Audioliterature and Audible

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
lurcherlover
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Location: LONDON UK

Post by lurcherlover » June 3rd, 2018, 6:22 am

One way that Amazon (who I understand own Audible) may be persuaded to take Audible to heel would be for hundreds (or even just a few dozen) of Librivox members to complain to them over the alleged stealing and altering/making up a new name, and say that we will close our accounts with Amazon and not use them for future purchases. I'm thinking of doing that myself, now I've heard that Audible are allegedly behaving in this way.

I think this could easily be organised by LV and may make Amazon change their mind about caring, especially if it hits their profit margins.

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » June 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am

Peter,

Do you really think that dozens of accounts closed (supposing for a minute that they actually will be closed) would make a dent in Amazon's profit margin?

And what exactly would compel me to close my Amazon account? My moral objection to Audible's disregard of the fact that some of its subscribers manage to earn whatever little by re-packaging and re-labelling free goods?

Here is how I see it. Somebody takes sunlight, turns it (by their own toils) into a product and offers it for sale. And pays some kind of tax on the proceeds, however insignificant the proceeds are. Some gullible folks used to believing that the stuff paid for is better than the stuff they get for free, give their hard-earned money to that somebody selling sunlight. And you propose to appeal to the taxation authority? What do they have to do with the shrewdness of those sunlight salespeople or the gullibility of the folks who buy it instead of getting it for free?

It seems to me that a better approach would be to lead an information campaign to let the world know of the existence of the free sunlight.

Not to mention that all this is does not seem to really deserve anybody's time because there is no real harm done, is there? If there is, could you please explain how your well-being is affected? Whoever spends their time and energy to re-publish our works pours water on the wheel of our mill anyway -- making our audiobooks available to more people than before. What's the problem in that? Is the fact that they potentially earn a few pennies doing that while MCs, BCs, readers, PLers get no credit or recognition, bothering you so much?

I believe all this waste of time comes from your misunderstanding of our one true goal and our volunteer nature. This time is better spent recording another public domain book, methinks, even if its copy ends up on Audible... :wink:
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

moniaqua
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Post by moniaqua » June 3rd, 2018, 7:23 am

lurcherlover wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 6:22 am
and say that we will close our accounts with Amazon and not use them for future purchases.
Well, as I don't have an amazon account, there's nothing to close. I don't think that would bother them anyway.
tovarisch wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am
It seems to me that a better approach would be to lead an information campaign to let the world know of the existence of the free sunlight.
That's the way I think that might help. I always mention LibriVox when it comes to audiobooks.
tovarisch wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am
Not to mention that all this is does not seem to really deserve anybody's time because there is no real harm done, is there? If there is, could you please explain how your well-being is affected?
Now, if, how it is mentioned, they alter my voice - I don't like the idea :? I like my voice as it is.
And I think it would be nice if they mentioned us. But then they'd probably sell nothing (although there always are some people who prefer to pay for things available for free...)

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » June 3rd, 2018, 7:50 am

Monica,
you (emphasis mine) wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 7:23 am
tovarisch wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am
Not to mention that all this is does not seem to really deserve anybody's time because there is no real harm done, is there? If there is, could you please explain how your well-being is affected?
Now, if, how it is mentioned, they alter my voice - I don't like the idea :? I like my voice as it is.
And herein lies the actual cause of the frustration, doesn't it? We seem to want everything involving our volunteer work to be to our liking. A mere idea of somebody doing something we don't like, makes our indignation rise... Have Peter's works been re-published on Audible? Have yours, with altered voice?

A parent feels pride (deservedly, I suppose) when their child accomplishes something in the world. They are our product, the result of our efforts, and we deserve to share in the glory. Similar feelings we get when we produce audiobooks. We are proud of our work if it gains recognition, even in the form of a copy re-packanged and re-labelled. But if our involvement in producing it is effaced, our participation is camouflaged, what's the issue? We are not remembered. Being forgotten is one of the hardest imaginable outcomes. We live as long as the last person who remembers us.

Isn't that what we want to punish Audible for? They make no effort to recognize LibriVox and its volunteers, or rather very little effort. :roll: Are we in danger of being swept away from the humanity's memories because of that?
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » June 3rd, 2018, 9:05 am

Amazon responded to my inquiry in January. They corrected a narrator credit error that I pointed out, but the larger question -- do they have a policy about selling audiobooks that are available free at librivox -- is skirted by mentioning an unrelated policy.

