Commercial Use of Librivox Recordings

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Post by Availle » July 13th, 2018, 6:14 pm

I am on the fence with this one, really. :?

On the one hand, I absolutely loathe those assholes who sell our recordings - often simply the download - for horrendous prices without any mention of LV, let alone a kickback of any sort. I hope they will all die a slow and horrible death, after which they'll end up in hell where they have to listen to their pirated recordings for all eternity. There. :twisted:

On the other hand, I just checked the one recording of mine that ended up as a CD on amazon: Madame Butterfly has roughly 34.000 views/downloads on archive to this day. If I count 1$ per download "for me", then the guy on amazon, selling the CD for 19.95$ would have to sell 1700 copies to "break even". Now, that's not going to happen... :lol:

So, let's just assume I put in a watermark in my recording: As Grayhouse has shown above, a watermark can be rather easily removed - and audio editing equipment will only get better over the years. Besides: it is already possible to digitally recreate voices if there are enough samples, so there's nothing to keep people from recreating that snippet of audio in that way.
Hence: by inserting a watermark all I do is annoy 34.000 people who did nothing wrong; while the one asshole only has to invest 30 more minutes to remove it - and he will probably raise the prices to cover that time.

And no, I don't buy the "he will have to listen to the whole recording to find the watermark", that's bullshit. Rest assured that the first buyer who stumbles upon the watermark will loudly complain about it, with details as to where it can be found, no need for any further time investment on the asshole's part.

So, for me, it's not worth it. I release my recordings and let them go and find new homes. Most of them end up being loved by "worthy" people anyway.

And just to make this absolutely clear:
Adding a watermark or not is not a personal and unilateral decision - just like you cannot personally and unilaterally decide to change the text or bleep out the N-words. It will be either allowed by a (new) policy or not.

If you don't like your recordings to end up being sold by people who try to make a quick buck, then librivoxing is not for you. Probably the whole idea of volunteering is not for you then - most organisations who use volunteers make some sort of profit out of their engagement.


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Post by MaryAnnSpiegel » July 14th, 2018, 1:12 am

TriciaG wrote:
July 8th, 2018, 3:41 pm
I do not see a CC license happening.

It philosophically changes LV at its core. Also...

Our LV disclaimers say, "All LV recordings are in the public domain."
Would we have to change the disclaimers on existing files? This would be a gargantuan undertaking. But if we don't, they're wrong - all LV would NOT be in the PD.
If we only changed it in future, what would we say instead?

The files are set to CC0 (PD) on Archive.
Would we have to change that on existing projects? That work would all fall on the admins.
On the technical end, it would require a re-write of the script sending projects to Archive. I don't know how complicated that would be.

There are probably other considerations as well.
I think the key other consideration as to the current catalog of recordings is this: Once a work is in the PD, you don't "pull it back" by adding a CC license to it. If it's been put out there as PD, it's PD. The CC license would / could only apply to future releases.


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Post by Cori » July 14th, 2018, 2:12 am

I s'pose another question is *exactly* what a Public Domain licence allows. I know it means people can sell the recording, edit it into their own music and videos, listen to it in any country where the death dates are legal ... but I'm not sure it means that someone can lie about who recorded it (common at Audible) nor claim a new copyright on it (also common at Audible.) Manipulating the audio may also not create a new copyright (though that's more clearly stated in the UK than US. [1])

Wikipedia's US Public Domain page doesn't answer that question (at least to my not-a-lawyer understanding) but I would note that LibriVox is front and centre on the page. We're literally part of the popular definition of US-PD!
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Post by hugh » July 16th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Hi all,
I'll be adding some thoughts this thread by end of day tomorrow...which may or may not be helpful!


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