about audible if there isn't a policy against selling what the public can get for free.

It strikes me that a narrator should be permitted to offer his/her public domain audiobook for sale, but a "producer" who had nothing to do with producing the original files should not.

I just realized, in the course of writing this email, that one "publisher" released 53 classics in 2017:
https://www.audible.com/a/search?ref=a_a_search_c4_pageSize_3&pf_rd_p=1d79b443-2f1d-43a3-b1dc-31a2cd242566&pf_rd_r=3G78VGQ8H3M1431TKN0V&&searchProvider=SAGA+Egmont&node=2226649011&feature_six_browse-bin=9178177011&submitted=1&sort=pubdate-desc-rank&pageSize=50
I recognize many LibriVox reader names, and the few titles I spotchecked are indeed LibriVox audiobooks.

On a few titles, I compared the sample on audible to the chapter 1 files on LibriVox ...
Example: Sense and Sensibility is the identical audiobook on both audible and librivox
Counter-Example: Pride and Prejudice's sample on audible is not the same as that passage on librivox (same narrator though) -- so possibly this is a new, remade version of the audiobook. We'd need to compare other files in the book.

I just looked on the LibriVox volunteer forum to see whether anyone else had noticed this "publisher" and though I didn't see anything there about SAGA Egmont, I did see many other examples. I hadn't been aware that this is happening on audible. It surprises me.

Related question:
If a customer points out a case of misrepresentation -- e.g., a publisher pitch-adjusts audio and then mis-attributes the narrator (see links below) -- does audible do anything with that information?

Example: LibriVox narrator Mark F. Smith (click "solo" in the left menu of this linked page):
https://librivox.org/reader/204?primary_key=204&search_category=reader&search_page=1&search_form=get_results
Pitch-shifted by publisher Audioliterature and falsely credited as narrated by Lawrence Skinner:
https://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Lawrence+Skinner&ref=a_pd_Histor_c1_narrator_1&pf_rd_p=4df5109d-f867-4b0f-81d9-bbb0a0713d9e&pf_rd_r=NQ861K0KDWBWA9Z68QPC&

I appreciate your attention and look forward to your response.
Many thanks!

Anita
I'll post their reply.
Anita

annise
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Post by annise » January 27th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Nice email. I'll be interested in their reply.

Anne

smike
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Post by smike » January 28th, 2018, 9:15 am

TheBuriedBook wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 8:28 pm
This is disheartening:

https://www.audible.com/search?searchProvider=Audioliterature

Example (same):

https://www.audible.com/pd/History/The-Communist-Manifesto-Audiobook/B077PCZQHG
https://librivox.org/the-communist-manifesto-version-2-by-karl-marx-and-friedrich-engels/

Compare the voice, the Audible has been slightly changed. Voice changing software is becoming increasingly sophisticated allowing a publisher to produce many versions from the same source material. It's easy for foresee a day when you pick from a menu of narrators depending on your preference.


I checked out the audiblelink and got the following:
Title Not For Sale In This Country
Due to publishing rights restriction, we are not authorized to sell this item in the country where you live
This has to be a joke, right?
Claudia

So much to do, so little time...

m8b1
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Post by m8b1 » February 1st, 2018, 3:52 pm

Using a fake name, now that takes the cake! Probably trying to hide that it is a Librivox recording. Phil is now Edward Miller.
I wonder if that is something we could go after them for, probably not, but maybe Audible would frown on that?
Maria

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Catholic Audiobooks

Cori
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Post by Cori » February 2nd, 2018, 1:22 pm

I get the impression Audible don't care any more. They used to!

But now, they seem to fob off complaints with the old 'we just supply a platform for listeners, take your complaint to the producer' excuse. Eventually, listeners will be annoyed enough (or demand refunds often enough) that action will be taken -- but there are so many of our books up now, that complaints are too spread out to have an impact. It sucks for all the purchasing listeners who are being cheated in the meantime.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

MaryAnnSpiegel
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Post by MaryAnnSpiegel » February 3rd, 2018, 4:39 am

Cori,
I complained to Audible, they pushed me off to ACX or something, and when I complained there, they said to contact the publisher. So no, they don't care. And since I don't have and Audible account I can't write a review to let folks know that I am the reader and a non-pitch shifted version is available for free.
MaryAnn

Monaxi
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Post by Monaxi » February 3rd, 2018, 7:52 pm

Since Audible is Amazon, can't we use our Amazon memberships (and get our friends) to post complaints?
Peace be with you,
Sister

smike
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Post by smike » February 4th, 2018, 7:09 am

MaryAnnSpiegel wrote:
February 3rd, 2018, 4:39 am
Cori,
I complained to Audible, they pushed me off to ACX or something, and when I complained there, they said to contact the publisher. So no, they don't care. And since I don't have and Audible account I can't write a review to let folks know that I am the reader and a non-pitch shifted version is available for free.
MaryAnn
MaryAnn, from what I know, having an audible membership wouldn't change a thing, because you can only post a review on audible if you've purchased the audio book there. I think posting a review on Amazon would be the only option.
Claudia

So much to do, so little time...

SonOfTheExiles
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » February 4th, 2018, 8:41 pm

Rather than a frontal assault on a dug-in combatant, are there perhaps alternative avenues which might be more effective? To inform wronged consumers, rather than to complain to the engregious and unlistening perps?

Chris
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Availle
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Post by Availle » February 5th, 2018, 7:08 am

Good idea SOTE, but how do you find out who has purchased those "fake" LibriVox recordings - short of hacking audible's databases I mean?
Cheers,
Ava.

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