Personally, I'm not interested in punishing Amazon, and I'm not injured by this (mis)use of our efforts to give to the world -- their actions don't rob me of my enjoyment in contributing. I saw a mistake, so I tried to correct it. I wanted to know something, so I asked. It strikes me that the real harm of these Audible practices comes from ... sparking controversies that sometimes have us sort of yelling at each other, undermining the kindness of this community. And for the most part, I think the community kindness has prevented that damage. It's starting to feel a little heated lately, but I might be misinterpreting. I think this community rocks [rocks = is excellent]!
From: Audible Customer Support <aud-accountspecialists@audible.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 1:42 PM
Subject: Audible Escalation RM - Case ID: 0138726111

Hello Anita,

This is Rick from the Account Specialists Team at Audible, I hope this finds you well.

You had contacted us some time ago regarding the title "A Little Princess" including incorrect information regarding the narrator on the Product Details Page. First of all, I would like to express my sincere apologies for the substantial delay in communication since our last correspondence.

I am happy to report, however, that the issue has since been resolved. As such, the narrator for this title is now correctly shown as "Kara Shallenberg" on the Product Details Page.

You also had previously inquired about public domain titles being available for sale on Audible. Upon further research into your question, our associates at ACX had explained it in this way: In order for a public domain title to be published on Audible, the individual must make an effort to differentiate the content. In other words, they must create their own version of the title by adding their own original content to it (i.e. An historical introduction or fictionalized content).

We hope this explanation answers your question but if you happen to have any additional inquiries regarding publishing rights, distribution etc., please feel free to contact ACX directly at: support@acx.com

Thank you so much again for contacting us here at Audible. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We're here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sincerely,
Rick M. - Account Specialist
Audible.com
Anita

lurcherlover
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Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Location: LONDON UK

Post by lurcherlover » June 3rd, 2018, 10:59 am

tovarisch wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am
Peter,

Do you really think that dozens of accounts closed (supposing for a minute that they actually will be closed) would make a dent in Amazon's profit margin?

And what exactly would compel me to close my Amazon account? My moral objection to Audible's disregard of the fact that some of its subscribers manage to earn whatever little by re-packaging and re-labelling free goods?

Here is how I see it. Somebody takes sunlight, turns it (by their own toils) into a product and offers it for sale. And pays some kind of tax on the proceeds, however insignificant the proceeds are. Some gullible folks used to believing that the stuff paid for is better than the stuff they get for free, give their hard-earned money to that somebody selling sunlight. And you propose to appeal to the taxation authority? What do they have to do with the shrewdness of those sunlight salespeople or the gullibility of the folks who buy it instead of getting it for free?

It seems to me that a better approach would be to lead an information campaign to let the world know of the existence of the free sunlight.

Not to mention that all this is does not seem to really deserve anybody's time because there is no real harm done, is there? If there is, could you please explain how your well-being is affected? Whoever spends their time and energy to re-publish our works pours water on the wheel of our mill anyway -- making our audiobooks available to more people than before. What's the problem in that? Is the fact that they potentially earn a few pennies doing that while MCs, BCs, readers, PLers get no credit or recognition, bothering you so much?

I believe all this waste of time comes from your misunderstanding of our one true goal and our volunteer nature. This time is better spent recording another public domain book, methinks, even if its copy ends up on Audible... :wink:
Oh dear, sorry I spoke!

Obviously some of us might feel a little differently about this. As far as my contributions go, I haven't checked if they been used in that way, and I don't care. I do obviously care that other people's work has been abused in this way.

I only record for LV to amuse myself, and the amount I contribute varies with how much I'm caught up in other projects of my own, and how I feel, and it is also governed by other things less under my control. I do sometimes take on solo books, and I am contemplating another one, but I don't know if I will record it, especially when there seems to be a somewhat lack of encouragement, and people seem a little deflated by the Audible/Youtube experiences.

smike
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Post by smike » June 3rd, 2018, 2:22 pm

Well, we all agreed that our published content is in the public domain, and that everybody can use it and do with it as they see fit.

So, if somebody makes money out of it, so be it. Giving a false narrator's name is unethical in my opinion, but sombody taking our recordings, altering the voice, etc, is what we all agreed to before recording for LV.
Claudia

So much to do, so little time...

moniaqua
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Location: Somewhere in the south

Post by moniaqua » June 3rd, 2018, 2:44 pm

tovarisch wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 7:50 am
And herein lies the actual cause of the frustration, doesn't it? We seem to want everything involving our volunteer work to be to our liking. A mere idea of somebody doing something we don't like, makes our indignation rise... Have Peter's works been re-published on Audible? Have yours, with altered voice?
I am not sure if its frustration. I think what bothers me more is the unethical aspect smike mentions. They seemingly don't alter voices to improve the recordings, they dot it to mask that the recordings were from somewhere else.

