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public domain vs. creative commons non-commercial

Posted: October 17th, 2005, 3:29 pm
by hugh
hello all,

when I originally started this project, I was adamant that all librivox recordings would be in the public domain. this was because the texts are from the public domain, and I didn't want to attach a more restrictiive license. BUT this means that someone could, conceivably use librivox recordings for commercial purposes.

Originally I thought, well, that's the price of public domain freedom, and I thought really there would be little interest in selling, for instance, librivox recordings (since they'd be freely available anyway).

But listening to Call of the Wild (woohoo! completed!), I thought, what if Nike wanted to use Kristen's rendering of Francois's patois in their new ads for snowshoes (or something)? Technically, they would be free to do so. I doubt they would, but it's possible.

which suggests that we should at least consider a creative commons non-commercial license.

I prefer public domain, because I think librivox should be libre free free free, but what do all of you think?

Posted: October 17th, 2005, 4:17 pm
by tis
I vote public domain.

Posted: October 17th, 2005, 5:31 pm
by kayray
Hmm. Good question, and something to ponder. It would stink if someone took our audio files, packaged them up all slick, and sold them, or used them in a Nike ad :) I guess the creative commons non-commercial license would prevent that, eh?

There's something so appealing about public domain, but maybe a creative commons license would actually help our work stay free-beer free, as well as free-speech free.

On the other hand, the Oz books I loved as a child were public domain, but then Dover re-published them and sold them. If they hadn't, I might never have read them. So maybe if someone thinks our stuff is good enough to package and sell and it reaches more people, it's a good thing. Except for Nike, heheh.

I don't know what to think, Hugh, but I'm glad you brought it up.


Posted: October 17th, 2005, 11:15 pm
by tis
My problem with the non commercial license is that it prevents scenarios like kayray describes; it also prevents derivative works from being commercially created.

I have no idea how works such as these might be used by a future artist. One might imagine, for instance, a sureal artist (trying to make a living from their art) creating some sort of audio art by sampling a large number of files from the archives and mixing them: would we want to deny such an artist from using our work? What about someone commercially researching speech recognition, or accents?

kayray - would it really stink if someone took the files, packaged them and sold them? That might get them to an audience who don't have access to the web, or can't get their heads around podcasting, or don't have a PC... If we aren't going to provide that service, why shouldn't someone else?

Bottom line: I'd rather allow Nike to take advantage of us than deny possibilities we haven't even thought of.

That said... I suppose we could also consider an attribution license such as ?

Posted: October 18th, 2005, 6:38 am
by GordMackenzie
At first I was of the opinion that a CC attribution non-commercial license would be best.

But, upon reflection, I feel that these recordings should be freely made available to all, to use (and abuse) as they wish.

I don't like the idea of someone ripping someone off by selling these recordings when they should be available for free... but I don't think it overly likely, and caveat emptor I suppose.

The only thing that worries me is someone (or some organization) taking the files and somehow appropriating copyright on them and then restricting their free distribution (e.g. they claim rights that stops Librivox from distributing the files for free). I'm not sure if that is possible from a legal perspective ... I'm not a lawyer ... but does stating that a performance is "public domain" protect the performance from being misappropriated (and here I mean an individual or an organization claiming right of ownership and control).

If we are sure that simply stating the readings are public domain protects them from this, then I would say public domain. However, are we positive that you can legally make something public domain just by stating it? Is it possible to give up copyright in this fashion?


Posted: October 18th, 2005, 6:38 am
by Squiddhartha
I'm for sticking with public domain, so that anybody can do with our work what we're doing with Project Gutenberg's. It's also sort of a protest against the (IMHO) too-restrictive copyright laws we have now. Telling The Man that some of us aren't afraid to put our work out there for anybody to play with!

Posted: October 18th, 2005, 6:41 am
by GordMackenzie
It should be noted that Gutenberg files are not strictly in the public domain (all the the text of the books are). There is that whole legal preamble that issues all these rights and conditions...

Posted: October 18th, 2005, 6:49 am
by hugh
I wonder if they have called it a gutenberg license or something? we could borrow that (though "all librivox recordings are in the public domain" sounds much better than "all librivox recordings have the same legal staus and licensing procedures as texts produced for the gutenberg project...").

Posted: October 18th, 2005, 8:09 am
by kayray
I vote we stick with "all librivox recordings are in the public domain" heheh.

Public domain sounds good to me!


Posted: October 19th, 2005, 3:18 am
by Kristen
My awful fake French-Candian in a Nike ad? Now that would be something. Nike sales would take a tumble.

For that reason alone, we should keep it public domain.

Public domain is the way to go. Let's not be afraid of people profiting from our work, if they find a need to do that. Maybe we (collectively or individually) will find a business use for our recordings. :-)


Posted: February 13th, 2016, 6:28 pm
by msfry
Kristen wrote:Let's not be afraid of people profiting from our work, if they find a need to do that. Maybe we (collectively or individually) will find a business use for our recordings. :-)
I was shocked to learn that at least 4 of my solos, and many LV titles I recognize by their covers are now on YouTube, as Full Audio books, monotized with ads. I haven't the slightest idea how to do that or how much they are making off of our long hours of effort, but I'd sure like to know. And I'd feel better if the money they make were going to charity.

Re: public domain vs. creative commons non-commercial

Posted: February 13th, 2016, 6:47 pm
by icequeen
Well, that's the thing, Michele. We release our recordings to the public domain, which means that anyone is free to do whatever they want with our recordings. There are people who sell our recordings on ebay to make a few bucks for themselves, there are those youtube videos, and there have been some people who have used our recordings for something you would NEVER want your name associated with. That is why we all need to understand what releasing our recordings into the public domain means. And why we have those annoying intros, because our recordings are free and completely unrestricted.

There have been people who have been very upset when they learn this very thing. Me personally, I don't understand why someone would want to pay anything to listen to me talk for hours on end! :lol:

Re: public domain vs. creative commons non-commercial

Posted: February 13th, 2016, 7:03 pm
by annise
I have no idea what sort of money you get from ads on youtube so this really aplies to the disk sellers. Many people like to have our books available on disk either as mp3 files or normal audio cds , particularly older people and those with limited sight so the sellers are providing a service which does cost them time and money - they don't charge a great deal usually so I doubt its a big source of income for anybody.

I'm pretty sure it is a member that adds the files to youtube - and they don't pretend they are not LV. So it is just another method of distribution.
If they get paid by the number of visits then don't visit them :D . Everytime they are mentioned in the forum their income probably rises.


Re: public domain vs. creative commons non-commercial

Posted: February 14th, 2016, 7:22 pm
by rita1075
msfry wrote:
I was shocked to learn that at least 4 of my solos, and many LV titles I recognize by their covers
are now on YouTube, as Full Audio books, monotized with ads.

Sorry for cutting in and maybe a little bit of-topic, but...
Michelle, if you don't mind, could you please tell me which of your books have been commercially uploaded to YouTube with ads in them? You said four of your solo recordings appeared on YouTube. Your post acts like a teaser. I would like to search for those four books you mentioned in the above post and listen to them while I wash my dishes or I take a break.
A big thank you to all LibriVoxers for making all those lovely recordings available to the whole universe.

Re: public domain vs. creative commons non-commercial

Posted: February 15th, 2016, 2:15 am
by Carolin
rita, it would be easier to just check here:

those are all of micheles solos. without ads.