Players (for elderly)

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DonnTerry
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Post by DonnTerry » November 9th, 2019, 11:28 am

I'm working on an Android book player(*) with particular emphasis on the elderly who have limitations using things like smart phones (and CD players, and...). My "beta tester" has read a lot of your books with it very successfully. This will be a completely free app (both liber and gratis) and I believe is strongly aligned with LibriVox's goals. I'm getting close to distributing it on Google Play, but I'm hitting a snag and was hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction.

Here we go slightly off-topic: the issues of privacy policy and other legal requirements to protect myself from (overly invasive) regulatory agencies, Google Policies, and other legal hassles are becoming a problem for me, very much because everything I've found so far has built into it the assumption "you must be trying to make money off this somehow", and the regulators consequent assumption of "... and you're going to abuse your users to make that money".

Librivox is clearly a counter-example of all of that, and I was hoping that someone out there might know of working solutions to the legal problems that don't involve setting up my own corporation and servers just to meet legal requirements to protect myself as I try to give something away to help older folks enjoy life a little more. (Not counting my time, the expenses of doing this have been small but non-zero, but I don't want to spend money (particularly in an ongoing way) just to give something away.)

To keep this short, I'll not pile in the details here, but if you'd like access to details (including a Website and the app itself (not via Google Play)), ask and I can follow up or send details privately.

Donn Terry

(*) This is a significant enhancement of the Homer Player (already on Play, and of which you may be aware) based on my experience with my "beta tester" who, like all good beta testers, managed to break the original. This was done in coordination with the author of the Homer player but is a separate entity.

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » November 9th, 2019, 11:34 am

I'm not aware of regulatory issues with LibriVox.

We're not on Google at all. (The app that is named "LibriVox" is not owned, developed, supported, or otherwise connected with us other than using the same name, and in using our public domain audios.)

The donations we receive are given through Internet Archive, which is a non-profit organization. We ourselves are not registered or otherwise officially organized. Archive also provides us server space for our audios, forums, and workflow. They don't own or control us; they're just good to us. :)

Sorry we can't be of more help.
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KevinS
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Post by KevinS » November 9th, 2019, 12:38 pm

Donn, I would suggest you talk with the people who provide Audacity for free. They would know, I presume, how all this is done with little or no risk to the application provider.
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DonnTerry
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Post by DonnTerry » November 13th, 2019, 11:00 am

@KevinS: unhappily for me, Audacity does use advertising (albeit well curated, which is great!) and a bulletin board, and thus isn't a good model for my "completely free, no strings" intent.

Anyone (else) have any ideas?

schrm
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Post by schrm » November 13th, 2019, 11:29 am

DonnTerry wrote:
November 13th, 2019, 11:00 am
@KevinS: unhappily for me, Audacity does use advertising (albeit well curated, which is great!) and a bulletin board, and thus isn't a good model for my "completely free, no strings" intent.

Anyone (else) have any ideas?
vlc?

to be honest, i don't understand the problems you are asking about.
do you need a license, which suits your needs?
do you need a sort of comparable privacy policy to copy the text?

/reader/12275


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Cori
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Post by Cori » November 15th, 2019, 11:32 am

Using a name that doesn't reference LibriVox directly (e.g. Super Friendly Audiobook Player, rather than LibriVox Super Friendly Player) can avoid the most obvious LibriVox-related issues you're likely to run into. (And reduces by 1% the number of people who will contact us directly for user support. :roll: ) Although we do appreciate a shout-out / link somewhere along the line, to encourage listeners to consider joining up to record (we have no age bars here, all kinds of people can and do contribute.)

Collecting as little data from your users as possible, obviously, is important. If you are using email addresses, for instance, so that people can 'sign up' and keep listener records ... you will have to prove that you're respecting appropriate privacy laws in managing them. Same for any other PII (Personally Identifiable Information) which can include the device ID if you're logging usage info or crash records.

Otherwise, I'd suggest you just go ahead and submit to the Play Store anyway, and then you'll know exactly what you need to fix based on whatever Google reject the app on (they aren't as whimsical as Apple, but can still be a pain in the posterior.) You don't necessarily need to make the app public immediately, but this means you know where you stand, rather than speculating (if that's what's going on ... you've not given much info.)

If the problem is outside that, please do post again here ... it's probably Off Topic for LibriVox discussions, but it's always interesting to see how people are using our recordings. :D Apps are my day job, but I don't want to get into private comms ... in the spirit of LibriVox, it's good to pool information and help in public.
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DonnTerry
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Post by DonnTerry » November 15th, 2019, 12:02 pm

@Cori: OK... I just posted a bit more details on what I'm trying to find. The player itself is just a passive player (no "accounts" or anything like that - it collects NO user data). It has no idea who's using it. Other than the shout-out you request on the web page (long since written) it doesn't refer to LibriVox in any way.

DonnTerry
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Post by DonnTerry » November 15th, 2019, 12:43 pm

@schrm (my first attempt seems to have gone astray).
I'm looking for examples of privacy policies (etc.) that match what I'm doing, which is giving away the app with no expectation of any recompense (no ads, no purchases, no registration or accounts). However I need to protect myself from (possible) overreach by the GDPR or other entities. I can't justify significant expenses just to be nice.

I'd like to have some analytics that (completely anonymously) gives me some idea that it's being used (and roughly where), but that's not strictly a requirement. The problem is that "making money" is so deeply built into the process than any web search I try assumes that there's money (and thus some sort of account) involved, and I can't find examples of what I want to do. They might exist, but they're deeply buried in noise associated with making money.

I can afford to give away the app (and hope I hear about happy users); I can't afford being fined for doing that, so I need to protect myself, and I haven't figured how how.

Cori
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Post by Cori » November 17th, 2019, 12:51 pm

If you aren't collecting PII, then as I understand it, you don't have a liability under GDPR as you have no data to be managed or protected. Similarly, if you aren't charging money or using ads to make money, then it's hard to see why anyone would bother litigating over a well-written app. (Obviously this is different if someone were deliberately trying to get malicious code onto someone's phone, but you're not.)

You could look at the policies for other apps that you use, and see how they approach it. Use the headings and come up with your own wording that addresses what you're doing ... and borrow directly where it relates to GDPR/EU law and that new Californian one (I am not a lawyer, but again, both of these relate to collecting data, which you say you aren't doing.) Some non/light-touch money-making apps that I use:
Bonus thought -- a lot of demographics will appreciate a simple interface, straightforward book finding/playing, etc. It'd be good to find a way to market it which doesn't directly mention 'the elderly' since most people think that's 'someone 5-50 years older than myself'. Limits your audience too much, I'd reckon ;)
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!

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