Actually I don't even know if they use my recordings; it is not very likely as I didn't do any solo yet. And I can not investigate as I do not have an account at audible. But that's not high on my priority list anyway. I know that my recordings are PD, too, so I don't bother that they are used. Its only the circumstances that make that fishy smell.

Ealswythe
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Post by Ealswythe » June 3rd, 2018, 7:47 pm

I don’t know anything about people copying LV recordings and putting them on Audible. It’s very possible that they do, since there are so many people out to make an easy buck. However, there are many cases of PD works being out on Audible legitimately. I am currently narrating a PD book of poetry by Rumi, for which I was contacted by a publishing company, and they are paying me per finished hour for the narration. There’s nothing unethical about that. They are not assuming copyright, and they are not stealing anyone’s narration work.

Also, for those of you who would like to find out if your narrations have been pirated by someone and placed on Audible, you can, even without an account, just go to Audible.com and check on the titles you’ve worked on at LV. Then listen to the 5 minute audio sample.
Le silence va plus vite à reculons.

https://librivox.org/reader/11772

a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » June 3rd, 2018, 8:05 pm

I am currently narrating a PD book of poetry by Rumi, for which I was contacted by a publishing company, and they are paying me per finished hour for the narration.
Congratulations, Ealswythe! that's super! :clap:
Yes, Audible's policy is "In order for a public domain title to be published on Audible, the individual must make an effort to differentiate the content. In other words, they must create their own version of the title by adding their own original content to it (i.e. An historical introduction or fictionalized content)." I read one narrator's post about adding a booklet with illustrations as a way to add value.
I don’t know anything about people copying LV recordings and putting them on Audible. It’s very possible that they do...
Posts on the opening page of this thread give several links to instances of publishers selling librivox books. I haven't looked to see what original content they offered.
Anita

annise
LibriVox Admin Team
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Post by annise » June 3rd, 2018, 8:30 pm

Everyone has their own opinion - legally audible can do anything with the recordings, the only thing that shouldn't happen is if they claim copyright on them unless they have been reworked.

I do think we should all stop giving free publicity to the companies concerned, in these days any mention helps contribute to their advertising revenue and there really is nothing to add to the conversation .
So various people distribute our recordings - which is a good thing , more people get to listen to things we love and/or think are important and lost.
On the otherside of the balance some people have some income from them. Most of these do have distribution expenses , they create disks , they write apps and have website upkeep and bandwith to pay for and most do not charge much. We are fortunate - Archive provides us with free storage and bandwith so we get to indulge our hobby at limited expense .

And people's and companies ethics are not our problem here.

Anne

Ellene
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Post by Ellene » June 12th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Dear staff,

This thread is a little old but the problem still exists as long as Audible is making a profit. I wonder if there is a way to get some kind of implied or express copyright for every Librivox production. Perhaps a copyright lawyer knows if there are laws to protect Librivox from proprietary theft. After all, bookstores publish public domain books all the time. They come out with special editions with fancy bindings or create special library editions and sell them. If it wasn't profitable they wouldn't do it. Librivox happens to be free but that doesn't mean has no monetary value.

Public domain doesn't cover vehicles for accessing works. Public domain refers to access to the creative work not its production into readable form.

Does this strike a chord?

Thank you,

Ellen Eckstein
ellene

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » June 12th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Ellene wrote:
June 12th, 2018, 2:14 pm
Dear staff,

This thread is a little old but the problem still exists as long as Audible is making a profit. I wonder if there is a way to get some kind of implied or express copyright for every Librivox production. Perhaps a copyright lawyer knows if there are laws to protect Librivox from proprietary theft. After all, bookstores publish public domain books all the time. They come out with special editions with fancy bindings or create special library editions and sell them. If it wasn't profitable they wouldn't do it. Librivox happens to be free but that doesn't mean has no monetary value.

Public domain doesn't cover vehicles for accessing works. Public domain refers to access to the creative work not its production into readable form.

Does this strike a chord?
No. LibriVox productions are in the Public Domain. Read up on what it means. There is no need to repeat it here. Google is your friend. :thumbs:
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

TriciaG
LibriVox Admin Team
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Post by TriciaG » June 12th, 2018, 4:12 pm

Here's a page in our wiki which discusses our recordings being in the public domain: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Copyright_and_Public_Domain#All_LibriVox_Recordings_are_in_the_Public_Domain
Fiction, open sections mostly adventure in Australia: It Is Never too Late to Mend
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Sci-Fi removing memories: Dr. Heidenhoff's Process

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » June 14th, 2018, 2:25 am

I have written to ACX at the email address given, and pointed out that morally they are in the wrong, and that my Amazon, Audible and Kindle accounts will shortly all be closed. It probably won't make any difference, but at least I am showing my feelings and I'm morally on the high ground.

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