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Posted: December 18th, 2005, 3:44 am
by Gesine
When we use translations of texts, should we not mention who translated them, in the recording and also perhaps in the listing on the homepage? Translations are always also interpretations to some extent, and as more versions become available in the public domain, we are going to see the same original texts with a number of - quite different - translations.

My suggestion, therefore, is to update the Recording Notes ( section 3 to say:

-Please introduce ALL recordings for LibriVox by saying:
"This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit:"

-if you wish, say:
"Recording by [your name], [your blog, podcast, web address]"

"[book name], by [author name], <translated by [translator name]>, chapter [chapter number]"

And on the catalogue page, to say something like:

Nietzsche, Friedrich, Beyond Good and Evil
(Translated by Helen Zimmern)

Any thoughts?

Posted: December 18th, 2005, 4:15 am
by Jon Ingram
Sounds good, and you're right that the translator can make a big difference to the text. Just look at the Bible! (and when will we tackle *that* in Librivox? :) )


Posted: December 18th, 2005, 10:19 am
by pberinstein
Agreed, Gesine. When I read my chapter of The Trial, which is still in limbo because the translation is copyrighted, I mentioned the translator. Translation is a huge big deal, and the person who does it should be recognized.

Of course, as we (knitting) librarians know, you have to include the translator in your descriptive cataloging too. (Thanks for that, John Comaromi, who taught my descriptive cataloging class.)

Posted: December 18th, 2005, 3:48 pm
by tis
Jon Ingram wrote:Sounds good, and you're right that the translator can make a big difference to the text. Just look at the Bible! (and when will we tackle *that* in Librivox? :) )
There are a few out there... this crowd are doing a chapter a day...

Posted: December 18th, 2005, 4:07 pm
by hugh
hi all, in fact technically it's the TRANSLATION that is copyrighted or public domained... so this is a very good point, and we should mention it. (although with public domain, you are not required to do so, I think LibriVox would like to honour the memory of the translators as well as the writers!)

Copyrighted Translations

Posted: January 17th, 2006, 8:09 am
by Randyj
Having just discovered LibriVox (to my great pleasure), I have rather quickly searched through the forums for a post which related to my question. At quick glance, Hugh's post of 12-18-5 seemed the most relevant to reply to.
Being a historian, I thought it would be useful to suggest some translations of foreign language "classics" for possible "audiozation"
But how does a person (or you all, collectively) determine if the copyright has expired on a particular English translation?
In fact, since I am not too up on the law in general, how does LibriVox "screen" that a work or translation is now in the public domain?
Perhaps a brief page on the website might give suggestors and potential readers some basic information on the copyright laws for written material before they get too interested in a specific project.


Posted: January 17th, 2006, 8:29 am
by hugh
hi randyJ there are two easy answers for you, and one more difficult:

a) go to and search for the text - if it's there it's ok
b) if it's not there, if the text was published in the US anytime 1923 or BEFORE, it is ok

c) if neither a) nor b) is the case, then submit all relevant info - publisher, published where, date of publication, author's name ... and submit to us - we will put it thru the gutenberg copyright validation process.



Posted: January 17th, 2006, 10:17 am
by pberinstein
Just to clarify a little, some books on Project Gutenberg are not okay to record because the translation is copyrighted even if the original text is in the public domain. We ran across this issue with The Trial by Franz Kafka.

Posted: January 17th, 2006, 10:58 am
by hugh
darn. paula is right. ... but gutenberg will have a new policy for things like this: non-commercial use OK. i believe.